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Resources & News for High School Educators from your teacher-librarian
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Maine Voices: Test question: Who benefits?

Maine Voices: Test question: Who benefits? | Beyond the Stacks | Scoop.it
Standardized tests leave much to be desired when it comes to promoting critical thinking and true learning among students.
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Portland officials rethink earlier start times for elementary schools

New proposed hours will be discussed at a workshop and a hearing, as parents object to some schools starting at 7:45 a.m.
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In wake of Bapst revelations, schools can help teach teens safe Internet use

The importance and influence of technology grows each year, as students of all ages have broad access to the Internet, especially through mobile phones. That includes a vast, seemingly limitless array of knowledge but also hazards that can be easy to fall into.
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Priority Notice: Opening day of new statewide assessment a success

Yesterday, thousands of Maine students began the Maine Educational Assessment (MEA) for Mathematics and English Language Arts/Literacy developed by Smarter Balanced. More than a decade after we began putting technology in the hands of Maine students and teachers to support their 21st century learning and teaching, our state is finally using this familiar environment to assess what students know and are able to do.

From what you’ve told us, the first day of online testing was a success. In the words of one district: “So far. So good.” Schools reported no major problems and expressed appreciation that our Department’s staff had quick answers to any questions asked.
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Higher education chiefs deliver ‘State of Education’ speeches to lawmakers

Higher education chiefs deliver ‘State of Education’ speeches to lawmakers | Beyond the Stacks | Scoop.it
AUGUSTA, Maine — The heads of Maine’s three public higher education systems told lawmakers on Tuesday that their institutions are in the midst of change but would come out at the other end better than they are today. “Our universities face an unprecedented combination of economic, demographic and competitive challenges,” [...]
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Statewide SAT Testing in Maine Linked to Boost in College Enrollment

Statewide SAT Testing in Maine Linked to Boost in College Enrollment | Beyond the Stacks | Scoop.it
New research finds there is a 2 to 3 percentage-point bump in college-going rates from statewide SAT testing among high school juniors.
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Maine Readers' Choice Award: The 2015 Longlist

The Maine Readers’ Choice Award, officially established in 2013 by the Maine State Library and the Maine Library Association, recognizes the best in adult fiction published in the United States the previous year. The aim of this award is to increase awareness and reading of literary fiction. The Maine Readers’ Choice Award honors books that exhibit exceptional writing and a compelling story that encourages reading and conversation among individuals and in Maine’s communities.

To be considered for the Maine Readers’ Choice Award, books must be:

FictionPublished in the United States the previous yearWell writtenCompelling story – you want to continue readingAppealing to a wide audience

Visit our Resources page to access discussion materials, author interviews and MRCA marketing resources for libraries and bookstores.

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Lewiston students try to raise their voices, but protest interrupted - The Portland Press Herald / Maine Sunday Telegram

Lewiston students try to raise their voices, but protest interrupted - The Portland Press Herald / Maine Sunday Telegram | Beyond the Stacks | Scoop.it
A poster inscribed with #blacklivesmatter – echoing a national movement to talk about race and justice – is ordered removed at Lewiston High School.
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If LePage backs away from Common Core, he endangers important school reforms

If LePage backs away from Common Core, he endangers important school reforms | Beyond the Stacks | Scoop.it

"If Gov. Paul LePage affixed a Facebook label to his relationship with the Common Core State Standards, “it’s complicated” would sum it up. "

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Getting Started with Questions of Text Complexity

The Literacy in Learning Exchange and NCTE have assembled this excellent collection of resources for helping teachers learn how to help students tackle text complexity. Included in these resources are a video, an audio, several book chapters and a link to Maine's Cross Disciplinary Literacy Network group.

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Maine DOE Newsroom

Maine DOE Newsroom | Beyond the Stacks | Scoop.it
From the Maine Department of Education
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Curious about Smarter Balanced testing and other state wide education issues? Subscribe to the Maine DOE's email news letter on this site.

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Not all evaluations are created equal. How Maine is failing its students

Not all evaluations are created equal. How Maine is failing its students | Beyond the Stacks | Scoop.it

Julia Hathaway, vice chair of the Veazie School Committee, speaks out against Maine's "report card" evaluation of schools.

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Officials, students seeking school schedule solution (Scarborough Leader)

By Michael Kelley Staff Writer

"Creating a high school schedule can be a careful experiment in balance and time management. As Scarborough High School students, like their peers across the state, work to balance their academics, extracurricular activities, social life, employment and other responsibilities, many of them are finding it difficult to fit the classes they want to take into their high school careers."

