When the Maine State Legislature adopted the Learning Results in 1996, it established learning standards for all Maine students educated at public expense.
These grade span (PK-2, 3-4, 5-8, and 9-12) standards in career preparation, English language arts, health and physical education, mathematics, modern and classical languages, science and technology, social studies, and visual and performing arts identify the knowledge and skills essential to prepare Maine students for work, for higher education, for citizenship, and for personal fulfillment.
As of 2011 Maine's public schools educated 186,906 students, employing 16,540 teaches. 13,489 students attended private schools and another 4,888 were home-schooled. The state operates 164 school administrative units that include 604 public schools.
Maine students perform well overall nationally, typically ranking in the top tier of states by most national measures. The state also is part of the New England Common Assessment Program (NECAP), which organizes standardized assessment for students in grades 3 through 8 throughout the region.
Assessment Scale - Grade 8 Math
Assessment Scale - Grade 8 Reading
Assessment Scale - Grade 8 Writing
Assessment Scale - Grade 8 Science
Assessment Scale - Grade 4 Math
Assessment Scale - Grade 4 Reading
Assessment Scale - Grade 4 Writing
Assessment Scale - Grade 4 Science
Student Teach Ratio
Although results vary signficantly by school district, Maine’s National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) reading data since 1998 indicates that while the national scores for fourth and eighth graders have increased or remained constant, overall Maine scores have declined and gap between Maine’s average performance and the national performance has steadily narrowed.
Maine’s Learning Results serve as the focal point for state and local efforts to improve student learning, define professional development needs, update local curriculum and instructional practices, and assess student achievement.
The Learning Results identify the knowledge and skills essential to prepare Maine students for work, for higher education, for citizenship, and for personal fulfillment. This document defines only the core elements of education that should apply to all students without regard to their specific career and academic plans.
The primary purpose of the Learning Results is to provide teachers and parents with guidance to improve an existing education system that is already working well for many students in most Maine communities. The adoption of common standards and an accompanying mix of measures which assess learning is widely regarded as the most important next step in improving the quality of public education for all students.
Maine's Commitment to Higher Education
Maine has no department or commission of higher education or post-secondary education. Rather, the Maine Department of Education has been configured to serve as a pre-kindergarten through grade 16 agency concerned with the progression of learning from the earliest years through the baccalaureate experience.
Both the University of Maine System and the Maine Community College System are autonomous entities with all policy, procedures and administrative oversight vested in their respective boards of trustees.
Similarly, Maine’s private higher education institutions are governed by their own oversight boards. State oversight of the activities of public and private schools, colleges, and universities primarily centers upon degree-granting authorizations, educator preparation program approvals and renewals, and private-for-profit proprietary school licensure.
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