Media Release: National 2017 “State of Preschool Report” shows progress in Maine

A new national state-by-state report shows more young children enrolled in public Pre-K programs nationwide, with Maine investing more in Pre-K, serving nearly 40 percent of 4 year olds in high-quality pre-K.

The State of Preschool 2017 annual report reflects that Maine pre-K served 39 percent of the state’s 4-year-old population, above the nationwide average. Maine boosted pre-K funding by more than $1.1 million and continued to implement policies supporting both high-quality pre-K and young Dual Language Learners.

“This is the first-time Maine has met 9 out of 10 benchmarks for public preschool,” said Maine Education Commissioner, Robert G. Hasson, Jr. “The Department has dedicated the extra time and resources needed to support Maine Pre-K programs in their work toward meeting these high-quality national standards. We are committed to continuing the work so that students can benefit from access to quality Pre-K programing state-wide.”

This year’s report includes a special section on policies affecting Dual Language Learners (DLLs) and highlights changes since 2002, when National Institute for Early Education Research (NIEER) began tracking state pre-K. Read more about Maine’s report below.

Maine 2016–2017 fast facts:

  • Maine met 9 of 10 new quality standards benchmarks
  • Enrolled 5,440 children, a decrease of two from 2015–16
  • Total state funding = $18,775,709, an increase of $1,181,702 from 2015–16
  • State spending-per-child = $3,451, compared to $3,233 in 2015–16
  • Maine collects data on preschoolers’ home language; several policies to support preschool DLLs

Enrollment in state-funded preschool programs has more than doubled since 2002, according to the report. Nationally, 43 states, D.C. and Guam now provide publicly funded preschool to more than 1.5 million children.

For more information about the State of Preschool report and detailed state-by-state profiles on quality access, and funding, please visit www.nieer.org.

PRESS RELEASE: Maine’s reading and mathematics test scores at or above national average on the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP)

Augusta – Maine’s fourth and eighth graders scored at the national average or higher on the recently released 2017 National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) tests of Reading and Mathematics.

NAEP highlights the statewide academic performance for all students, as well as demographic groups including race, ethnicity, gender and socioeconomic status. The test is administered every other year to students in all 50 states, and does not include results for individual students, schools, or classrooms.

Maine’s scores and key information:

  • Maine students scored at the national average or higher, consistent with previous years.
  • Maine students did not show any significant change in performance in either mathematics or reading in grades four and eight when compared to the results in 2015.
  • Reading scores indicate a gender gap at the 4th and 8th grade levels with boys performing lower. The gender achievement gap appears to be increasing as students get older.
  • Math scores did not indicate a gender achievement gap.
Average Scale Scores
NAEP Scores National Public 2017
Assessment Area and Grade 2011 2013 2015 2017
Math Grade 04 244 246 242 240 239
Math Grade 08 289 289 285 284 282
Reading Grade 04 222 225 224 221 221
Reading Grade 08 270 269 268 269 265
 (Scores are rounded to the nearest whole number.)
For a detailed look at the each of the state’s scores including Maine, visit NAEP’s website.

“Maine students face unique challenges today that can have an impact on their learning. While I am pleased that our students are maintaining performance, the Department will continue to focus on effective strategies to improve achievement of mathematics and literacy in all grades,” said Maine Department of Education Commissioner Robert G. Hasson, Jr.

“In addition to the Department’s MoMEntum Literacy Pilot program, we are also embarking on a similar strategy called Numeracy4ME to support schools in their efforts to improve student achievement in math. It is my hope that we can expand these programs as we continue to develop them,” he added.

More information about the MoMEntum and Numeracy for ME pilot programs can be found at the following links:

NAEP scores are only one of many measures of the achievement level of Maine’s students and should not be used in isolation from other data.  The Maine Educational Assessments, such as the eMPowerME, Multi-State Alternate Assessment, and SAT, also provide valuable information about the knowledge and skills of Maine’s students.  Additionally, formative assessments and locally developed academic measurements are essential parts of a school’s instructional program.

The National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) is the largest nationally representative and continuing assessment of what America’s students know and can do in various subject areas.  Since NAEP assessments are administered uniformly using the same sets of test booklets across the nation, NAEP results serve as a common metric for all states and selected urban districts. The assessment stays essentially the same from year to year, with only carefully documented changes. This permits NAEP to provide a clear picture of student academic progress over time with respect to a specific set of learning goals.  As noted above, however, as standards and goals for learning evolve and teachers emphasize new content, and perhaps deemphasize other content, this stability means NAEP may not be able to adequately capture learning with respect to new standards.   NAEP does provide results on subject-matter achievement, instructional experiences, and school environment for populations of students (e.g., all fourth-graders) and groups within those populations (e.g., female students, Hispanic students).


