Bowen lauds Ed Committee vote on teacher effectiveness

The Legislature’s Education Committee voted unanimously Wednesday afternoon in favor of LD 1858, a bill that would require schools to adopt teacher and principal evaluation systems.

“Of all the education bills this session, this one has the potential to positively impact education more than any other,” Bowen said. “The bill goes to the very heart of what we know has the greatest impact on learning: the effectiveness of teachers and school leaders. The best curriculum and learning materials in the world are of no use to us unless we have effective educators in our schools. Supporting great teaching and school leadership is what this bill is all about.”

The Education Committee has supported efforts to promote improved standards for students and now follows suit with clearer standards for teachers. The Maine Department of Education will work with many groups to develop guidelines and standards for evaluation systems, but the systems themselves will be developed or adopted at the local level.

“I appreciate the give and take with the Maine Education Association and legislators,” Bowen said. “It made this bill better by underscoring its true purpose – to improve the ways in which we prepare, support, and evaluate teachers.”

The committee approved LD 1865, which enhances career and technical education, by a 10-1 vote earlier this week. Both bills are part of Gov. Paul LePage’s education agenda and will likely go before the full Legislature in the next week or two.

Two more bills are part of the Administration’s agenda. One deals with public and private school choice options, the other with allowing funding for religious schools.  Those measures will be discussed by the committee on Thursday.

Information about all four bills, including links to the bill language and the commissioner’s testimony, can be found online at http://www.maine.gov/doe/first.

David Connerty-Marin | Maine Department of Education | 207-624-6880

One thought on “Bowen lauds Ed Committee vote on teacher effectiveness

  1. The commissioner is to be commended on pursuing this critical step in moving education forward in the state of Maine. This legislation provides clear, reasonable guidelines for the establishment of effective teacher and principal evaluation systems. The provision of flexibility under the guidelines and a multi-year timeline demonstrate the commissioners commitment to providing for the pragmatic issues of implementing this initiative. Further the commissioners readiness to recommend amendments to his own proposal to accommodate legitimate concerns with the initial bill demonstrate his commitment to improving education above any ideological purity. Congratulations to the commissioner on this major step forward.

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