Commissioner’s Update – June 21, 2012

Commissioner's Update cover imageIn the past week the Maine Charter School Commission held hearings on three applications for public charter schools to open this fall. It’s a tight time schedule, but Commission members are putting in many hours to give each application a thorough review. They are striking a balance between the need to provide students and families with choices, and the imperative that they closely follow the criteria laid out for them.

We anticipate hearing from the Commission by the end of the month on the status of these applications. We hope that, come September, more students in Maine will have more pathways available to them.

Charter schools will not solve all of the needs facing Maine students today, but they are part of the solution: a web of choices for students: choice of school and  choice of pathways foremost among them. Another part of the solution is to share the great work that is happening around the state.. We at the Maine DOE don’t have a monopoly on good ideas. In fact, our best ones come from the schools already trying them. We look forward to sharing many of those ideas with you next week at the Superintendents Conference.

— Stephen Bowen



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NEWS & VIEWS

Virtual learning center a success for family literacy programCommissioner Stephen Bowen meets Jack Wheeler, recent graduate of the SPICE Family Literacy Program.

Select families in RSU 3 in Waldo County have enrolled in a virtual learning center, which opened in 2010 through Mount View High School as part of the Students and Parents in Cooperative Education (SPICE) Family Literacy Program. Commissioner Stephen Bowen had a chance to explore the adult education program’s web-based learning environment when he visited last week. | More

Teachers as students

I had the opportunity to speak with future teachers at the University of Maine Wednesday. It was great to witness their passion for education and the student-centered direction the profession is moving in. By Stephen Bowen | More

Maine grad rate improves again

AUGUSTA – For the second year in a row, the graduation rate in Maine has improved by a statistically significant amount. The percentage of students graduating within four year of entering high school for 2010-11 was 83.79 percent, up nearly a full percentage point compared to the previous year. | More

Maine now certified for migrant ed data

Maine’s Migrant Education Program became fully certified with the Migrant Student Information Exchange initiative in May, after two years of hard work. | More

Deering grad makes major league baseballDeering High graduate Ryan Flaherty made the Baltimore Orioles' opening day roster this year.

Ryan Flaherty, a 2005 graduate and standout athlete of Deering High School in Portland, completed his journey to the major leagues this year when he made the Baltimore Orioles’ opening day roster. | More

Committees forming for assessment system development

As a governing member of SBAC, Maine is afforded the opportunity to invite educators to participate in the process of reviewing test items and performance tasks for the 2013 Pilot Test. | More

Updated: Summer professional development opportunities

Don’t forget there are still summer development opportunities for which you can sign-up. | More

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