A letter from Commissioner Bowen: A new opportunity

It has been a great honor to serve students and schools as the Commissioner of the Maine Department of Education for the past two and a half years. In that time, we’ve made incredible progress in moving from plan to practice our Education Evolving strategic plan to restructure Maine’s education system around our students.  Continue reading “A letter from Commissioner Bowen: A new opportunity”

Maine receives ESEA waiver

The Elementary and Secondary Education Act waiver will allow Maine to move forward on local and State reforms that will cut in half the percentage of non-proficient students at each Title I school by 2018

AUGUSTA – Maine will have flexibility in meeting federal education requirements and be allowed to implement its own statewide system to hold schools accountable and help them improve student outcomes.

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Notice of change in law regarding Superintendent Agreements

The statute regulating Superintendent Agreements has been amended to include the following language: “A transfer approved under this subsection may be made only to a receiving school administrative unit that operates a public school that includes the grade level of the student whose parent requests the transfer.”

As a result of this new law, a transfer granted so the student can be tuitioned to a private school will no longer be allowed. Continue reading “Notice of change in law regarding Superintendent Agreements”

Law provides educator evaluation and support system development guidance in absence of rule

As many of you know, since LD 1858, “An Act To Ensure Effective Teaching and School Leadership,” was enacted in April 2012, the Department has been working to establish rules to guide you in your local development of the now required teacher and principal evaluation and support systems.

It is with great frustration that I report to you that while the 125th Legislature unanimously supported this initiative to implement a fair, meaningful educator evaluation system, legislators this session have failed to reach consensus – specifically around fulfilling the law’s directive that measurements of student learning and growth be a significant factor in the determination of the rating of an educator. As a result, the Department will need to start the process of adopting Chapter 180 over again in the fall in order to submit a provisionally adopted rule to the Legislature in January 2014. Continue reading “Law provides educator evaluation and support system development guidance in absence of rule”

State awards Lewiston’s Montello Elementary $1.8 million for school improvement

The funding from the Maine Department of Education will help transform the struggling school and increase student proficiency, teacher effectiveness and community engagement

LEWISTON – Montello Elementary School will use $1.8 million in new State support to improve student proficiency by double-digit percentages, enhance teacher effectiveness and better engage the community.

The Maine Department of Education announced its award Thursday to the struggling Lewiston school, which joins 10 others across the state – including the Governor James B. Longley School also in Lewiston – that have received significant funding since 2010 through the federal School Improvement Grant program (SIG) to initiate intensive reforms that advance student achievement. 

Continue reading “State awards Lewiston’s Montello Elementary $1.8 million for school improvement”