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Maine’s high school graduation rate reaches new high

Maine’s high school graduation rate reaches new high | Beyond the Stacks | Scoop.it
The Class of 2014 also was notable in that it was the state’s smallest in recent years, dropping to 12,362 students, a decline of more than 400 from the previous year and continuing a trend of declining public school enrollment across the state with the oldest population in the nation.
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Nancie Atwell Gets It Exactly Right

Teaching in America has been systematically de-professionalized. It's no longer a job where experience and creativity are valued. The evidence around that--beginning with test score-based teacher evaluation, and ending with federal funding for Teach for America-- is incontrovertible. We keep saying we want teacher leaders at the table, informing policy. But when Nancie Atwell was given a seat at a big, shiny international table, we're stunned when she tells her truth?
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See also:

Award Winning Educator Decries Current Teaching Climate:

http://www.edweek.org/ew/articles/2015/04/01/award-winning-educator-decries-current-teaching-climate.html?cmp=ENL-TU-NEWS3 

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Teacher: The disturbing things I’ve learned about our new Common Core tests

Teacher: The disturbing things I’ve learned about our new Common Core tests | Beyond the Stacks | Scoop.it
Emily Talmage is an elementary school teacher in Lewiston, Maine who did some research on the new Common Core tests that her students are taking this spring. In Maine, students are taking the Maine Educational Assessments in math and English Language Arts, developed by the Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium, one of the two multi-state consortia given a total of some $360 million in federal funds to develop new exams that align with the Core standards. In this post, Talmage reports on what she found.
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Festival Schedule | Maine Science Festival

Festival Schedule | Maine Science Festival | Beyond the Stacks | Scoop.it
The Maine Science Festival is New England's premier science event featuring 3-days of events for all ages at the Cross Center and venues across downtown Bangor, Maine. Science is Everywhere!
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Bill calls for notices on right to opt out of school testing - The Portland Press Herald / Maine Sunday Telegram

Parents need to be aware of that ability amid a growing trend, the sponsor says.
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Secrets of the Maine State Library

Secrets of the Maine State Library | Beyond the Stacks | Scoop.it
Discover what's inside the Maine State Library beyond books and periodicals. Guests: Linda Lord, Maine State Librarian Beth Edmonds, Freeport Community
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Protest poster ordered removed at Lewiston High School may go back on wall - The Portland Press Herald / Maine Sunday Telegram

Protest poster ordered removed at Lewiston High School may go back on wall - The Portland Press Herald / Maine Sunday Telegram | Beyond the Stacks | Scoop.it
The superintendent expects to permit the racial justice message that students created to start a dialogue on national events.
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Maine 11th-graders show mixed results in SAT scores - The Portland Press Herald / Maine Sunday Telegram

Maine 11th-graders show mixed results in SAT scores - The Portland Press Herald / Maine Sunday Telegram | Beyond the Stacks | Scoop.it
High school juniors improve their math and writing scores from last year, but reading scores are down. Statewide, students' science scores also are up.
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At Liberal-Arts Colleges, Debate About Online Courses Is Really About Outsourcing

At Liberal-Arts Colleges, Debate About Online Courses Is Really About Outsourcing | Beyond the Stacks | Scoop.it

Bowdoin college decided last week to offer a course which will be held partly online.

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Digital Repositories for Maine Communities | Maine State Library Research | Maine State Documents

Access a small but fascinating collection of digitized historical records and publications from Cumberland, Freeport, Orrington and Rockport, Maine.

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Maine's new graduation mandates challenge school districts - The Portland Press Herald / Maine Sunday Telegram

Maine's new graduation mandates challenge school districts - The Portland Press Herald / Maine Sunday Telegram | Beyond the Stacks | Scoop.it
Officials say it's a big task to restructure learning and adopt standards so students can show proficiency in eight areas and get diplomas.
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Use GRASPS to design Performance Assessment tasks

Heather Perkinson's insight:

Ken Templeton, with The Great Schools Partnership here in Maine, shared this useful graphic organizer for designing assessments on the #edchatME Twitter chat this evening (go to Twitter and type in that hashtag to scroll through the whole chat if you missed it). It's adapted from Grant, Wiggins & McTighe's Understanding By Design (2004). 

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