Category Archives: Science & Technology

Maine DOE honors the 2016 Presidential Awards for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching

 

Math Finalist: Jenny Jorgensen, Barbara Ellis, Michele Mailhot

 On Friday evening, May 19th, Maine DOE honored the four state finalists for the 2016 Presidential Award for Excellence in Teaching Mathematics and Science (PAEMST) with a dinner held at the Maple Hill Farm Inn located in Hallowell.  Shari Templeton, Maine DOE Science and Technology Specialist, and Michele Mailhot, Maine DOE Mathematics Specialist, planned the evening event honoring Barbara Ellis (Frank H. Harrison Middle School), elementary mathematics finalist, Kirsten Gould (Buxton Center Elementary School), elementary science finalist, Susan O’Brien (Weatherbee School), elementary science finalist, and Tonya Prentice (Woodstock Elementary School), elementary science finalist.

Science Finalist: Kimberly O’Donnell, Kirsten Gould, Shari Templeton

The Presidential Awards for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching (PAEMST) are the nation’s highest honors for teachers of mathematics and science. Awardees serve as models for their colleagues, inspiration to their communities, and leaders in the improvement of mathematics and science education.

Science Finalist: Matthew Lindemann, Susan O’Brien , Shari Templeton

 

The evening began with a social networking event where past awardees had an opportunity to meet the four state finalists. This was followed by dinner, official congratulations from Robert G. Hasson, Commissioner, Maine Department of Education, and Martha Harris, Chair, Maine State Board of Education.  The keynote address was delivered by Beth BeyersSmall, the NSF Teaching Fellowship Coordinator for the Maine Center for Research in STEM Education, and several past Presidential Awardees, Marielle Edgecomb, Laurie Gott, and Laura Stevens, shared memorable moments from their experiences in D.C. during their recognition trip as awardees.

Science Finalist: Jolene Littlehale, Tonya Prentice, Shari Templeton

 

The main event of the evening was the introduction of the four state finalists.  Jenny Jorgensen, Mathematics Coach, Yarmouth Schools, spoke on behalf of Barbara Ellis,  Kimberly O’Donnell, principal, Buxton Elementary School, spoke on behalf of Kirsten Gould, Matthew Lindemann, Co-Teacher, George B. Weatherbee School, spoke on behalf of Susan O’Brien, and Jolene Littlehale, Principle, Woodstock Elementary School, spoke on behalf of Tonya Prentice.  All four state finalists were presented with certificates from the PAEMST program by Shari Templeton (Maine DOE) and Michele Mailhot (Maine DOE).

For further information regarding the PAEMST program  you may contact shari.templeton@maine.gov or michele.mailhot@maine.gov

Maine DOE seeking presentation proposals for Early Childhood Education Conference

The Maine DOE’s Early Childhood Education (ECE) conference team is seeking presentation proposals from PreK and Kindergarten teachers for the 2nd annual ECE Conference scheduled for August 14 at the Augusta Civic Center.

This year’s conference focus is “STEAM Starts Early”. The morning keynote address will be given by national speaker Doug Clements and the teacher presentations will run concurrently during the afternoon session.

Presentations will be 90-120 minutes and will present a unit or lesson plan created by the teacher team and grounded in core STEAM concepts. The audience for the sessions will be PreK, K teachers and instructional staff and administrators. Proposals are due by May 30 and should be inquiry, experiential and exploration based. The request for presentations is for a team of teachers consisting of:

  • PreK or K teacher and;
  • Art teacher and/or technology integrationist.

The ECE conference team will select three proposals, each of which will receive an XYZ da Vinci Mini 3D Printer with filament as an appreciation for their time.

For more information and to obtain a copy of the detail requirements for the presentation proposal, please contact one of the Maine DOE’s ECE conference team members listed below:

Deb Lajoie, Deborah.j.lajoie@maine.gov or 624-6613 or;

Shari Templeton, Shari.Templeton@maine.gov or 624-6880 or;

Beth Lambert, Beth.Lambert@maine.gov or 624-6642

MEA Alternate Science – PAAP submissions due April 30th

The Personalized Alternate Assessment Portfolio (PAAP) Science testing window is coming to a close. The PAAP assesses students with the most significant cognitive disabilities in grades 5, 8, and third year high school as an alternate to the MEA Science assessment.

