Participants join online ESEA flexibility forum

A small, but engaged group of Maine residents signed into an online conference room on Dec. 13 to discuss Elementary and Secondary Education Act flexibility with Education Commissioner Stephen Bowen and share their ideas.

Below is a summary of the feedback they offered:

  • No Child Left Behind (NCLB) is tied in to the receipt of federal funds. Would Maine be obligated to comply with NCLB requirements if it declined to accept those federal funds?
  • Maine has many students who move from district to district during the school year, and are left behind when they begin school in a new setting. They pose a challenge for teachers; that challenge is reflected in school-wide measures of success and accountability. This is a good reason for a statewide core curriculum.
  • How has pay-for-performance figured into the discussion about ESEA flexibility? Has Maine culled ideas from Race to the Top plans regarding pay-for-performance?
  • Maine’s Career and Technical Education programs are strong, and should be figured into the ESEA flexibility request. The comprehensive school model, where students transfer seamlessly between conventional and CTE classes, is especially good.
  • Encouragement to go ahead with the flexibility request. How can ESEA flexibility request advance attempt to spread customized learning?
  • Is there any way to tie existing teaching standards and accountability structure into the certification process?
  • Hesitation to endorse additional testing, but if student learning is to be measured, we need to compare “apples to apples.” This means student growth throughout the school year, fall to spring, not comparing this year’s third-grade students to last year’s.
  • Could scholarship on the part of a teacher be an indicator of effective teaching? If a teacher has an idea about teaching math, geography, etc., publish an article and influence other teachers, that’s probably an indicator of good teaching.
  • Students and families with limited English proficiency need a meaningful way to share their opinions in this process.

Have your say

  • Visit Maine DOE’s ESEA Flexibility Web Page. Stay on top of developments as Maine DOE crafts the state’s request to the federal government for ESEA flexibility. Learn about opportunities to offer your input.
  • Take the Survey. This 10-question survey asks for your thoughts on measuring school and teacher effectiveness, rewarding school success and helping schools improve. Survey closes Dec. 23 at 5 p.m.
  • Join the Discussion. Visit the Maine DOE Newsroom to share your thoughts in an ongoing online discussion about a new accountability and recognition system for the state’s schools.
  • Stay Informed. Receive the weekly Commissioner’s Update from the Department of Education to stay on top of news on ESEA flexibility and other topics in Maine education.

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