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Home > Rules & Legislation > Letters from the Commissioner > Informational Letters > Letter 91

 

INFORMATIONAL LETTER:  91
POLICY CODE: DDA

 

TO:                 Superintendents of Schools


**Please share with Curriculum Coordinators, Middle School Principals, Junior High School Principals, and High School Principals**

FROM:            Susan Gendron, Commissioner

DATE:             March 30, 2007

RE:                 Mathematics and Science Partnership Grant Application

The Maine Department of Education is pleased to announce the availability of grants to increase the percentage of highly qualified teachers and to increase the mathematics and/or science skills of teachers in high need Local Educational Agencies (LEAs).  The Maine Department of Education invites proposals that contain validated ways of addressing the complex issues surrounding the teaching and learning of mathematics and science in grades 6 - 12, supporting students as they move along the continuum of handling more complex and sophisticated material.  Proposals should promote one or more of the following objectives:

  1. Bring mathematics and/or science  teachers in secondary schools and post-secondary institutions together with mathematicians, scientists, mathematics educators, and/or science educators to increase the subject matter knowledge and content-specific pedagogical knowledge of mathematics and/or science teachers with special emphasis on one or more of the following:
    1. Organizing high school science instruction around the themes outlined in Standard A of the Proposed Maine Learning Results Standards for Science and Technology http://www.maine.gov/education/lres/review/sci_tech092706.pdf
    2. Developing and implementing opportunities for high school students to demonstrate achievement through original research in science or design technology as described in Standard B of the Proposed Maine Learning Results Standards for Science and Technology http://www.maine.gov/education/lres/review/sci_tech092706.pdf
    3. Developing and implementing opportunities for high school students to demonstrate achievement in data analysis and statistics through individual projects.  The content should reflect standard B of the Proposed Maine Learning Results Standards for Mathematics, http://www.maine.gov/education/lres/review/math092706.pdf.
  2. Improve such teachers’ knowledge and instructional skills through the use of active networks linking educators within a community or region, including the formation of professional learning communities within schools and districts and developing the capacity for lateral (across schools) collaboration.

Proposals must reflect an understanding and identification of the needs and issues involved, as well as local educational, political, economic, and social context in which the needs exist.  In addition, proposals must have well-defined goals and activities that promote interaction among faculty, teachers, and others, particularly those teachers who do not meet the definition of "highly qualified".  The proposals should meet the needs of a significant number of teachers in a demonstrably cost-effective way.

The intent of the Maine Department of Education is to fund projects that will become models of effective professional development that can be scaled-up, replicated, and disseminated widely throughout the educational system in Maine. 

Projects should demonstrate a reflection of Maine's Training and Development Quality Standards found in "Achieving Results" (www.maine.gov/education/achievingresults/index.htm).  Proposals should also include professional learning communities as a method of creating sustainable structures within schools and regions.  The intent is to add to the body of research and knowledge about what constitutes good professional development and to provide a means of disseminating this information to Maine teachers and principals.  It is imperative that these proposals document measurable changes in the skills of teachers and principals, changes in curriculum taught to grade 6 - 12 students, and improved student achievement in grades   6 - 12.

The Improving Teacher Quality competitive grant requires that particular partners be involved.  The objective is to combine the strong disciplinary expertise of the college of arts and sciences faculty and the instructional/pedagogical expertise of the college of education faculty in order to improve student achievement in a high need LEA through professional development.  The grant provides funding for one year with the opportunity for funding for up to two additional years.  The Maine Department of Education has the opportunity to provide competitive grants to partnerships composed of, at a minimum:

  1. One engineering, science, and/or mathematics department of an institution of higher education (IHE) that prepares teachers and principals,
  2. One high need Local Educational Agency (LEA), and
  3. One Career and Technical Educational Region or Center (CTE).

Additional partners may include other LEAs, private elementary or secondary schools, another engineering, mathematics, science or teacher training department of an IHE, a non-profit or for profit organization of demonstrated effectiveness in improving the quality of mathematics and science teachers, or a business.  Partnerships of higher education, high need LEAs, CTE Regions or Centers and other stakeholders will draw upon the strong disciplinary expertise of the faculty from higher education institutions to develop professional development activities that will effect improvements in student outcomes by providing 6 - 12 teachers with strong content expertise.

These grants are made available through the Mathematics and Science Partnerships Grant, Title II, Part B of the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001.  (CFDA # 84.366B)

A complete application package will be available on the Department’s website http://www.maine.gov/education/nclb/TitleIIBMathematicsandSciencePartnerships_000.htm on March 30, 2007.  It is estimated that up to three partnerships may receive funding.  The deadline for submitting a proposal is 2 p.m. on May 18, 2007.  Partnerships will be notified of awards by June 8, 2007.

A grant information workshop will be held via the ATM system on Monday, April 2, 2007 between 2:45 – 4:00 p.m.  Interactive ATM sites will be at Southern Aroostook High School, Nokomis Regional High School and Jonesport-Beals High School.  If you would like to receive a broadcast transmission, please respond via e-mail to: barbara.moody@maine.gov . Check with your site coordinator to make sure your site is available during this time.  If you are receiving a broadcast, you will only be able to hear and see what is being transmitted from the original site which will be room 103A in the Burton Cross State Office Building in Augusta.  You may attend this grant information workshop in Augusta.  If you would like an additional ATM session scheduled in late April, please contact barbara.moody@maine.gov.

Since the Mathematics and Science Partnerships Grant is a competitive process, questions cannot be answered on an individual basis.  All questions must be submitted in writing to Barbara Moody, Title IIA Coordinator at barbara.moody@maine.gov.   All questions and answers will be posted on the following web page so that all potential applicants may receive the same information:  http://www.maine.gov/education/nclb/titleii.htm. The deadline for submitting questions is May 4, 2007 at 5 pm.  Please check the web page frequently to view new questions and answers.