All electronic PAAP submissions are due April 30th.  Measured Progress has provided return material kits for student portfolios to be returned. UPS will pick up all portfolios on MAY 2nd.  Please have the completed portfolios sealed in the envelopes provided by Measured Progress and in school offices by 8:00 am May 2nd.

All return mailing kits should contain individual student return envelopes, a student roster, directions for mailing the portfolio and directions for submitting an electronic Principal’s Certification of Proper Test Administration.

Those with questions regarding the return of PAAP portfolios should contact Measured Progress at 1-800-431-8901: Sarah Greene, x7344 or email greene.sarah@measuredprogress.org or Jimmy Hartman, x7406 or email hartman.jimmy@measuredprogress.org.

Learning Technology Grants Program Announced

The Department is announcing an evolution to our support of technology in public middle schools and high schools. Beginning July 1, 2017, MLTI Grants will be available to public middle schools and high schools to fund technology and support for 7th and 8th grade students and staff, and for staff in high schools with locally-funded student programs.

The grants will support programs that use technology to enhance teaching and learning in eligible schools and grades. The grant program takes the place of an “opt-in” to the programs offered in the past 3 years by HP and Apple, under a contract with the State.

Schools will apply to the Department of Education with a brief description of their proposed education technology programs, and a budget for the period of the grant.

The amount of the grant is up to $200 per eligible student or staff seat, each year, for up to 3 years. The length of the grant and the amount per seat will be based on the school’s proposed program and budget.

The grants provide flexibility to schools, but maintain some requirements designed to continue the basic structure of the current MLTI program. Any program funded by a grant must provide a personal digital computing device for each student, and must include professional development to support teachers’ use of technology to enhance student learning.

Further details for the grant program, including the application and the deadline for application submittal, will be provided as they are developed and posted on the MLTI website at http://maine.gov/doe/mlti/participation/index.html . MLTI programs in schools that opted in to HP or Apple solutions in 2014, 2015 or 2016 will continue as is, and are not affected by the grant program.

For additional information, contact the MLTI Office at mlti.project@maine.gov or call Deb Friedman, MLTI Project Manager at 624-6834.

State Assessment Results for 2015-16 Now Publicly Available

Augusta – The Maine Department of Education today released state assessment results for the 2015-2016 school year.

“We are confident in this year’s test results, and hope parents, teachers, administrators, and other interested parties will value and utilize the data gathered through the assessment process,” said Dr. Charlene Tucker, Maine DOE’s Assessment and Accountability Team Coordinator.

The public may access the results at https://lms.backpack.education/public/maine.

Key results include:

  • Assessment participation improved substantially in 2015-16.
  • 50.58% of Maine’s test takers scored At State Expectations (Level 3) or Above State Expectations (Level 4) in English language arts/literacy.
  • 38.31% of Maine’s test takers scored At State Expectations (Level 3) or Above State Expectations (Level 4) in mathematics.
  • 60.97% of Maine’s test takers scored At State Expectations (Level 3) or Above State Expectations (Level 4) in science.

For ELA/literacy and mathematics, 2015-16 is a new baseline year and should not be compared to previous years when different assessments were administered.  Based on changes made during the 127th Maine Legislature, the state used a new assessment partner to administer a different state assessment of English language arts/literacy and mathematics in 2015-16.

The new assessments adopted for 2015-2016, eMPowerME (grades 3-8) and SAT (3rd year high school), measure Maine’s college and readiness standards established in 2011. The eMPowerME assessment was delivered by computer.

Results were released later this year than initially planned due to the time necessary to establish achievement levels and process data for brand new assessments, as well as the time it takes to build a new reporting platform. Maine will use the same assessments and the same reporting system for the 2016-17 year and it is planned for results to be available in the summer of 2017.

Further detailed information on the results is available below.

