Maine residents join first forum online to discuss ESEA flexibility draft

A small group of Maine residents joined an online forum Monday night to provide Education Commissioner Stephen Bowen with feedback on the Department’s draft proposal for flexibility under the Elementary and Secondary Education Act.

The contents of the waiver application require public input, so the Department has created a final round of forums to hear feedback from the public before submitting the proposal on Sept. 6.

Below is a summary of the feedback participants offered:

  • The socio-economic home life of a child in his or her early years sets the stage for learning for life. How will students from low economic areas in Maine progress compared to more advantaged economic areas?
  • As hard as schools work to improve, some are still at a disadvantage compared to others. Where will the money come from for schools that are struggling to make progress?
  • The draft overview states that Maine is committed to reducing the percentage of students not proficient by half over the next six years. Why not a higher percentage?
  • Standardized tests seem pretty important in the grand scheme of things. But how can we measure students’ progress in multiple ways so that we can accurately determine the outcomes?

You can view a recording of the entire webinar online at:

The Commissioner will host two more forums this week, and the Department encourages school administrators, teachers, parents and anyone else interested in the future of education accountability in Maine to attend one of the following sessions:

  • 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

Learn more about Maine’s ESEA flexibility application.

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