Gearing up to transform

Author icon: Head shot of Commissioner Stephen BowenTransformation is difficult work.

But with the right reasons driving it, examples to follow, proven strategies to adhere to, and support to count on when you need it, it can become a reality.

Building the capacity for transformation is the focus of next week’s Maine School Superintendents’ Conference, which happens to be the 100th annual such gathering of Maine’s educational leaders.

The conference is set up to get everyone thinking about and discussing the need for transformation, what transformation looks like, and how — with limited resources — we can make transformation of our schools a statewide phenomenon.

We’ve designed the agenda to give superintendents, assistant superintendents and others in attendance examples of Maine schools that have gone about the work of transformation.

Students, teachers and administrators from schools in Farmingdale, Gray, Waterboro, Portland, Farmington and Yarmouth will discuss how they’ve come to expect more of their students, changed how they teach, allowed their students more independence in deciding how they learn, re-envisioned how their schools are built and made technology an integral element of the learning experience.

With those examples in mind, we’ll spend time discussing how the Department of Education can retool to help schools accomplish similar transformations.

I have high hopes for this superintendents’ conference. It’ll be an important step in making more of our schools examples of successful transformation.

One response to “Gearing up to transform

  1. Commissioner Stephen Bowen:

    Transformation can occur at all levels of education. One means of transformation is to require more of our teachers.

    You should read the article “Preparing Future Math Teachers” by William H. Schmidt, Richard Houang, and Leland Cogan published on June 10th of 2011 in the Education Forum section of SCIENCE. Volume 332. Issue 6035. pages 1266-1267.

    This article suggests that increasing standards for Middle School Math teachers can have significant positive implications for student performance in math.

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