ADMINISTRATIVE LETTER: Amendments to Educator Evaluation Requirements

Administrative Letter:  #25
Policy Code:   BGE
To: Public School Administrators, Teachers
From: Pender Makin, Commissioner
Date:  11 June 2019
Subject: Amendments to Title 20-A, Chapter 508, Educator Effectiveness

On April 11, 2019, Governor Mills signed a law that makes important changes to Performance  Evaluation and Professional Growth (PEPG) systems. The new law will go into effect 90 days after the current legislative session ends. Chapter 27, An Act to Amend Educator Evaluation Requirements, includes a number of changes.

  1. Under the new law, school administrative units may choose to identify and include student learning and growth measures that they deem valuable in summative effectiveness ratings, but they are no longer required to do so.
  2. SAUs must ensure or reconfigure their steering committee membership, such that a majority are teachers who are chosen by a representative of the applicable collective bargaining unit.
  3. The law states that, “revisions to the performance evaluation and professional growth system made by the steering committee must be reached by consensus.”

Implementation Guidance

  • The steering committee composition required in Chapter 27 will go into effect 90 days after the current legislative session comes to an end, likely near the start of the 2019-2020 school year.
  • The Department of Education is committed to a transparent and inclusive rule-making process for Chapter 180 that will begin in early fall of 2019, in preparation for the submission of the draft rules for consideration to the Committee for Education and Cultural Affairs in January, 2020.
  • Current law requires that student learning and growth measures must be a factor in a summative effectiveness rating until September 1, 2021.  PEPG steering committees are encouraged to review their current PEPG systems, and the vision, mission, and goals of the district, to determine the measures of effectiveness they will implement beginning with the 2021-2022 school year. In addition, the committee should develop reasonable transition plans and timelines for any changes to the PEPG system, as determined by the steering committee, taking into consideration the existing evaluation cycle, and when summative evaluations will be completed.

For more information, please contact Emily Gribben at Emily.gribben@maine.gov.

Proposed Rule Chapter 8: Rules Relating to the use of Essential Programs and Services Targeted Funds for Economically Disadvantaged Students

The Maine Department of Education is proposing a new Rule Chapter 8 that outlines the ways in which districts may use the targeted funding allocation, which was enacted by the 128th Legislature, to support economically disadvantaged students. The purpose of the funding is to increase achievement among economically disadvantaged students through extended learning programs. The rule includes eligible uses of the funds and a process for districts to certify the appropriate use of these funds.

The proposed rule was posted in the Secretary of State Newspaper ad on December 19, 2018. The comment period ends January 18, 2019 at 5 PM.

The proposed Rule Chapter 8 can be found here (proposed rules are listed in order by rule number).

Comments can be submitted by email to Tyler Backus at tyler.backus@maine.gov or by mail to Tyler Backus, 23 State House Station, Augusta, Maine 04333

Proposed Revisions to Rule Chapter 115: Credentialing of Educational Personnel

As part of the Maine Department of Education’s efforts to streamline and clarify certification processes for Maine educators, the Department is proposing revisions to Rule Chapter 115: Credentialing of Educational Personnel. The Department had withdrawn an earlier proposal in order to make necessary changes and fall within the timeframe needed for public hearings and legislative action during this session. Having made those changes, the Department is now releasing a refined proposed rule for public comment.

Please note: The Part I proposed changes are to the current Rule Chapter 115, Part 1, adopted in July 2018. The Part II proposed changes are to Rule Chapter, Part II, adopted in August 2017, which had been scheduled to take effect on July 1, 2019.

The proposed Rule Chapter 115 can be found here (proposed rules are listed in order by rule number).

Summary of changes: Part I revisions refine and correct for articulation with statute and Part II and clarify certain provisions. Part II revisions include clarifications and refinements as well as more substantial changes, including the elimination of some provisions scheduled to take effect July 1, 2019. Part II proposed changes include:

  1. Eliminating literacy course work for Secondary Teacher Endorsement, Pathway 2
  2. Proposing grade spans: Public preschool-3, K-8, 6-12, Public preschool-12, and K-12
  3. Establishing a pathway to qualifying as a secondary teacher based on work experience and specified education course work
  4. Refining Career and Technical Education endorsement requirements to better meet the needs of the field.
  5. Sun setting endorsement 093: School Psychologist (Specialist or Doctoral), Pathway 4; and updating the requirements for this pathway
  6. Repealing and replacing endorsement pathways for some certificates to account for statutory changes in types of certificates (e.g. the elimination of the targeted certificate) and for clarity.

Public Comment Period Information for Rule Chapter 115:

Public Comment Period: December 26, 2018 – January 28, 2019
Comments should be submitted to Mary Paine at mary.paine@maine.gov or to the address below.

Public Hearing: January 14, 2019, 9:30 – 11:00 am Rm. 500, Cross State Office Building, 111 Sewall Street, Augusta, Maine. People wishing to speak are asked to sign in and provide two written copies of their comments.

Anyone unable to send comments via email or attend the public hearing may send written comments to:

Mary Paine
Department of Education
23 State House Station, Augusta, ME

Withdrawal of Proposed Changes to Chapter 101 MUSER

The Maine Department of Education’s Office of Special Services has reviewed comments made to the proposed changes to Chapter 101: Maine Unified Special Education Regulations (MUSER) Birth to Twenty and has decided to withdraw the proposed changes at this time.

Some proposed changes will need to be reconsidered based on comments from the field. Other proposed changes will be pursued, with some refinements, in the future.

Since time does not allow for additional changes, a public review and comment period, and provisional adoption and submittal to the Legislature by the second Friday in January, the Department has decided to withdraw the proposed changes to Chapter 101.

All of the comments submitted will be retained and the Department will continue to work on what we believe to be improvements to the rule, with the goal of beginning a new rulemaking process next summer.

The Maine DOE’s Office of Special Services would like to thank the individuals who attended the public hearing and/or submitted written comments on the proposed rule.

For further information please contact the Maine Department of Education’s Office of Special Services at 624-6676.

 

Maine DOE to Provide Complimentary 2018-19 Law Books to Superintendents

The Maine Department of Education (DOE) acquired enough copies of the Maine Education and School Statutes 2018-2019 Edition law book from the publisher, Swan Island Press, to distribute one, at no charge, to each superintendent of schools in Maine.

The law books are in the mail and should be received soon. To purchase additional copies of this law book directly from Swan Island Press, please contact Aaron Chase of Swan Island Press at info@swanislandpress.me.