Maine has a relatively clear school-improvement planning process.


The process may help schools with developing needs assessments and strategies, and its Transformational Leaders Network, while not described in detail, could be promising.


Maine has a very minimal description of interventions and supports.


It also does not differentiate for comprehensive support schools vs. targeted support schools. Despite referring to Tier III and Tier II supports separately, the actual supports appear to be very similar and refer only to general supports and mentors and coaches. It is not clear whether these supports will be sufficient to meet the challenges faced by those schools.


Maine provides very little information about how the state will ensure evidence-based interventions, how it would support districts in choosing appropriate interventions, and whether the state has the capacity to evaluate intervention choices, beyond a requirement that districts describe these interventions.


Even in cases where the state can direct school improvement activities, the interventions outlined in the plan are far from rigorous; these schools will receive “increased face-to-face school improvement coaching support, increased district support in relation to targeted professional development, and increased financial resources.”


Maine also appears to intend to provide less than the minimum award of $50,000 in school-improvement funds to each school.


Maine should consider funding comprehensive support schools at a higher level consistent with their needs. Without aggressive action for schools that continue to struggle, it is very unlikely the proposed supports would be sufficient to dramatically change the school’s trajectory.


New Mexico


New Mexico clearly states what action must be taken in schools that fail to improve three years after being initially identified for comprehensive support and improvement. Schools must choose between a concrete list of intervention options or the state department will choose one for it. New Mexico is committed to providing additional funding to plans that use the strongest base of evidence and to providing “Direct Student Services” to support expanded learning time, AP course access, K-3 literacy and mathematics, pre-k services, personalized learning, and student transportation.


Choose a state to see their plans for supporting schools: