Commissioner’s Update – May 9, 2013

From the Commissioner

It’s been over a week since Governor LePage and I released Maine’s School Performance Grading System. I continue to tour schools that are exemplifying promising practices, including several that have received grades on the lower end of the spectrum. Based on what I’ve seen, these schools are doing many of the right things to get their students invested in learning. It’s important that the Department be engaged with these schools to let them know they have support.

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Ken Stump, eighth grader at Oxford Hills Middle School, shows Commissioner Bowen a solar panel students created to heat the indoor greenhouse at Roberts Farm in Norway.Ken Stump, eighth grader at Oxford Hills Middle School, shows Commissioner Bowen a solar panel students created to heat the indoor greenhouse at Roberts Farm in Norway. | More

News & Views

Empowering Educators with A-F: A Conversation on Where We Can Go From Here

No matter where you stand on the new grading system, we believe this is an opportunity to engage educators like you in a positive, productive conversation about our shared commitment to giving Maine kids the best education we can. We’d like to invite teachers and school leaders to join me, along with Chief Academic Officer Rachelle Tome and Director of the Statewide Longitudinal Data System Bill Hurwitch for an online forum about A-F and how it can be used as an invaluable tool for improving Maine’s schools. By Stephen Bowen | More

Bowen announces school improvement supports for struggling schools

AUGUSTA – Education Commissioner Stephen Bowen announced plans today for providing supports to low-performing schools. The plans are the next step following last week’s release of a new letter grading system for Maine schools. | More

Maine Charter Commission approves contracts with three new charter schools

AUGUSTA – The Maine Charter School Commission in a public meeting held Tuesday in Augusta discussed, voted and signed three public charter school contracts: Baxter Academy for Technology and Sciences in Portland; Fiddlehead School of Arts and Science in Gray; and Harpswell Coastal Academy in Harpswell. | More

Hands-on learning a success in Oxford County

I had the chance visit three Oxford County schools as part of my Promising Practices Tour, just a day after releasing the new A-F school grading system designed to improve transparency. As a state, we need to move beyond the one-size-fits-all models of teaching and embrace student-centered models like the ones many Maine schools, such as the ones I visited in Oxford County, are doing. By Stephen Bowen | More | Press release

Governor honors Maine teachers during Teacher Appreciation Week

AUGUSTA – Governor Paul R. LePage has declared May 6-10, 2013, Teacher Appreciation Week—a time to thank Maine teachers for their dedication to our students. | More

A letter from the Maine Learning Technology Initiative

The Maine Department of Education would like to welcome Hewlett Packard to the Maine Learning Technology Initiative (MLTI) family. As you may know, HP has been selected to be the preferred provider for the MLTI program. | More

An open dialogue with the Commissioner in Caribou

With the amount of time, energy, education and pride that teachers and administrators place in our schools, it stands to reason that we welcome opportunities to share our work with others. A recent visit from Commissioner Stephen Bowen allowed for Eastern Aroostook RSU 39 to share and highlight our innovation, enthusiasm and dedication. By Alana Margeson | More

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