MSMA: 82 districts sign onto Race to the Top application

Maine School Management Association
May 21, 2010

82 districts sign onto Race to the Top application

Commissioner of Education Angela Faherty said today that 82 school districts have agreed to participate in the state’s Race to the Top grant application, which has to be submitted to the federal Department of Education by June 1.

The hope is that Maine will be awarded up to $75 million in grant money to improve Maine schools.

More than a dozen agreements came in during the final two days before the Thursday 5 p.m. deadline for school districts to sign onto the application.

The local agreements, or memorandums of understanding, as they are called, were signed by the districts’ 82 superintendents, as is required by the federal grant regulations. The agreements also were signed by 24 local union representatives.

Districts had to indicate on their agreements which elements of the state plan to reform schools in Maine they planned to participate in at the local level.

Those elements include:

  • Supporting the transition to enhanced standards and high-quality assessments
  • Using data to improve instruction which includes use of local instructional improvement systems; professional development on use of data; and, availability and accessibility of data to researchers
  • Improving teacher and principal effectiveness based on performance by agreeing to: measure student growth; design and implement evaluation systems; conduct annual evaluations; use evaluations to inform professional development; use evaluations to inform compensation, promotion, retention; use evaluations to inform tenure and/or full certification; use evaluations to inform removal
  • Ensuring equitable distribution of effective teachers and principals in high poverty and/or minority schools and hard-to-staff subjects and specialty areas
  • Provide effective support to teacher and principals including quality professional development; and, measuring effectiveness of professional development
  • Turning around the lowest-achieving schools

Contact: Dale Douglass, executive director
Victoria Wallack, communications director
Telephone: 207-622-3473 or 1-800-660-8484