Governor’s Education Conference to be aired on Maine Public Broadcasting Network’s Capitol Connection

Update: Part four of the conference will air Thursday, March 28, at noon. Dr. Tony Bennett’s keynote speech will air Friday, March 29, at noon, or immediately following legislative hearings.

The following is a news release from the Governor’s Office.

Coverage begins Monday; for air times, visit

AUGUSTA – Governor Paul R. LePage would like to thank the more than 200 people who attended the Governor’s Education Conference: Putting Students First on Friday.

For those who were unable to join the discussion, video will be available to view on Maine Public Broadcasting Network’s Capitol Connection channel beginning Monday, March 25.

The Maine Capitol Connection primarily provides public access to the political processes of the Maine State Legislature in Augusta. Its programming includes the daily work sessions of the State Senate and House in addition to committee hearings, press conferences, and special events.

On Friday, education policy leaders from around the country shared practices, models and innovative reforms with more than 200 legislators, business leaders, educators and others at Cony High School Friday at the Governor’s Conference on Education: Putting Students First.

Keynote speaker Dr. Tony Bennett, the recently elected commissioner of education in Florida, spoke about innovations he introduced when he was head of Indiana’s education department. Among those innovations were school performance grading,a focus on data-based teacher evaluation systems and teacher effectiveness.

Bennett followed three panel sessions. In the first, panelists advocated for giving students more pathways and choices in their pursuit of an education. They emphasized freedom in choosing schools; using virtual technology to augment classroom experience; and encouraging students to consider community college and post-secondary training in addition to the traditionally promoted four-year college.

The focus of the second session was on teacher effectiveness and quality, and the third concentrated on the intitatives that Florida has pursued to improve performance results, including rigorous academic standards, standardized measurement, data-based accountability and school choice.

Video from all sessions of the conference will also be available on the conference website in the coming days at Additionally, answers to questions submitted by audience members will be posted in the coming weeks on the Maine Department of Education website.


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