Maine DOE Releases Chronic Absenteeism Data in an Effort to Support Student Success

The Maine Department of Education (Department) has collected chronic absenteeism for the 2016/17 school year as a non-academic indicator of school success. Absenteeism for any reason, excused or unexcused, has potential negative consequences on student learning and it is important for schools, districts, and the Department to have this broader measure of student attendance so that we can measure student success. Previously, the Department collected Average Daily Attendance (ADA), and truancy data. ADA measures the average number of students who attend school on any given day. Truancy is a measure of unexcused absences.

Research shows a statistically strong link between school attendance, the development of academic skills, and the likelihood of high school graduation. Research also shows that when a large percentage of students are chronically absent, even the progress their peers, who have better attendance, may suffer.

Below are some additional facts to help answer questions about the shift in chronic absenteeism data collection:

Why is this important?

Chronic absenteeism is a new indicator in Maine’s Accountability system which was designed as part of the federal Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA). Current research shows chronic absenteeism has a clear relationship to negative consequences for students, including lower achievement, disengagement from school, course failure, and increased risk of dropping out.

How is chronic absenteeism defined?

Chronic absenteeism is a measure of how many students miss a defined number of school days for any reason. In Maine, this equates to missing 10% of school days or 18 days (based upon 175 school days). As part of Maine’s accountability system, student information will be compiled into an overall school measure indicating the percentage of students at the school who have missed 10% or more of school days. For further information about how chronic absenteeism data is collected visit http://www.maine.gov/doe/data/student/attendance.html.

Where can I find the data?

The 2016/17 chronic absenteeism data is available here. The percentage of Maine students missing 10% or more school days is higher than anticipated as this is the first year school districts have reported this data to the State.

What can schools and districts expect now?

The Department is already working to develop a system of supports available to newly identified Tier II and Tier III schools, with resources to address challenges of attendance. These supports are part of the differentiated tiered model of support under the new ESSA Accountability model with identifications being made in January 2019.

Chronic absenteeism data will be collected annually through the Maine Department of Education’s Synergy Student Information System at the end of the academic year going forward.

The Department will continue collecting truancy data, as required by Maine statute.

For further information about the Department’s ESSA Accountability Model and needed supports, contact Janette Kirk at Janette.Kirk@maine.gov or (207) 624-6707.

Washington County Title I: School Improvement Initiative

On May 8 and 14, a total of 41 classroom, Title 1, and special education educators completed a 3 -part literacy professional development series on Guided Reading with a focus on differentiation, acceleration, and classroom focus. The two cohorts, are the result of a year-long pilot sponsored by the Maine Department of Education’s ESEA Title I: School Improvement Team.

The professional development was provided by Darlene Bassett, Literacy Coach for the Maine DOE, and was based on Jan Richardson’s nationally recognized book, The Next Step Forward in Guided Reading. Al Pfeiffer, Leadership Coach for the Maine DOE, facilitated the pilot with local schools.

Due to the geographical and economic challenges in Washington County, the Department provided these high-quality professional development sessions right in Machias.

Washington County Title I School Improvement Initiative cohort 1
Cohort 1

As part of this work, the Department’s literacy consultant collaborated with Pembroke Elementary School Principal Deb Jameson and three Pembroke Elementary Teachers, Karin Lingley (grades 3 & 4); Beckery Renaud (grades 5 & 6); and Rosie Griffith (7 & 8) to implement guided reading in their classrooms, and also create a “hub school” at Pembroke that has served as a site for other teachers and administrators in the area to visit and reflect as they implement guided reading.

Due to the interest in the area, and accompanying student assessment data, the Department’s Title I School Improvement Team offered a series of professional development sessions to provide teachers with an understanding of present day research and the classroom practices that are linked to the basis of Richardson’s new Guided Reading Model. This collaboration and involvement has lead to staff development for 14 schools in the area.

The Department’s Title I: School Improvement Team plans to continue this meaningful and targeted work with Washington County educators in the fall. One of the schools in the cohort will be identified as the hub school and will receive on-going services and become a resource for all teachers in the region to observe instruction.

Washington County Title I School Improvement Initiative cohort 2
Cohort 2

If you have any questions, please contact ESEA Federal Programs and Title I Director, Chelsey Fortin-Trimble at chelsey.a.fortin@maine.gov.

2019 Maine State SAT School Day Administration Dates

The 2019 Maine State SAT School Day Administration Dates will be the following:

  • Maine State SAT School Day Administration – Tuesday, April 9, 2019
  • Makeup Date – Tuesday, April 23, 2019

This announcement is intended to help schools and districts with scheduling and calendar development for the 2018-2019 school year.  Test dates for other Maine Educational Assessments will be announced as soon as they are available.

The Maine State SAT administration is utilized for determining assessment participation rates and used for the achievement indicator within Maine’s accountability system for High School under the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) as amended by the Every Student Succeeds Act  (ESSA) of 2015.

Released test items will only be available for the SAT administration on April 9th, 2019.  There will be no released items available for the SAT administered on the makeup date.

For questions about the Maine State SAT School Day Administration please contact Nancy Godfrey at Nancy.Godfrey@maine.gov, (207) 624-6775 or Andrew Hudacs at Andrew.Hudacs@maine.gov, (207) 624-6827.

 

The Maine Event: Fostering Equity and Justice for Youth conference, June 28-29 in Bangor

The Positive Youth Development Institute and the Collaboration for Perpetual Innovation has a premiere staff development opportunity for educators, youth serving professionals, and volunteers.

This locally organized, national conference will address education equity and justice issues paramount to adults and students. Presentations will focus on student voice and choice, new approaches to discipline, and school-wide practices of inclusion for all students. The content will be linked school climate, bullying prevention, discipline disparities, and requirements of the Every Student Succeeds Act.

Keynote presenters will be Shakti Butler, PhD, President and Founder of World Trust Educational Services, Inc.; Michael D. Clark, MSW, Director of the Center for Strength-Based Strategies; and the cast of Maine Inside Out, in their performance, Love is Alternatives to Incarceration.

In addition, full-day training opportunities are available on June 27, including:

  • Youth Mental Health First Aid (NAMI: Maine)
  • Nurturing Social Trust Through Meaningful Dialogue (Cindy Carraway-Wilson, Youth Catalytics)
  • Building Trauma-Sensitive Schools (Kathleen Guarino, American Institutes for Research)
  • Programs that Matter: Positive Outcomes Through Proven Practices (Margaret Jones, Maine Afterschool Network & Bolster Collaborative)

A discount provided by PYDI-CPI is available for teams of five or more from the same school district.

For more information about The Maine Event: Fostering Equity and Justice for Youth, visit the conference website here.

For questions related to the conference, contact Donna Duffey, Conference Manager at 800-294-4322 or duffey.donna47@gmail.com, or Sarah Ricker, Maine DOE Student Assistance Coordinator at sarah.ricker@maine.gov or 207-624-6685.

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