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INFORMATIONAL LETTER NO.64

 

POLICY CODE:ILBA

 

 

 

 

TO:††††††††     Superintendents of Schools

 

FROM:††     Judy Lucarelli, Deputy Commissioner

††††††††††††††     Pam Rolfe, Local Assessment Coordinator

 

DATE:†††     March 13, 2002

 

RE:†††††††††     Involvement in Local Assessment System Development

 

 

 

Please share this letter with Principals, Curriculum Coordinators, Special Education Directors, and other assessment leaders in your school system.

 

We are pleased to announce that the Department has executed two agreements to develop assessment systems and assessments to meet state and federal requirements.We have entered into a Cooperative Agreement with the University of Maine to complete the refinement of the Departmentís assessment system model, including all technical requirements of the model.We have signed an Agreement with the Maine Mathematics and Science Alliance for development of assessments in five Content Areas including interdisciplinary assessments.These organizations are uniquely suited to assist the Department and Maine school systems with this important work over the next two years.A description of the work to be accomplished by these organizations and the Department will be posted on the Departmentís website in the next few weeks.

There are many opportunities for educators in local school systems to become involved in this work.Because we understand the need to minimize disruption to the school day, we will schedule the work to take place during the summer whenever possible.We urge your involvement the following activities.

1. Assessment Development Survey:Within a few weeks you will receive a survey from the University of Maine addressing local assessment development.It is particularly important that we have a completed survey from each Superintendent in Maine.This will give us the first statewide information about what content standards and grade spans are being addressed by local assessment development, and whether Superintendents are willing to share with others the assessments being developed in their school systems. At the same time, we will gather information about the commercial assessment instruments used in Maine schools, and about student information systems.We will review the survey results and determine what follow-up visits are needed regarding the assessments being developed.This will be the basis for staffing decisions and planning for summer assessment development.

2.Content Advisory Panels:The Commissioner will be establishing a Content Advisory Panel for five Content Areas:English/Language Arts, Health & Physical Education, Mathematics, Science & Technology, and Social Studies.These panels will meet monthly for the next two years to work with our Local Assessment Coordinator and our Assessment Development Provider to provide advice on the development of Content Area assessments that will be part of our offering to schools and districts for their local comprehensive assessment system.It is particularly important for the discipline-specific work to be done by experts in the Content Areas who know the developmental levels of our students.The Content Advisory Panels will each have six members: a classroom teacher from each of the four grade spans (preK-2, 3-4, 5-8, and 9-12), a content specialist from the Department, and a content specialist who will be employed by the Maine Mathematics and Science Alliance for this purpose.

3.Balance of Representation Institute:We will be conducting a two-part Balance of Representation Assessment Institute in May, under the direction of Professor Norm Webb from the University of Wisconsin, through an agreement with the University of Maine.Again, we will need the expertise of educators who know the discipline, the K-12 curriculum, and the developmental levels of students.This activity will address Content Standards and Performance Indicators in all eight Content Areas.During the first part of the Institute, educators will examine Maineís Content Standards to consider the relationship between these standards and assessments.This process will result in weighting the Content Standards, based on their relative importance to the discipline and their range in scope, thus enabling school systems to prioritize local assessment development work.During the second part of the Institute, a similar process will address the Performance Indicators.The Institute will be held at the Bangor Civic Center on May 6, 2002 (Content Standards) and May 17, 2002 (Performance Indicators).For the work of this two-part Institute, we plan to add seven educators per grade span to the Content Advisory Panels, including principals, curriculum directors, and higher education faculty as well as classroom teachers.

4.Assessment Development Institutes:During July and August, 2002, the Maine Mathematics and Science Alliance will conduct an Assessment Development Institute in each of the five Content Areas.This will include the Content Advisory Panels and as many educators as needed, based on the results of the Assessment Development Survey, described in # 1 above.At this time, we anticipate that each Institute will last for 3 - 5 days, depending on the Content Area.

5.Distinguished Educators:To guide the work in each Content Area, we anticipate that a Distinguished Educator will be needed for each content area for the summer and the next school year.Plans for this will be finalized after survey results have been analyzed and follow-up visits are completed.

It will be particularly important for each of these activities to have statewide representation reflecting the full diversity of size and type of Maine school system.Please consider nominating one or more educators for the activities described in # 2 - 5 above for consideration by the Commissioner.Please submit your nominations for members of a Content Advisory Panel or the Balance of Representation Institute on the attached form by Friday, March 22, 2002 to Denice Hatch either by fax (624-6821) or by e-mail (denice.hatch@state.me.us).Submit your nominations for Assessment Development Institutes and Distinguished Educators by April 6, 2002.If additional nominations are needed after that date, we will consider extending the deadlines.

As a result of the development activities described above, we anticipate high quality products and strong results as we have now in the Maine Educational Assessment after a similar process.We thank you for your assistance and support in this important work.

 


Assessment System Development Nomination Form

Please submit a form for each individual nominated.

 

Nominated By (Superintendent):†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† Telephone:

Name of Nominee:††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† School & School System:

How to Contact Nominee:

 

Current Assignment (subject & grade):

Nominated for (Content Area & Grade Span): circle all that apply

__ Content Advisory Panel††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† Grade Span:prek-2†††††† 3-4†††††† 5-8†††††† 9-12

††††††††††† English/Language Arts†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† Health & Physical Education†††††

Mathematics†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† Science & Technology

Social Studies

 

__ Balance of Representation Institute†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† Grade Span:prek-2†††††† 3-4†††††† 5-8†††††† 9-12

††††††††††† English/Language Arts†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† Health & Physical Education†††††

Mathematics†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† Science & Technology

Social Studies††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† Modern & Classical Languages

Visual & Performing Arts††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† Career Preparation

 

__ Assessment Development Institute††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† Grade Span:prek-2†††††† 3-4†††††† 5-8†††††† 9-12

††††††††††† English/Language Arts†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† Health & Physical Education†††††

Mathematics†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† Science & Technology

Social Studies

 

__ Distinguished Educator

††††††††††† English/Language Arts†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† Health & Physical Education†††††

Mathematics†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† Science & Technology

Social Studies

 

Please provide 1-2 sentences explaining why this person should be part of the activities indicated: