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INFORMATIONAL LETTER:  20

 

POLICY CODE:  IK

 

 

TO:                  Superintendents of Schools

 

FROM:            Susan A. Gendron, Commissioner

 

DATE:             August 10, 2004

 

RE:                   Today’s Press Release by The School Information Partnership

 

            Later this morning a news release is being sent out by the School Information Partnership entitled “Parents, Policy Makers and Community Leaders in Maine Gain Instant Access To Powerful Student Achievement Data and Analysis – Powerful Analytical Tools Available at www.SchoolResults.org and I wanted each of you to be aware of the information and the website which will provide student achievement data for all public schools in Maine as it becomes available. 

 

            The School Information Partnership (SIP) is a public-private collaboration, whose creation was announced by President Bush on September 9, 2003. It is funded by the Broad Foundation and the U.S. Department of Education.  SIP’s web site is powered by a suite of analytical tools from Standard & Poore’s School Evaluation Services and the National Center for Education Accountability’s Just for the Kids.  The web site displays school, district, and State data required to be publicly reported by the No Child Left Behind Act. 

 

            A few of the key observations which are highlighted on the website about Maine are:

 

                        Maine administers math and reading tests in grades 4, 8, and 11.  According to the 2003 State Snapshot available on www.SchoolResults.org, students in Maine achieved higher proficiency rates in all grades on the state reading assessments than on the state math tests.  The findings show that 49%, 45%, and 46% of Maine students were proficient on the reading assessment test in 4th, 8th, and 11th grades, respectively.”

 

                        “On the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP), Maine students surpassed the national average in reading and math in both 4th and 8th grades.  NAEP reading and math tests are administered to all 4th and 8th graders in all 50 states.  Maine exceeds the national average by the greatest margin in 8th grade reading, with 37% of students proficient or above in 8th grade reading, as compared to 30% nationally.”

 

            I encourage you to familiarize yourselves with the website and the data that is being presented as there may be questions that will arise from reporters, parents, community members, or your school boards.  On the SIP homepage, you may access a “Web Site Tour” to introduce you to what is available and how to access it. 

 

            If you are interested in additional information please contact Jacqueline Soychak, Policy Director and Team Leader for the Federal Programs Team, by phone at 624-6734 or via e-mail at jacqueline.soychak@maine.gov