A little over a year ago, I outlined a vision for education in Maine, our strategic plan, Education Evolving, at Capital Area Technical Center. A few weeks later, Governor LePage and I laid out the education agenda at the Somerset Career and Technical Education Center in Skowhegan. We at Maine DOE, in collaboration with schools and school districts, have made great progress in changing policies and focus toward a system that supports students in achieving proficiency in rigorous standards that will prepare them to be ready for college and careers.
As I’ve often said, some of the best thinking and models for the work we want to do comes from the schools themselves. I’m itching to get out to the schools again to see first-hand the kinds of innovative practices that you are implementing that are showing promise and that are helping to forward the priorities in our strategic plan. The first stop on my tour of schools will be at Deer Isle-Stonington High School next Monday, the 25th. Graduation rates there have increased – significantly – for three years in a row through a combination of culture change, professional learning communities, and Student Assistance Teams.
In addition to meeting with teachers and others at the school, we’ll use the occasion and the location to release the 2012 graduation rates in Maine. As with my last set of visits, I plan to get to each of the state’s nine superintendent regions. If you would like to share your school’s innovative practices, please let me know so we can finish fine-tuning our schedule of visits.