Maine DOE Updates – Feb. 27, 2012

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Welcome to the February edition of Maine DOE Updates.

Plans are moving ahead here at the Maine DOE to start the work of developing a state accountability and improvement system for our schools that’s thoughtful, fair and constructive.

In doing so, we’re acting on what we’ve heard from you: Students, parents, teachers and administrators want to get out from under the stranglehold of the decade-old No Child Left Behind law. They want a system that considers multiple valid measures in determining the performance of students and schools, and a system that helps struggling schools improve rather than feel stigmatized.

You can keep up to date with the process and get involved. See our accountability and improvement web page for details.

FROM THE COMMISSIONER

Starting the serious work of crafting a new accountability system

We’ve heard loud and clear that students, teachers, administrators and families want an accountability and improvement system that’s thoughtful, fair and constructive. That’s why, with your help, we’re starting the serious work of designing an accountability and improvement system that works for Maine. By Stephen BowenMore

Moving to a learner-centered system

Maine’s legislature is preparing to make important decisions about our move to an education system that’s designed around the needs of the learner and responsive to the ways individual students learn best. By Stephen BowenMore

DISPATCHES

Brunswick school facilities director Paul Caron stands by an element of the Harriet Beecher Stowe Elementary School's geothermal heating system.Oil prices on roller coaster, Maine schools shift to alternative heat

The state’s newest schools have turned to wood chip boilers, geothermal systems and other alternative heating sources in recent years to reduce energy costs and direct more resources to the classroom. By Nathan Marcus | More

Chart explaining why school buses are the safest way to get to school.The safest way to get to school? The yellow bus

It’s hard to dispute one transportation reality: The statistics prove that the yellow school bus is the safest way to transport children to and from school each day so they arrive ready to learn.  | More

Head shot of Shelly MoodyA year spent growing, learning: 2011 as Maine’s Teacher of the Year

As Maine’s 2011 Teacher of the Year, I was given the amazing opportunity to travel and connect with teachers from around the country and the dedicated, passionate, and innovative teachers who work right here in Maine. By Shelly Moody | More

February is CTE month

February is the month to celebrate the successes of the Career and Technical Education programs that prepare Maine’s students for success in college and careers in high-demand fields that are critical to the state’s economic future. | More

PRESS RELEASES

Charter school commission to hold public input sessions

AUGUSTA – The newly formed Maine State Charter School Commission will hit the road in early March to hear from the public about educational needs in each Maine region that could be addressed by a charter school. | More

Maine DOE makes plans for improved accountability

AUGUSTA — The education commissioners in Maine and New Hampshire sent a joint letter to Washington, D.C., that outlines their plans to craft a thoughtful, fair and constructive system for holding their schools accountable and helping them improve. The letter lays out the two states’ intentions to get out from under the unfair and unrealistic No Child Left Behind accountability system. | More

Gov. LePage, Commissioner Bowen announce new education initiatives

AUGUSTA – Governor Paul LePage unveiled his education legislative agenda in early February, describing four pieces of legislation that advance the work of designing an education system around student needs. | More

Student artists celebrated on 2012-13 laptop screensaver

AUGUSTA – Twenty student artists will have an audience of more than 72,000 students and teachers for their artwork starting this fall. The 20 students from across Maine have won the honor to have their artwork included in the Maine Learning Technology Initiative laptop screensaver for the 2012-13 school year. | More | Student videographers show the impact of the arts