Mainers finalists for top teaching award in math, science

GARDINER – Department of Education Chief Academic Officer Rachelle Tome announced today that four of Maine’s top teachers are finalists for the nation’s highest honor for mathematics and science educators.

Tome was joined Friday by Anita Bernhardt, Maine DOE’s standards and assessment coordinator, and Michele Mailhot, the Department’s mathematics specialist, in congratulating the state’s finalists for the prestigious Presidential Awards for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching during a ceremony at the Maine Science Teachers Association conference in Gardiner.

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Resources available for transition to proficiency-based diploma

In 2012, the Maine Legislature passed into law LD 1422, An Act to Prepare Maine People for the Future Economy (Maine Revised Statutes, Title 20-A, section 4722-A).  The cornerstone of this law was the requirement that Maine transition to a proficiency-based system in which graduation from a Maine high school after Jan. 1, 2018 would be based on students demonstrating proficiency in meeting Maine’s learning standards in all eight content areas and their guiding principles. Maine DOE was charged with assisting school administrative units (SAUs) with this transition by developing standards-based system tools and by providing technical assistance and targeted funding. Continue reading “Resources available for transition to proficiency-based diploma”

Transfer decisions refocused on student best interest

AUGUSTA – Starting today, superintendents who reject a parent’s request to send their child to school in another district will have to explain why that transfer would not be in the best interest of the student.

Under Maine law, a parent who believes it is in the best interest of their child to attend school in a different district than where the student lives can request the two superintendents agree to a transfer.

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Governor LePage appoints Acting Education Commissioner

AUGUSTA – Governor Paul R. LePage has appointed Jim Rier as Acting Commissioner of the Maine Department of Education, effective immediately.

Rier, a native of Machias who now lives in Topsham, has been at Maine DOE for a decade, first as Director of Finance and Operations and most recently as Deputy Commissioner since 2011.

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Message to administrators on superintendents’ agreements

Dear Superintendents,

Last fall, former Commissioner Stephen Bowen sent you a letter on the topic of superintendents’ agreements. In that letter, he explained why he has tended to overturn the superintendent transfer decisions that are appealed to him by Maine families more often than not, in the hope that it would make his thinking on the issue clearer to you.

Since then, the issue of superintendents’ agreements has emerged again, and two bills were passed during this last legislative session that amend the current law in important ways, effective Oct. 9. Continue reading “Message to administrators on superintendents’ agreements”