Two Key Shifts Maine Educators Should be Aware of in 2018 for ESSA:

It’s important as educators and leaders in our field to not only be aware of new legislation in education, but to understand how that new legislation will affect our day to day work as teachers and administrators.

With a new administration in the White House and new Education Secretary Betsy DeVos at the helm, there has been a sense of uncertainty when it comes to the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA).

Earlier last year, Devos sent a letter to Chief State School Officers that stated,

“I am writing today to assure you that I fully intend to implement and enforce the statutory requirements of the ESSA.”

This letter provided the nod to move forward, and many states began working on and turning in their State Plan Requests this past Spring and Fall, including Maine.

There are two major shifts from the previous No Child Left Behind legislation.

The first major shift​, is a fundamental change in how student success is measured:

Maine’s Department of Education has stated in their new vision,

“All schools have improvements that can be made to enhance and improve instructional support to students, and all Maine schools must strive to improve. The zip code of a school should not be a determining factor regarding the implementation of school improvement supports.”

This vision comes with some lofty goals, including having 90% of Maine students’ graduate college and career ready by 2030.

The second major shift​ is how funds are distributed:

Targeted revision of state education goals, such as those taken in Maine, fall directly in line with the new way funds are to be distributed. Instead of small individual grants, new ESSA regulations will give larger block grants with the intention of providing states with more control of the funding. This of course means that states must reconfigure how funding formulas work.

It’s important for all of us as educators to be proactive rather than reactive so we’re empowered to make ESSA changes more meaningful in our own practice. It is also important to drill down into the details of your individual state plan, and research the implications behind the goals presented in those plans. Be sure to check with your district regarding how the new funding formulas will affect professional development opportunities, including tuition reimbursement.

At UNE Online, we offer customizable course plans and programs allowing you to focus on your specific career goals. Our 30-credit Master of Science in Education, 30-credit Certificate of Advanced Graduate Study and 15-credit Post-Master’s Certificate, are all flexible offerings allowing you to choose courses from various focus areas to make your journey work for you.

Additionally, the majority of our 100% Online Graduate Education courses are available for you to take individually as a non-matriculated student. We have course offerings that can help you fulfill certification requirements or skill gaps. All of our courses are eight weeks long and are offered at six start times per year. We have the flexibility to accommodate whatever schedule you may have, whenever you need to start.

For more information on our 100% Online Graduate Programs in Education visit:

Additionally, for more information on Maine’s state plan, and links to information on other state plans including Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Connecticut and New York, visit:


Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or login first for digital access. Here’s why.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.