Tag Archives: Maine School Improvement

Topsham elementary named National Blue Ribbon School

TOPSHAM – An elementary school in Topsham that has seen double-digit increases over the last five years in the percentage of its students deemed proficient is Maine’s National Blue Ribbon School.

The Williams-Cone School in RSU 75 was one of 236 public schools across the country named this morning by U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan into the prestigious program that recognizes schools where students perform at very high levels or show significant improvements in closing achievement gaps. Continue reading

A letter from Commissioner Bowen: A new opportunity

It has been a great honor to serve students and schools as the Commissioner of the Maine Department of Education for the past two and a half years. In that time, we’ve made incredible progress in moving from plan to practice our Education Evolving strategic plan to restructure Maine’s education system around our students.  Continue reading

Law provides educator evaluation and support system development guidance in absence of rule

As many of you know, since LD 1858, “An Act To Ensure Effective Teaching and School Leadership,” was enacted in April 2012, the Department has been working to establish rules to guide you in your local development of the now required teacher and principal evaluation and support systems.

It is with great frustration that I report to you that while the 125th Legislature unanimously supported this initiative to implement a fair, meaningful educator evaluation system, legislators this session have failed to reach consensus – specifically around fulfilling the law’s directive that measurements of student learning and growth be a significant factor in the determination of the rating of an educator. As a result, the Department will need to start the process of adopting Chapter 180 over again in the fall in order to submit a provisionally adopted rule to the Legislature in January 2014. Continue reading

Legislative budget misses opportunity to support students

AUGUSTA – As Governor Paul R. LePage continues to review the upcoming two-year budget, which was delivered to him late last week, he has discovered a disturbing trend of cuts to education. The budget reflects a slashing by the Legislature’s Appropriations Committee of supports for existing programs proven to prepare Maine youth for success in college and their careers and some innovative new ones.

That committee cut a total of $18.4 million proposed by the Department of Education and Governor LePage, including reducing funding over the next two years for Jobs for Maine’s Graduates by $600,000 and the Aspiration program– which raises education aspirations by allowing students to take college courses at a reduced rate – by $1.2 million. Continue reading

Commissioner Bowen to address Rockland Kiwanis Monday

ROCKPORT – Education Commissioner Stephen Bowen will speak to the Rockland Kiwanis Club Monday about his department’s commitment to seeing all Maine students leave school college and career ready.

In his remarks as the guest speaker at the June 10 lunchtime Kiwanis meeting at the Samoset Resort in Rockport, Commissioner Bowen will share how the Maine Department of Education is increasingly a resource to districts in developing and deploying the best practices that ensure educator effectiveness and high student achievement. Continue reading

Education Department supports schools with new improvement webinar series

AUGUSTA – As educators look to better support student success following the release of the state’s new letter grades, the Maine Department of Education is offering a series of school improvement webinars.

The one-hour webinars begin this Thursday and are free for educators. Continue reading

Announcing our School Improvement Webinar Series

When we released the A-F report cards for the state’s schools as part of our new Maine School Performance Grading System, we wanted to engage educators and the public in a positive, productive conversation about how we can work together to improve our schools.

That conversation is well under way. Continue reading

Commissioner Bowen to visit Belfast school Thursday on Promising Practices Tour

BELFAST – Maine Department of Education Commissioner Stephen Bowen will visit Troy Howard Middle School in RSU 20 this Thursday to see student-centered education in action.

Continue reading