Seeking public feedback on education plan

AUGUSTA – The Maine Department of Education is inviting the public to weigh in one last time on its plan for creating a fairer and more constructive system for holding schools accountable and helping them improve.

The Department will submit a formal request for flexibility under the Elementary and Secondary Education Act to the U.S. Department of Education by Sept. 6.

The process, which has been underway since fall 2011, has included considerable public engagement, including a survey with more than 1,500 responses, several public forums, a public website and four working groups with stakeholder participation.

Forums are scheduled Aug. 20 online; Aug. 21 in Westbrook; and Aug. 23 in Brewer. The Department is also seeking feedback through an online survey and in an ongoing online discussion in which the Commissioner and other staff will participate.

The waiver application that Maine has drafted meets three broad principles set forth by the USDE. Maine’s proposal: implements college- and career-ready standards; identifies, recognizes and supports schools, holds them accountable for growth and provides customized support and interventions; and promotes effective teaching and school leadership.

To better understand the plan, read an overview on the Department’s Accountability & Improvement System webpage: www.maine.gov/doe/accountability. The Department invites feedback through a public survey that can be found on the same page.

Details for participation opportunities are as follows:

Online forum, Monday, Aug. 20, 6 to 7:30 p.m.
Participate online by going to www.maine.gov/doe/accountability. Click on “participate” and look for the online forum link.

Westbrook forum, Tuesday, Aug. 21, 6 to 7:30 p.m.
Public forum, Westbrook Middle School cafeteria
471 Stroudwater St., Westbrook

Brewer forum, Thursday, Aug. 23, 6 to 7:30 p.m.
Public forum, Brewer Community School cafeteria
92 Pendleton St., Brewer

Additional opportunities for feedback can also be found by going to the Department’s accountability page, www.maine.gov/doe/accountability and clicking on “participate”:

  • Offer feedback on the waiver request by taking the Maine DOE’s public survey.
  • Join a discussion on Maine’s ESEA Flexibility request in the Maine DOE Newsroom.