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Interventions and Support

By Joyce Blakney, MEA Treasurer

I served as the MEA representative on the NCLB Waiver subcommittee of Interventions and Supports (I&S).  It was our job to set the I&S system for those schools that were identified Priority [in the lowest 5% overall plus any SIG (school improvement grant) schools and any high school with a graduation rate lower than 60%] and Focus (in the lowest 10% of having a subgroup lower in comparison to all Maine students or within school).  We met five times over three months. Also serving in the subcommittee with me were Deborah Emery, representing MPA and Susan Pratt, representing MSMA.  Several people from the DoE worked with us as well.
You can now read the entire ESEA/NCLB waiver at

The following is the section that was prepared by the I&S committee. The list can be further explained in the waiver.  All Priority Schools must participate in each of these identified areas.

Self-Assessment Improvement Plan

Alignment with 7 ESEA Turnaround Principles: required for all identified Priority schools

  1. Providing strong leadership by: reviewing the current principal; replacing the current principal or demonstrating that the current principal has a track record of in improving achievement; providing the principal with flexibility in scheduling, staff, curriculum and budget
  2. Ensuring effective teachers by: reviewing the quality of all staff and retaining only those who are determined to be effective; preventing ineffective teachers from transferring into the school; providing job embedded and ongoing professional development tied to teacher and student needs
  3. Redesigning the school day, week or year to include additional time for student learning and teacher collaboration
  4. Strengthening the school instructional program
  5. Using data to inform instruction and providing time for collaboration on the use of that data
  6. Establishing a school environment that improves school safety and discipline and addresses other non-academic factors such as student’s social, emotional and health needs
  7. Providing mechanisms for family and community engagement

Targeted Title I accountability / ESEA directed

Required 20% set-aside of Title I district allocation

Convert to School-wide Title I status

School-based improvement team

DoE Title I School Improvement Consultants

Specialized DoE supports (RTI, SWD, ELL, Student Services (truants, dropouts, homeless, migrant students, etc,) Content, etc.)

Affinity / Special Issue Networks

Regional Networks

Transformational Leaders Networks (Regional and grade level)

Quarterly/Continuous progress reports

Annual reports (summative)

DoE-sponsored school improvement events

DoE web-based improvement resources for best practices (instruction, leadership, community engagement)

Online AMO, SAI, and Gap Index calculator

Reservations about the waiver:

  1. Impact on Collective Bargaining
  2. Data alignment
  3. Testing consistency
  4. The Smarter Balance assessment does not yet exist
  5. Definition of student progress



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