Commissioner’s Update – Dec. 15, 2011

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Wow.

We knew there were a lot of opinions and concerns about the nearly decade-old No Child Left Behind Act and its system of for holding schools accountable. We figured people would have a lot to say, and much of it critical.

But almost 1,300 survey responses in a little more than a week?! Well, it’s exactly what we were hoping for. We also had almost 50 people at our Bangor forum last Thursday night, a small but engaged audience online Tuesday night, and about 40 more in Portland last night.

The highlight for me has been sitting with groups of very thoughtful high school students in Bangor and in Portland who shared their thoughts about what makes for an effective school and an effective teacher, and how to measure those qualities.

Keep the comments coming. I especially encourage you to participate in our Newsroom discussion. We are required by the feds to show how we solicited public input. But, more importantly, we need your input to craft an alternative system for measuring up schools, working with those that need help, and recognizing (and sharing best practices from) schools that are excelling.

There’s a bunch of information online about how we’re going about developing our request for flexibility on our ESEA Flexibility web page. Check it out and join the conversation.

— Stephen Bowen



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NEWS & VIEWS

ESEA Flexibility: Students offer thoughts on accountability

Education Commissioner Stephen Bowen met with eight students at Bangor High School on Dec. 8 to ask their thoughts on what makes for an effective school, and what makes for an effective teacher. | More | First forum yields ideas on ESEA flexibility

Math, science award finalists honored

The three Maine teachers who are finalists for the 2011 Presidential Awards for Excellence in Math and Science Teaching were honored at a banquet in Hallowell on Dec. 9. | More | Physical Ed teachers honored at conference

Series highlights Wabanaki scholarship

The Penobscot Nation Cultural and Historic Preservation Department will host a three-part Wabanaki Scholars Series starting tonight at Minsky Hall on the University of Maine campus in Orono. | More

Ed board approves charter school commission members

The Maine State Board of Education has appointed four people to serve on the State Charter School Commission. | More | DOE delivers update on charter schools

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