Commissioner’s Update – March 15, 2012

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It’s been a busy week in the Maine Legislature.

On Tuesday, the Legislature’s Education Committee heard the first of four pieces of education-related legislation proposed this winter by Gov. LePage: LD 1865, An Act to Enhance Career and Technical Education.

On Wednesday, the hearings continued when LD 1858, An Act to Ensure Effective Teaching and School Leadership, came before the Committee.

The last two hearings take place this afternoon, when LD 1854, An Act to Expand Educational Opportunities for Maine Students, and LD 1866, An Act to Remove Inequity in Student Access to Certain Schools, are up before the Committee.

Thanks to those of you who have turned out for these hearings to let the Education Committee know what you think about the bills and how you think they can be improved.

We’ve been doing our best to keep everybody informed as these bills have been printed and public hearings have been scheduled. We’ve made the bill text, public hearing schedule and Department testimony available on our website at

Speaking of our website, we launched a major overhaul of it yesterday afternoon, at The new website is not complete – in some cases you’ll find links from the new website to content that resides on the Maine DOE’s old website. But that will change gradually as the overhaul continues. Stay tuned, and let us know what you think by taking the survey at

— Stephen Bowen


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Please note: We generally provide notice of requirements only once. Please check the Reporting Calendar (link below) regularly for a list of ALL upcoming items.

Reporting Calendar


Governor’s education bills come up for hearings

The four pieces of education legislation proposed by Gov. Paul LePage have come up for public hearings this week before the Legislature’s Education Committee. | Bowen testifies for educator effectiveness bill | Commissioner Bowen’s testimony | Bill would increase access to career and technical education | Commissioner Bowen’s testimony

South Portland robotics team claims national honors

South Portland High School’s robotics team is headed to St. Louis in late April to compete in the national FIRST Robotics Championship after winning a regional robotics competition in Manchester, N.H., earlier this month. | More

Feedback opportunities coming for new science standards

Science teachers across Maine are becoming familiar with the document that’s serving as the basis for a new set of science standards that Maine is helping to develop. A first draft of the Next Generation Science Standards is expected to be out for review in the coming months, and Maine’s teachers are encouraged to offer their feedback. | More

Upcoming conferences focus on school-site wellness, sexuality education


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