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To:       Superintendents and Principals

(please forward to Assistant Superintendents, Curriculum Coordinators, and Building Principals)


From:   Susan A. Gendron, Commissioner


Date:    October 3, 2003


Re:      Grade Level Expectations for Mathematics and Reading



This letter is posted to update you on the progress to date on the development of Maine’s Grade Level Expectations in mathematics and reading, and to invite your comments on the current drafts of these documents. 


As you know, to comply with the federal No Child Left Behind Act (NCLBA), Maine must develop and test Grade Level Expectations (GLEs) for mathematics and reading in grades

3-8. Maine’s goal in the development of GLEs is threefold: to measure important facets of student learning in mathematics and reading, to reflect the breadth and depth of the Maine Learning Results for these disciplines, and to develop a manageable set of GLEs to test for NCLBA purposes. As a result, the number of GLEs in a grade for each content area is smaller than the number of performance indicators for the grade span. Every attempt was made to create a set of expectations that clearly represent the content area and, at the same time, leave room for local choice in curriculum details and sequences.


Two panels of experts were convened to develop Maine’s Grade Level Expectations. Membership on each panel included Maine administrators, curriculum leaders, teachers, and other educators. The groups were formed to reflect the variety of Maine schools and are representative of all areas of our State. Both the Mathematics Panel and the Reading Panel began with recent drafts of the New England Compact GLE documents. The resulting work and next steps for each content area are articulated below.



The Mathematics Panel met twice and their work is complete. Thank you to all the district personnel who responded to the online survey.  Your responses helped guide many of the choices made by the Mathematics Panel.  The Maine Mathematics Draft Grade Level Expectations document is available in two formats and both are linked to this letter.  Please review this document and send your written feedback by November 10, 2003 to Mathematics Specialists Tad Johnston or Dan Hupp at 23 State House Station, Augusta, ME 04333 or email at and 



The members of the Reading Panel followed a process similar to the Mathematics Panel, with the “Balance of Representation” for Maine’s Learning Results, national standards, and the New England Compact GLE document informing their work. The only difference between the two panels was that the Reading Panel did not have responses from the online survey to inform their work due to a tight timeline between when the New England Compact Grade Level Expectations for Reading were available and the first meeting of the Reading Panel on September 8, 2003. Maine’s Reading Panel’s first draft is now posted at in a survey format. An Excel file with school codes is linked to this letter. Your code is the three-digit town code and the two-digit school code with no space between them. After the October 7 meeting of the Reading Panel, the Reading GLEs will be available for comment and feedback until November 10, 2003. Please send your written feedback to English Language Arts Specialist Diana Doiron at 23 State House Station, Augusta, ME 04333 or email at


Parent and Community Forum

Parents and other community members are invited to an informational session on Maine’s Grade Level Expectations in Mathematics and Reading at a community forum to be held using the ATM network on Wednesday, October 15, 2003 from 6:00-7:30 p.m.

The four sites are:

            Bangor Public Library

            Presque Isle High School

            Falmouth High School

            Cross Office Building In Augusta


Future Timelines

              Maine’s Mathematics GLEs and Reading GLEs will be reviewed by the Department’s Technical Advisory Committee, Policy Advisory Committee, and Learning Results Steering Committee. These reviews should be completed by December, 2003 and the final set of Mathematics GLEs and Reading GLEs published then for use by districts.


Testing based on the Grade Level Expectations will begin in March, 2005. This will help Maine comply with the NCLBA requirement of reporting test results to the federal government in 2006.


Thank you in advance for your review and thoughtful responses to these important documents.  Please respond to both documents by November 10, 2003.





            Maine Mathematics Draft Grade Level Expectations

            Maine Mathematics Draft Grade Level Expectations (alternate print option)

            Maine Reading Draft Grade Level Expectations Survey

            School Data Codes