Commissioner’s Update – Sept. 29, 2011

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We’ve had a flurry of activity here at the Department of Education ever since the Obama administration last week released guidelines for states interested in securing waivers from certain provisions of the federal No Child Left Behind law.

For nearly 10 years, that federal law has trapped Maine’s schools in a system that emphasizes test preparation at the expense of genuine learning, test results at the expense of more honest measures of students’ academic growth, and instruction in math and reading at the expense of the broader curriculum our students need to develop the skills colleges and employers will demand.

That’s why this news about relief from No Child Left Behind is promising.

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— Stephen Bowen



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NEWS & VIEWS

Welcome news and a special opportunity

For nearly 10 years, Maine’s schools have been trapped by an unfair and unrealistic system of accountability. We can change that with a waiver from the No Child Left Behind law. By Stephen Bowen‘From the Commissioner’ blog entry | Press statement on No Child Left Behind flexibility

Video: Sidney school opens a new year

The students at James H. Bean Elementary School in Sidney spent the first weeks of the 2011-12 school year setting their priorities and ground rules for learning — and for having fun as they do it. | More

Maine schools recognized for fostering healthy learning environments

AUGUSTA — Some 17 schools in the Portland area have received HealthierUS School Challenge awards for raising the bar when it comes to wholesome nutrition and frequent physical activity. | More

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