_______________________________________________________
2015-16 Statewide Results for English Language Arts/Literacy

The general ELA/literacy assessment, eMPowerME, was taken by most students in grades 3-8.  Most students in the third year of high school were assessed using the SAT, which has been adopted as Maine’s ELA/literacy high school assessment.  Students with the most significant cognitive disabilities were assessed on the Multi-State Alternate Assessment (MSAA).  More information about the ELA/literacy assessments can be found here:  http://maine.gov/doe/assessment/math-ela/home.html.

2015-16 Participation (ELA/Literacy)
Of the 93,554  students eligible to participate in state assessment of ELA/literacy, 91,208 participated.  The participation rate of 97.49% is an improvement over the 2014-15 participation rate of 89.92%.  Participation is summarized here:

Eligible to Participate 93,554
Participated General (eMPowerME) 77,443
Participated General (SAT) 12,534
Participated Alternate (MSAA) 1,231
Total Participants 91,208
Participation Rate 97.49%
Percent of Participants Who Took Alternate 1.35%

2015-16 Performance (ELA/Literacy)

  Participants Well Below State Expectations Below State Expectations At State Expectations Above State Expectations
  Number Number Percent Number Percent Number Percent Number Percent
eMPowerME 77,443 15,656 20.22% 23,779 30.71% 25,346 32.73% 12,662 16.35%
SAT 12,534 2,731 21.79% 2,342 18.69% 5,820 46.43% 1,641 13.09%
MSAA 1,231 345 28.03% 217 17.63% 372 30.22% 297 24.13%
TOTAL 91,208 18,732 20.54% 26,338 28.88% 31,538 34.58% 14,600 16.01%

The Maine Assessment & Accountability Reporting System (MAARS) provides additional information about the 2015-16 ELA/literacy assessment results for each school and each district, as well as for student subgroups.

MAARS is publicly accessible at:  https://lms.backpack.education/public/maine.

2015-16 Statewide Results for Mathematics

The general mathematics assessment, eMPowerME, was taken by most students in grades 3-8.  Most students in the third year of high school were assessed using the SAT.  Students with the most significant cognitive disabilities were assessed on the Multi-State Alternate Assessment (MSAA).  More information about the mathematics assessments can be found here:  http://maine.gov/doe/assessment/math-ela/home.html.

Participation (Mathematics)
Of the 93,915 students eligible to participate in state assessment of mathematics, 91,541 participated.  The participation rate of 97.47% is an improvement over the 2014-15 participation rate of 89.53%.  Participation is summarized here:

Eligible to Participate 93,915
Participated General (eMPowerME) 77,741
Participated General (SAT) 12,567
Participated Alternate (MSAA) 1,233
Total Participants 91,541
Participation Rate 97.47%
Percent of Participants Who Took Alternate 1.35%

Performance (Mathematics)

  Participants Well Below State Expectations Below State Expectations At State Expectations Above State Expectations
  Number Number Percent Number Percent Number Percent Number Percent
eMPowerME 77,741 20,678 26.60% 27,049 34.79% 22,207 28.56% 7,807 10.04%
SAT 12,567 3,292 26.20% 4,885 38.87% 3,370 26.82% 1,020 8.12%
MSAA 1,233 321 26.03% 248 20.11% 367 29.76% 297 24.09%
TOTAL 91,541 24,291 26.54% 32,182 35.15% 25,944 28.34% 9,124 9.97%

The Maine Assessment & Accountability Reporting System (MAARS) provides additional information about the 2015-16 mathematics assessment results for each school and each district, as well as for student subgroups.  MAARS is publicly accessible at:  https://lms.backpack.education/public/maine.

2015-16 Statewide Results for Science

The general science assessment, MEA Science, was taken by most students in grades 3-8 and in the third year of high school. The science assessment in grades 5, 8 and the third year of high school remained unchanged for 2015-16.  The Maine Educational Assessment (MEA) for science and its alternate for students with the most significant cognitive disabilities, Personalized Alternate Assessment Portfolio (PAAP), have both assessed the progress of Maine’s students in science for many years.

More information about the science assessments can be found here:  http://maine.gov/doe/assessment/science/index.html.

Participation (Science)
Of the 40,423 students eligible to participate in state assessment of science, 38,568 participated.  The participation rate of 95.41% is an improvement over the 2014-15 participation rate of 90.36%.  Participation is summarized here:

Eligible to Participate 40,423
Participated General (MEA Science) 38,107
Participated Alternate (PAAP) 461
Total Participants 38,568
Participation Rate 95.41%
Percent of Participants Who Took Alternate 1.19%

Performance (Science)

  Participants Well Below State Expectations Below State Expectations At State Expectations Above State Expectations
  Number Number Percent Number Percent Number Percent Number Percent
MEA Science 38,107 4,831 12.68% 10,022 26.30% 19,018 49.91% 4,236 11.12%
PAAP 461 74 16.05% 125 27.11% 215 46.64% 47 10.20%
TOTAL 38,568 4,905 12.72% 10,147 26.31% 19,233 49.87% 4,283 11.10%

The Maine Assessment & Accountability Reporting System (MAARS) provides additional information about the 2015-16 science assessment results for each school and each district, as well as for student subgroups.

MAARS is publicly accessible at:  https://lms.backpack.education/public/maine.

Comparing 2015-16 Results to Previous Years

  • For mathematics and ELA/literacy at grades 3-8, direct comparisons should not be made across years. While every effort was made to ensure that the 2015-16 achievement levels are at a similar level of rigor to that of the 2014-15 Smarter Balanced assessment, the tests are different in many ways, and it is unpredictable how different features of the assessments may have impacted the performance of different populations of students.
  • At the high school level, there is no comparability between the 2015-16 SAT results and the 2014-15 Smarter Balanced results.  First, the group of high school students tested in 2014-15 was seriously impacted by an opt-out trend, which was resolved in 2015-16.  Second, Maine’s SAT achievement levels were determined by a collaborative process with other states that also used the SAT as their statewide assessment in 2015-16.  Utilizing several sources of data, including the input of educators from each state, the consensus across states was to use the College Board’s College and Career Readiness Benchmark as the cut score to define the threshold between Level 2 (Below State Expectations) and Level 3 (At State Expectations).  The scores of 530 in mathematics and 480 in ELA/literacy (Evidence-Based Reading and Writing) are benchmarks that the College Board has determined predict success in college as follows:
    • Students with an SAT Math section score that meets or exceeds the benchmark have a 75 percent chance of earning at least a C in first-semester, credit-bearing college courses in algebra, statistics, pre-calculus, or calculus.
    • Students with an SAT Evidence-Based Reading and Writing (ERW) section score that meets or exceeds the benchmark have a 75 percent chance of earning at least a C in first-semester, credit-bearing college courses in history, literature, social sciences, or writing classes.
  • Science results (both PAAP and MEA Science) are fully comparable to years past.  MEA Science results over time follow:
Science Trends:  Percentage of Students Scoring at Level 3 or 4
Year Grade 5 Grade 8 3rd Year High School
2008-09 55.83% 61.99% 41.00%
2009-10 63.82% 71.83% 41.00%
2010-11 64.59% 70.82% 44.00%
2011-12 62.50% 72.10% 44.41%
2012-13 69.54% 69.98% 41.03%
2013-14 62.86% 73.12% 43.77%
2014-15 64.89% 71.06% 43.00%
2015-16 62.88% 72.97% 46.59%

