Commissioner Jim Rier will travel to personally congratulate six of the 93 schools that improved by at least one letter grade since the first school report cards were released by his Department one year ago
MACHIAS – Maine’s Education Commissioner will kick-off a multi-day tour culminating with the release of the 2014 statewide school report cards with a visit on Monday to the Washington County elementary school where his own schooling started.
Commissioner Jim Rier will return to his native Machias on Monday to visit the Rose M. Gaffney School, the PK-8 school he and his three sons all attended.
The school is one of the six across the state he will visit during the week that has seen its grade improve by at least one letter since the first report cards were released a year ago under the new Maine School Performance Grading System.
A delegation from the Department headed by the Commissioner will also visit Narraguagus High School (RSU 37) in Harrington, Walker Memorial School (RSU 3) in Liberty, Cony (Augusta Public Schools), South Hiram Elementary School (RSU 55) and Narragansett Elementary School (Gorham Public Schools).
Commissioner Rier notes that school improvement is an intensive multi-year process and the Department does not attribute grade increases or drops directly to its one-year-old grading system, but says he wants to learn what these schools are doing to inspire students and raise achievement levels.
In addition to visiting classrooms and meeting with teacher and school leaders, he and members of the Department’s Leadership Team will present schools their improved report cards and in some cases, certificates of high achievement.
While the Commissioner could not travel next week to personally congratulate all of the 93 Maine schools that have shown letter grade improvements through the grading system over the past year, he does intend to continue visiting improving schools as time allows through the end of the school year.
The Maine School Performance Grading System was launched last year by the LePage Administration and born from the belief that when parents and the public are informed and involved in schools, students benefit. Using a familiar A-F scale, the report cards bring transparency to existing performance data and provide the first accountability system in the state that includes all schools and all students.
The 2014 school report cards are scheduled to be released to the public on Thursday, May 15 with Maine schools receiving them two days prior.
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