Maine DOE Updates – July 23, 2012

Maine DOE Updates, July 2012
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Welcome to the summer edition of Maine DOE Updates.

Around the Department, summer is no time to sit back and relax. Since our last Update, Education Commissioner Stephen Bowen has toured a number of schools to showcase the Department’s strategic plan, we’ve kicked-off an early college pilot program in Hermon, and the Maine Charter School Commission has approved three public charter schools – and it’s not even August yet.

PRESS RELEASES

Two more public charter schools OK’d

AUGUSTA – The Maine Charter School Commission voted to approve two more public charter schools. Members unanimously approved the Baxter Academy of Technology and Science to open in Portland in the fall of 2013, and reversed an earlier vote by approving the Cornville Regional Charter School to open this fall. | More

Harvard study shows Maine at the bottom in education achievement growth

AUGUSTA – Gov. Paul LePage said he is extremely concerned by 20 years of education efforts that have resulted in almost no gains in student achievement. His comments were in response to a report, “Achievement Growth: International and U.S. State Trends in Student Performance,” released by Harvard University. | More

FROM THE COMMISSIONER

Teachers as students

I had the chance to speak with future teachers at the University of Maine Wednesday. It was great to witness their passion for education and the student-centered direction the profession is moving in. By Stephen BowenMore

Five-year high school a reality at Hermon

Governor LePage and I had the opportunity to attend Hermon High School’s kick-off ceremony for the Bridge Year Program, a pilot project set to launch 15 students on the path toward associate’s degrees starting in July. By Stephen BowenMore

New teacher eval system means better education training

Administrators and teachers at Farwell Elementary School in Lewiston are using iPads to develop new educator evaluation rubrics, the first Teacher Incentive Fund school in Maine to do so. I had the chance to use the app to evaluate fifth grade teacher Danielle Bilodeau when I visited Farwell. By Stephen BowenMore

DISPATCHES

Virtual learning center a success for family literacy program

With the press of a button, members of more than a dozen families in RSU 3 can transport themselves to the halls of Mount View High School – the virtual halls, that is. Select families in 11 Waldo County towns can enroll in this virtual learning center, which opened in 2010 as part of the Students and Parents in Cooperative Education Family Literacy Program. | More

Priceless moments, both near and far

As an only child growing up surrounded by potato fields in beautiful Aroostook County, I dreamed of visiting faraway places. My mother subscribed to National Geographic, and PBS was one of the three channels that came in without adjusting the rabbit ears too much. These two resources fueled my imagination. By Alana Margeson  | More

Laura Richards School overcomes CIPS status, surpasses standards

Being identified as a Continuous Improvement Priority School in 2009 was devastating for staff at Laura E. Richards School in Gardiner. Now, after two years of hard work by Principal Karen Moody, her staff and the entire school community, students at Laura Richards have surpassed the targets in both math and reading. | More

Students start culinary program to better school lunch

VIDEO: Teachers at The REAL School, a public alternative and special education school in Falmouth, started an agriculture and culinary arts program this past year, utilizing adventure- and project-based service learning practices to enhance the school lunch program with locally grown produce. | More

More Dispatches