Ed commissioner embarks on “listening tour”

Bowen seeking input from all nine superintendent regions in first 100 days

AUGUSTA – Education Commissioner Stephen Bowen announced he will visit schools, superintendents and parents in each of the state’s nine superintendent regions in the first 100 days he is on the job. He also announced the first three dates on this “Listening Tour.”

“I want to hear from educators in the field about the work they are doing, and about how the Department can best support them in that work, and from parents their thoughts about how we can make our schools better,” Bowen said. “People in the field know what they need. Most important, I want to hear about their ideas for making the Department better and making education in Maine better.

Each regional visit will include a meeting with superintendents, a visit to one or more schools, and a public forum in the evening. The school visits will vary by region, and include elementary, middle and high schools, and career and technical education schools. Bowen will use the visits to learn more about the use of technology in the classroom, implementing standards-based education, and efforts at improving student achievement.

Bowen said he will use the information to help in developing a long-term strategic plan for education in the state of Maine.

Details of the first three tour dates are as follows:

Tuesday, March 15, Western Maine
Bowen will meet with superintendents in the morning, then tour and eat lunch with teachers at the Greene Central School in Greene, and then visit Turner Primary School. Both schools have shown considerable improvement in overall student achievement. The evening forum will be held at Leavitt Area High School auditorium in Turner from 6-8 p.m.

Thursday, March 17, Penquis Region
Bowen will visit the United Technologies Center in Bangor from 8:30-10 a.m. to observe classrooms and speak with students. After meeting with superintendents, he will meet teachers during a lunch prepared and served by students at the technology center. The evening forum will be held from 6-8 p.m. at the UTC.

Monday, March 21, Hancock County
Bowen will meet superintendents over a working lunch at the Hancock County Technical Center in Ellsworth prepared and served by students. In the afternoon, he will spend time in classrooms at Sumner Memorial High School in Sullivan, one of six schools using federal School Improvement Grant funds to improve student achievement, and then meet with the principal and teachers after school. The evening forum will be held at the Ellsworth High School auditorium from 6-8 p.m.

Additional tour dates and locations will be announced soon.

Information and updates on the tour

For more information, visit the Maine Department of Education

David Connerty-Marin | Director of Communications | 207-624-6880 | David.Connerty-Marin@Maine.gov