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Home > Rules & Legislation > Informational Letters > Letter # 160

INFORMATIONAL LETTER  NO.  160

POLICY CODE:  ILB

TO:       Superintendents of Schools (Please forward to Asst. Superintendents, Curriculum Coordinators, High School Principals, Department Chairs, Guidance Directors, and Special Education Directors)

FROM:   Susan A. Gendron, Commissioner

DATE:    June 30, 2006

RE:        Grade 11 Reading and Mathematics Expectations Development

Key Points Covered in this Informational Letter:

• Proposed Grade 11 Grade Level Expectations (GLEs) in reading and mathematics have been developed and are posted on the Department website for public review and comment.
• The Grade 11 GLEs are derived from the reading and mathematics content standards and performance indicators of the 1997 Maine Learning Results 9-12 grade span, and represent the knowledge and skills students are expected to have by Grade 11 or their third year in high school.
• The process used to develop Maine Grade 11 GLEs is the same process used to develop the GLEs for grades 3-8.
• The Grade 11 GLEs will be assessed using the SAT, Maine ’s high school assessment.
• The SAT is administered in the spring of each academic year and will be used in AYP calculations.

Grade 11 GLE Development

In order to meet the federal guidelines contained in the No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB), in particular the requirement to assess student performance annually in grades 3-8, the Maine Department of Education developed enhanced GLEs for reading and mathematics in grades 3-8 based on the existing language of Learning Results performance indicators and representing the depth and breadth of the standards.  NCLB also requires states to assess student performance in reading and mathematics once in high school.  In Maine, students are assessed in the 11th grade or their third year in high school on the SAT in the spring of the academic year.
On May 31, 2006, panels of educators were convened by the Department to draft proposed Grade 11 expectations in reading and mathematics.  The process used to develop these expectations was the same process used to develop GLEs for grades 3-8.  The process was conducted and facilitated by Tad Johnston and Dan Hupp (mathematics specialists), and Diana Doiron and Patsy Dunton (English language arts specialists).   For each subject area, a committee of content area teachers and curriculum specialists used Maine ’s Learning Results to establish a set of Maine Grade 11 expectations that represent the depth and breadth of the standards and the cumulative knowledge and skill levels students should attain by their third year in high school.

The Grade 11 GLEs have been posted on the Department of Education website at http://www.maine.gov/education/lsalt/gles11.html for review and comment by Maine educators for 30 days.  Following the comment period, Department content specialists will consider all replies and prepare a set of recommendations for the Commissioner.  The approved Grade 11 GLEs will be posted on the Department website and disseminated to the field in late August before the school year begins.

Maine’s High School Assessment

Beginning with the 2005-2006 school year, the SAT tests in critical reading, writing, and mathematics replaced the grade 11 Maine Educational Assessment (MEA) for secondary students.  For State of Maine purposes, the SAT will continue to be administered in the spring of each year.  The shift to the SAT represents a strategic step towards a more integrated high school testing program and an effort to build a more effective set of policy initiatives designed to increase post-secondary aspirations, opportunities and degree attainment.

The Policy Advisory and Technical Advisory Committees will continue to advise the Commissioner on all technical and policy issues related to the Grade 11 assessment and make recommendations to the Commissioner as needed.  The Learning Results Steering Committee, as the Committee of Practitioners for NCLB, will also discuss strategic implications of the Grade 11 assessment and make recommendations to the Commissioner as warranted.

For additional information about this process or if you have questions, please contact:  Tad Johnston at tad.johnston@Maine.gov  and Dan Hupp at dan.hupp@Maine.gov for mathematics, and Diana Doiron at diana.doiron@Maine.gov  and Patsy Dunton at patsy.dunton@Maine.gov for reading.