Commissioner’s Update – April 5, 2012

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If there’s one undisputed truth in education, it’s that the effectiveness of teachers and educational leaders is the most important school-based factor in influencing student success.

That’s why Gov. LePage this winter introduced legislation aimed at ensuring that all students are taught by effective teachers who have access to high-quality and constructive performance evaluations that help them grow as professionals. It’s also why our strategic plan released a few months ago devotes substantial attention to ensuring great teachers and leaders.

As part of that effort to ensure great school leadership, the Department of Education is sponsoring a weeklong leadership institute this summer at Sugarloaf. Rarely in Maine do current and aspiring school leaders have the chance to receive training not in day-to-day operations, but in the leadership skills necessary to leading a school through significant improvement.

The leadership institute from July 9-13, called “Building Capacity for Transformational Leadership,” will offer district teams a chance to hear from guest speakers with valuable insights, an opportunity to learn from other Maine educators about what has worked and what hasn’t in undertaking improvement efforts, and time to work with colleagues to start piecing together plans for implementing district-level improvements.

I hope to see many of you there.

— Stephen Bowen



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NEWS & VIEWS

Portland students to Maine peers: Plan a service project

The students at Portland’s Lincoln Middle School are challenging their peers from across the state to make a difference in their communities by participating in Global Youth Service Day later this month. | More

CTE instructors contribute to national career readiness tests

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Draft of new science standards expected this month

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Teachers work together in a science lab.Aroostook teachers make classrooms inquiry-based

Science and agricultural science teachers from Aroostook County worked on making their classrooms inquiry-based at a training recently. Inquiry-based learning allows students to take charge of their learning through experimentation, rather than through the traditional delivery of required content. | More | Conference on writing, Common Core standards draws strong interest

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