| Session - 127th Maine Legislature
Resolve, To Implement an Online Professional Development Platform for Teachers and Educators
Preamble. Whereas, the 125th Legislature in 2012 enacted Public Law 2011, chapter 669 directing the Department of Education to submit a technical assistance plan to facilitate the transformation of the public education system to one in which standards are used to guide curriculum and instruction and in which student advancement and graduation are based on student demonstration of proficiency in meeting educational standards; and
Whereas, the technical assistance plan submitted by the Department of Education to the Legislature on May 6, 2013 needs to be updated to augment the standards-based system tools, resources and initiatives provided to school administrative units that support their transformation to a standards-based education system; and
Whereas, in order to promote the transformation of Maine education into a student-centered, proficiency-based system of learning, the digital learning strategic plan produced by the Department of Education in January 2013, as directed by the Governor's Executive Order #2012-001, developed policy recommendations to expand digital learning opportunities for students with teachers who are experts in bringing digital content into daily instruction; and
Whereas, the 125th Legislature also enacted legislation to ensure effective teaching and school leadership that requires the Department of Education and school administrative units to establish professional development and training opportunities that support and promote the effectiveness of teachers and principals as part of the performance evaluation and professional growth systems that must be implemented beginning with the 2015-2016 school year pursuant to the Maine Revised Statutes, Title 20-A, chapter 508; and
Whereas, the Department of Education needs to conduct research and develop a plan to implement an online professional development platform for teachers and educators beginning with the 2015-2016 school year that supports networking, collaboration, educational capacity and efficiency in regional administrative functions; now, therefore, be it
Sec. 1. Department of Education to develop a plan to implement an online professional development platform for teachers and educators. Resolved: That the Department of Education shall conduct research and analysis to design and implement an online platform that provides teachers and educators in the State with access to comprehensive, high-quality professional development and training resources that can advance teacher and educator effectiveness and improve student performance. The Commissioner of Education may invite representatives of key education stakeholder organizations to participate in the research and design of the online professional development platform.
The department shall review online professional development platforms launched in other states and jurisdictions, including the cost and effectiveness of existing online platforms that provide professional development and training resources for teachers and educators.
The research and analysis conducted by the department must include, but is not limited to, the examination of online professional development platforms for teachers and educators that provide:
1. A one-stop shopping portal to online professional development resources;
2. Links to open-source educational resources, as well as commercial professional development services;
3. A searchable arrangement of linked resources organized by recognized professional development topics, resource types, formats, user quality ratings and other educator-requested criteria;
4. Opportunities for submission of and access to user reviews of linked resources;
5. A marketplace for commercial providers of professional development services to compete transparently;
6. Virtual collaborative space for teachers and educators in the State to develop and share professional development resources;
7. Guides and tools for implementation of online professional development by teachers and educators, schools and school administrative units; and
8. Central organized access to the Department of Education's online professional development resources related to the department's initiatives, programs and oversight and regulatory requirements.
The department shall design a plan to implement a comprehensive online professional development platform for teachers and educators that can increase networking, collaboration and professional development opportunities for teachers and educators in the State. The comprehensive online professional development platform designed by the department must also provide teachers and educators with the means to overcome existing barriers that hinder the use of online professional development resources; and be it further
Sec. 2. Report. Resolved: That, no later than December 2, 2015, the Commissioner of Education shall report the results of the research and analysis conducted under section 1, along with any recommended legislation necessary to execute its implementation plan, to the Joint Standing Committee on Education and Cultural Affairs. The committee may submit a bill related to the report to the Second Regular Session of the 127th Legislature.
This resolve directs the Department of Education to conduct research and design a plan to implement an online platform that provides Maine teachers and educators with access to comprehensive, high-quality professional development and training resources that can advance teacher effectiveness and improve student performance. The department is required to report the results of the research, along with any recommended legislation to execute the plan, to the Joint Standing Committee on Education and Cultural Affairs by December 2, 2015.
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