Conclusions

  • Assessment participation improved substantially in 2015-16.  Science participation increased from 90.36% in 2014-15 to 95.41% in 2015-16.  ELA/literacy participation improved from 89.92% in 2014-15 to 97.49% in 2015-16.  Mathematics participation improved from 89.53% in 2014-15 to 97.47% in 2015-16.  Based on federal and state expectations, we strive for 95% participation in our assessment.
  •  For ELA/literacy and mathematics, 2015-16 is a new baseline year and should not be compared to previous years when different assessments were administered.
  • Alternate assessments are intended for students with the most significant cognitive disabilities.  The 2015-2016 alternate assessment for Maine students with the most significant cognitive disabilities, Multi-State Alternate Assessment (MSAA), was the same assessment administered in 2014-15, known then as the National Center and State Collaborative (NCSC). Under the Every Student Succeeds Act, the state is expected keep participation in alternate assessment to no more than 1.0% of the students assessed beginning with the 2016-17 assessment administration.  Maine’s 2015-16 percentages of 1.19% in science, 1.35% in mathematics, and 1.35% in ELA/literacy exceed the limit under ESSA.  The Maine DOE has provided increased training in the proper identification of students who are eligible for participation in alternate asssessments in order to improve that rate in 2015-16.
  • 50.58% of Maine’s test takers scored At State Expectations (Level 3) or Above State Expectations (Level 4) in English language arts/literacy.  This is a new baseline from which we will measure the growth of Maine’s students.
  • 38.31% of Maine’s test takers scored At State Expectations (Level 3) or Above State Expectations (Level 4) in mathematics.  This is a new baseline from which we will measure the growth of Maine’s students.
  • 60.97% of Maine’s test takers scored At State Expectations (Level 3) or Above State Expectations (Level 4) in science.  This is essentially the same as the 61% who scored at Level 3 or 4 in 2014-15.
  • The Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) of 2015 provides an opportunity for Maine to rethink how supports to schools are determined and how to provide supports that are proportional to district and/or school needs. The Maine DOE is currently working with a diverse group of stakeholders to design a new accountability/school review system.  Further information regarding this process can be located at: http://maine.gov/doe/essa.
  • The data in this report is assessment data which includes all tested students.  It is not intended for accountability purposes.  Accountability reporting will follow.

Questions
Media inquiries: jamie.e.logan@maine.gov.

General assessments (eMPowerME, SAT, MEA Science):  nancy.godfrey@maine.gov

Alternate assessments (MSAA, PAAP):  sue.nay@maine.gov

Assessment policy:  charlene.tucker@maine.gov

Navigating MAARS system:  varun.motay@maine.gov

MEA Alternate Science testing window opens December 1, 2016

The MEA Alternate Science assessment, the Personalized Alternate Assessment Portfolio (PAAP) assessment window opens December 1, 2016.  At this time teachers administering the alternate science assessment will be able to register and identify the students they will be assessing at: https://profile.measuredprogress.org/paap/login.aspx.

It is highly encouraged that teachers begin this process in December to view the Levels of Complexity available within the Alternate Grade Level Expectations (AGLES) and download tasks to incorporate into their instruction.

The 2016-17 PAAP Handbook, which includes the user guide and AGLES may be found at: http://www.maine.gov/doe/paap/administration/index.html.

For assistance with this task, please contact Maine DOE’s Alternate Assessment Coordinator, Sue Nay, at 622-6774 or sue.nay@maine.gov.

Invitation to participate in NECAP science inquiry task field test

The Maine Department of Education has agreed to recruit schools to serve as field testing sites to administer Measured Progress’ NECAP Science Inquiry Tasks in grades 5, 8, and 11. The field tests will occur between November 1 and November 18, 2016 and are in paper-pencil format. A monetary stipend is available to schools who participate.

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Maine Department of Education announces the 2016 Presidential Awards for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching State Finalists

Maine DOE is honored to announce the four state finalists for the 2016 Presidential Award for Excellence in Teaching Mathematics and Science (PAEMST). The 2016 cycle recognizes elementary teachers.

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UMaine 4-H offering new “Follow a Researcher” opportunity for classrooms

The University of Maine is once again gearing up for a Follow a ResearcherTM expedition!  Follow a ResearcherTM is an innovative University of Maine 4-H program that connects youth with a graduate student while the graduate student is conducting field research in a remote location. This October the program is going to Antarctica with Lynn, a PhD student at the University of Maine, to study ice and glacial movement.  Lynn’s project involves Ground Penetrating Radar (GPR), Remote Operated Vehicles (ROVs) and lots of modeling and numbers.

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Districts asked to designate assessment coordinator

The following Priority Notice was distributed on Wednesday, Sept. 7 to superintendents requesting they identify a district assessment coordinator to coordinator and ensure a successful administration of the 2016-17 State assessments.

Dear Superintendents,

As we begin another school year, your district will again identify individuals in key roles in the NEO Staff System. On behalf of the assessment team, I am asking you to consider carefully your choice of the individual designated as the District Assessment Coordinator (DAC). While the DAC may not be directly responsible for all the details associated with the various assessments, the Maine DOE will count on this individual to be familiar with all State assessments in order to help address any issues that may occur.

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