The contents of this paragraph were retrieved from the U.S. Department of Education, National Center of Education Statistics website http://nces.ed.gov/nationsreportcard/about/
Media contact:
Rachel Paling, Director of Communications, Maine Department of Education
Rachel.paling@maine.gov

Preschool & Kindergarten Assessment opportunity using Teaching Strategies Gold©

The Maine Department of Education will be supporting a cohort of public preschool & kindergarten teachers for the 2018-19 school year using Teaching Strategies Gold©, an online and authentic formative assessment tool that aligns to Maine’s Early Learning and Development Standards for PreK and Maine’s College and Career Ready Standards for kindergarten.

  • Interested districts must have at least one PreK and one kindergarten teacher from the same school in order to participate, as well as principal involvement and support.
  • Teachers will be required to attend one 2-day training in August 2018, held in Augusta, as well as two check-in webinars throughout the year and a 1-day training in March 2019.

 

Those interested in participating should complete and submit the survey below no later than end of business on Monday, April 30, 2018.

Due to the limited number of student portfolios that can be supported, this opportunity is available on a first come, first served basis – per the date and time on the submitted application. Once the cohort has been set, a Memoranda of Understanding will be sent to each participating district for signature. Notification via email will be sent to those districts that were not selected.

April conference call

To learn more, administrators and teachers are invited to join a conference call that will be scheduled during the beginning of April. If interested in joining the call, notify Nicole Madore by Friday, March 30, 2018 at nicole.madore@maine.gov or (207) 624-6677.

Specific requirements of participation

New Teachers:

  • PK and K teachers, from the same school, attend a two-day training at the end of August 2018 (date TBD, looking at the week of August 20-24). The training will be held in Augusta.
  • Principals must attend the first day of this training.
  • PK and K teachers will attend a one day follow-up training in mid-March 2019 (date TBD, looking at March 15) in Augusta.
  • PK and K teachers complete the online TSG assessment with their students and submit at summative checkpoints tentatively set for Oct. 29, 2018, Feb. 18, 2019 and June 3, 2019.
  • PK and K teachers must participate in two webinars (one at the end of October 2018-before checkpoint 1, one at the end of January 2019-before checkpoint 2)
  • Administrators, as appropriate and in consultation with Maine DOE, will remove/eliminate duplicate assessments required by kindergarten teachers.

The 2018-19 TSG online application for participants
(must be submitted no later than end of business on Monday, April 30, 2018)

More information on Teaching Strategies Gold

 

For further questions please contact Nicole Madore at Nicole.madore@maine.gov or (207) 624-6677.

Maine DOE begins math achievement pilot program in 6 Maine elementary schools

The Maine Department of Education is embarking on a new initiative called the Numeracy4ME K-4 Mathematics Pilot program. The project is designed to improve the mathematics achievement of students in kindergarten through grade four in 6 pilot schools: Academy Hill, Cherryfield Elementary School, Cornville Charter School, G.D. Cushing School, Indian Township School, and Milbridge Elementary School.

Students in kindergarten through grade four in the pilot schools are the focus of the Numeracy4ME Project. These learners will be supported by their teachers, who will be engaging in high quality professional learning on numeracy related instructional practices delivered by trained mathematics specialists. In addition, each school will be supported by a Maine Department of Education mathematics specialist coach.

Schools were selected based on mathematics achievement, defined by Maine Education Assessment (MEA) proficiency rates in Grades 3 and 4, and economic need, defined by free and reduced lunch counts. The pilot includes schools in two Regions: Washington County and Franklin/Somerset County.

As a pilot project, the Numeracy4ME program is designed to study results of implementation to inform decisions about extending the opportunity to other Maine schools in the future.  The resources available to support the project are limited to 25 teachers in each region.

The Numeracy4ME Pilot Project will run from January 2018 through June 2018 and, pending funding, will continue through July 2019.

For more information about the Numeracy4ME Pilot Project contact Cheryl Toby, Mathematics Specialist for the Maine Department of Education at Cheryl.Tobey@maine.gov.

Early Start Maine Earns National Recognition for Infant and Early Childhood Intervention

Early Start Maine, a program funded by federal grants for special education administered through the Maine Department of Education, has received the national 2018 Exemplary Program Award for Infant and Early Childhood Intervention services by the American Council on Rural Special Education, the national organization devoted entirely to special education in rural America.

Early Start Maine is housed at the University of Maine and works throughout the state to support young children with autism and their families. In collaboration with Child Development Services (CDS), Early Start Maine provides training, professional development, and technical assistance to early intervention service providers working with toddlers with autism. The program’s comprehensive early intervention system has positively affected services provided to children with autism and their families.

This national award is granted annually for programs that demonstrate exemplary programs providing service to rural communities, involving the community, and having a significant impact on rural special education.

For more information about this award, see https://umaine.edu/autisminstitute/2018/02/20/maier-early-start-maine-program-receives-national-recognition/