List of Definitions of Key Acronyms


ACGR - Adjusted Cohort Graduation Rate. A federally-established formula to be used by each state and the District of Columbia representing the percentage of students from a particular cohort graduating within four years of becoming first-time freshmen.

AMAO - Annual Measurable Achievement Objectives. Used to determine accountability for Title III districts and consortia. AMAO1 is the percentage of students making progress in Learning English; AMAO2 is the number or percentage of children attaining English proficiency; AMAO3 represents adequate yearly progress for limited English proficient children as described in section 1111(b)(2)(B).

AMO - Annual Measurable Objectives. Student achievement and attainment targets established by the state for each school . Must at minimum include student achievement in reading (grades 3-8 and once in grades 9-12), math (grades 3-8 and once in grades 9-12), writing (once each in grades 3-5, 6-8, and 9-12).

AYP - Adequate Yearly Progress. In reference to the expected performance of students on a state assessment in a school /district against annually increasing targets in reading, math and additional indicators (i.e. graduation rate, attendance).

CCSSI - Common Core State Standards Initiative. National effort led by the states to develop college and career ready K-12 learning standards in English Language Arts (ELA) and mathematics.

CCSSO - Council of Chief State School Officers. Based in Washington, DC, provides support for state K-12 commissioners and their agencies.

CFG - Critical Friends Group. More recently known as professional learning community (PLC) or professional learning group (PLG), a group of educators working together to examine student work, teacher work, and/or issues in a school for the purposes of expanding professional knowledge and skill and improving teaching and learning.

CIPS - Continuous Improvement Priority School. Designated label used by the Maine Department of Education for schools that do not make Adequate Yearly Progress for two or more consecutive years.

ESEA - Elementary and Secondary Education Act. Federal Law guiding, among others, federal distribution of dollars to states and establishing requirements for state accountability of K-12 education. The No Child Left Behind Act of 2001 is the latest iteration of ESEA.

LEA - Local Education Agency. In Maine, a school administrative unit.

MADSEC - Maine Administrators of Services for Children with Disabilities.

MEA - Maine Education Association.

MHSA - Maine High School Assessment. Maine’s 9-12 assessment program, which uses the three tests that make up the SAT (reading, writing, math) and a science test. These four tests are administered annually to all students in their third year of high school.

MPA - Maine Principals Association.

MSFE - Maine Schools for Excellence. See TIF.

MSMA - Maine School Management Association.

NAEP - National Assessment of Educational Progress. The largest nationally representative and continuing assessment of what America's students know and can do in various subject areas. Assessments are conducted periodically in mathematics, reading, science, writing, the arts, civics, economics, geography, and U.S. history.

NCLBA - No Child Left Behind Act. The name of the currently authorized version of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act. It was authorized in 2001.

NECAP - New England Common Assessment Program. Maine's primary standardized assessment for students in grades 3 through 8, since 2009. In Maine, it covers English, writing and math. This program is also used in NH, RI, and VT.

NESSC - New England Secondary School Consortium. Network of five states CT, ME, NH, RI, and VT working on several collaborative initiatives in support of improved education in secondary schools.

NSLP - National Student Lunch Program. Sometimes referred to as Free and reduced lunch. The federal program operated by the Department of Agriculture. Its figures are used as a proxy for economic disadvantage. It is required to report the performance of students in each school in this category.

NWEA - Northwest Evaluation Association. A Portland, OR based non-profit that provides computer-based adaptive assessments for school districts.

PARCC - Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers. The other collection of states (see SBAC) developing annual assessments aligned with the Common Core.

PLC - Professional Learning Community. See CFG

PLG - Professional Learning Group. See CFG.

SBAC - Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium. One of two groups of states developing annual assessments aligned with the Common Core. Maine is a member of SBAC.

SCEE - State Consortium for Educator Effectiveness. Initiative sponsored by the Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO) to facilitate sharing and collaborative work around workforce issues in education.

SEA - State Education Agency (in Maine, the Department of Education)

SES - Supplemental Education Services. Refers to free extra academic help, such as tutoring or remedial help, that is provided to students in subjects such as reading, language arts, and math. This extra help can be provided before or after school, on weekends, or in the summer. Parents select services from a list of Maine DOE approved providers.

SIG - Title I School Improvement Grants. Program run by the United States Department of Education providing grants to state educational agencies which in turn use them to make competitive sub-grants to school districts with Title I CIPS schools and Title I-eligible schools identified as “persistently lowest achieving.” Eligible districts demonstrate the greatest need for the funds and the strongest commitment to use the funds to provide adequate resources in order to raise substantially the achievement of students in their lowest-performing schools

TIF - Teacher Incentive Fund. A federal grant program supporting the Maine Schools for Excellence (MSFE) initiative bringing together 18 schools in 5 Maine school districts (and Richmond, VA) working to bring together rigorous professional development and constructive evaluation systems leading to improved instruction and performance bonuses as a reward for student success.

Title I - Title I - Improving the Academic Achievement of the Disadvantaged - of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act. Also, Title I, Part A - Improving Basic Programs Operated By Local Educational Agencies. Provides funding to school districts and eligible schools to help ensure that all children meet challenging state academic standards. Eligibility criteria may include percentage of economic disadvantage that is 30% or higher. Federal funds are currently allocated among states through four statutory formulas that are based primarily on census poverty estimates and the cost of education in each state.

Title II - Title II Preparing, Training, and Recruiting High Quality Teachers and Principals of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act. Provides grants to State educational agencies, local educational agencies, State agencies for higher education, and eligible partnerships in order to: (1) increase student academic achievement through strategies such as improving teacher and principal quality and increasing the number of highly qualified teachers in the classroom and highly qualified principals and assistant principals in schools; and (2) hold local educational agencies and schools accountable for improvements in student academic achievement.

USED or USDE - United States Department of Education

WIDA - World-class Instructional Design and Assessment. WIDA ACCESS is the English Language Proficiency assessment used as a state assessment to measure annual progress for English learners.