PRIORITY NOTICE: EF-M-14 April 1st Resident Enrollment Report will not be collected for 2017/18 school year

This notice was sent to Private School Administrators.

The Maine Department of Education (Department) will not be collecting the EF-M-14 April 1st Resident Enrollment report for non-publicly funded students for the 2017-2018 school year.

In previous school years, the Department collected the EF-M-14 April 1st resident Enrollment report in April and the EF-M-13 in October to capture a head count students of attending private schools.

At this time, the Department is actively working on identifying an improved collection process that will be less labor intensive and more timely for schools and other consumers of the data.

The Department will use the October 1 collection to calculate the subsidy count of publicly funded students. For those instances where an April 1 count is needed, the Department will use a “year-end” count that is as of April 1, but not due within the same rigid time frame.

Further communications and actions for Private School Administrators will be forthcoming once an improved process is identified.

For further questions or clarification contact Maine Department of Education Student Data Analyst, Travis Wood at (207) 624-6742.

PRIORITY NOTICE: Maine DOE announces alternative rural and low-income federal allocation formula; more districts now eligible for funds

The Maine Department of Education (Maine DOE) received notification that its proposed Title V, Part B, Sub Part 2 allocation formula, submitted to the U.S. Department of Education (U.S. DOE) in November 2017, has been approved. The approved alternative formula provides increases funding through the Title V Rural Low-Income Schools (RLIS) grant to districts that have higher poverty rates.

Contained in their April 5, 2018 approval email the U.S. DOE indicated the following:

“We appreciate your patience as we carefully considered whether Maine’s proposed alternative RLIS funding formula meets the standard under ESEA section 5221(b)(3)(C) that an alternative formula better target RLIS funds to LEAs serving the highest concentrations of children from families below the poverty line.  We have determined that your proposed formula meets this standard given that, in general, LEAs with the highest percentages of low-income children will receive higher awards than they would under the current ADA-based formula under ESEA section 5221(b)(3)(B).”

The new RLIS formula divides the Title V, Part B, Sub part 2 state allocation between poverty (70%) and Average Daily Attendance ADA (30%). Under the alternative distribution, there are some districts that will receive less funding under Title V, however, overall more districts and students will be served. The alternative formula provides a more equitable distribution of the funds across the State, including:

  • 71 Districts (up from 55) will receive funding from the RLIS grant
  • 67,608 students (up from 64,740) will be served by RLIS grant funds

The Title V RLIS grant will be included in the ESEA Consolidated Application with Title IA, II, III, and IVA for FY19.

Further questions regarding the formula or to better understand the calculation process contact Maine DOE Title V Coordinator, Daniel Weeks, at 207-624-6749 or daniel.r.weeks@maine.gov.

PRIORITY NOTICE: Department’s proposed diploma bill (LD 1898) released for review

The Maine Department of Education’s proposal for the high school diploma, as referenced in this recent priority notice, was released from the Maine State Legislature Office of the Revisor of Statutes on Wednesday, April 4 as LD 1898, An Act To Amend Maine’s High School Diploma Standards and Ensure Maine Students Meet State Standards upon Graduation.

The Commissioner requested that the Department’s proposal be submitted as a “Governor’s” bill to allow for the greatest possible opportunity for discussion between the Department and the public. The Department considers this discussion to be an open dialog and we look forward to further conversations.

A public hearing is expected to be scheduled for early next week. Once it is scheduled, it will be posted on the Joint Standing Education and Cultural Affairs Committee calendar.

In anticipation of the public hearing, the Department is providing an updated summary of what the bill does and does not do.

LD 1898

  1. Removes the mandate that districts base a diploma on an undefined concept (“proficiency”) by repealing 4722-A and replacing it with 4722-B.
  2. Points to a reasonable and appropriate level of achievement in two foundational content areas (English and math) required for the diploma
  3. Bases achievement criteria on knowledge, skills, and progressions that are already present and defined in Maine’s Learning Results
  4. Provides students with disabilities equitable access to education and a diploma
  5. Requires that students have high quality instruction and learning in all content areas
  6. Makes room for students to access their education through both traditional, (classroom-based) avenues and non-traditional (experience-based) avenues in separate, integrated, and independent contexts
  7. Allows districts to implement diploma requirements beyond the minimum set by the state

LD 1898 does not

  1. Eliminate what has come to be called “proficiency-based education,” “proficiency-based teaching,” or “proficiency-based learning.” Instruction and learning based on learning outcomes, as described by some in recent articles, is standards-based education by a different name.  Maine schools have been striving for and succeeding in implementing teaching and learning based on standards since the state adopted the Maine Learning Results in 1997. Under the Department’s proposal, school districts may continue to teach, grade, and structure learning as they determine best meets the needs of students, parents, and the school community

PRIORITY NOTICE: Maine Department of Education’s proposal for the high school diploma

In light of recent articles and editorials about the proficiency-based diploma and the fate of proficiency-based education, the Commissioner is providing insight regarding the forthcoming Department proposal for the diploma. The Commissioner requested that the Department’s proposal be submitted as a “Governor’s” bill to allow for a process that includes a public hearing and work session(s).   The most significant difference between the Department’s proposed diploma and the proficiency-based diploma is that uncertainty has been removed and a reasonable level of achievement has been clearly identified as a minimum requirement for a diploma.

Specifically,

The Department’s proposal:

  1. Removes the mandate that districts base a diploma on an undefined concept (“proficiency”)
  2. Points to a reasonable and appropriate level of achievement in two foundational content areas (English and math) required for the diploma
  3. Bases achievement criteria on knowledge, skills, and progressions that are already present and defined in Maine’s Learning Results
  4. Provides students with disabilities equitable access to education and a diploma
  5. Ensures that students will have high quality instruction and learning in all content areas
  6. Makes room for students to access their education through both traditional, (classroom-based) avenues and non-traditional (experience-based) avenues
  7. Allows districts to implement diploma requirements beyond the minimum set by the state

The Department’s proposal does not:

  1. Impose a mandated or de facto grading structure
  2. Eliminate or impose a barrier to what has come to be called “proficiency-based education,” “proficiency-based teaching,” or “proficiency-based learning.” Instruction and learning based on outcomes, as described by some in recent articles, is actually a description of standards-based education, which Maine schools have been striving for since the state adopted the Maine Learning Results in 1997. Under the Department’s proposal, school districts may continue to teach, grade, and structure learning as they determine best meets the needs of students, parents, and the school community.

The Department considers this discussion to be an open dialog, and we look forward to further conversations on this proposal once the bill is released.

PRIORITY NOTICE: Reminder of public hearings for science and social studies standards; live broadcast links available

As a reminder, the Maine Department of Education has scheduled a series of public hearings this week as part of the scheduled periodic review of the Maine Learning Results. The Department is seeking public comments regarding the current social studies standards and science standards.

Public hearings for each standard have been scheduled back to back in locations throughout the State of Maine. Below is a list of relevant links as well as hearing dates, locations and times including a live links for each event:

Science Standards:

Social Studies Standards:

Anyone unable to attend the public hearing may send written comments by 5 pm on March 16th, 2018. Written comments may be emailed to sis.doe@maine.gov with the subject “Science Standards Review” or “Social Students Standards Review” or mailed to Maine Department of Education, attn: Paul Hambleton, 23 State House Station, Augusta, ME 04333.

For further information about the standards review process contact Beth Lambert at Beth.Lambert@maine.gov.