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Common Core shines light on Santa

Common Core

 The Common Core should be treated by school districts as the draft of a guide for curriculum development rather than as a blueprint. During the next few years, as we try and implement the standards outlined in the draft, the need for revisions will become clear. Common Core standards for the early years of schooling, for […]

Will virtual charter school students have to meet Maine’s new proficiency-based graduation requirements?

The Maine Charter School Commission today approved Maine’s second virtual charter school. The virtual school will be managed by K12 Inc., only 27.7 percent of whose students  achieve adequate yearly progress by federal standards, and whose graduation rate is a mere 49.1 percent. Simultaneously,  Maine has been spending huge amounts of taxpayer money converting our traditional public schools to a […]

The Biggest Elephant in the Schoolhouse: Poverty

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Among wealthy reformers and others who have little experience with the reality of a classroom it has become sexy to blame teachers for the low test scores some students achieve in school. Teachers are apparently lazy, working for payday, uninspired, just needing a kick in the pants in order to produce better student testing outcomes. […]

University of Southern Maine Needs French

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On Friday at 1:00  p.m. the Board of Trustees of University of Southern Maine will meet in Sullivan Gymnasium to discuss eliminating programs in Applied Medical Science and French.  Meanwhile, Arne Duncan says, “It’s absolutely essential for the citizens of the United States to become fluent in other languages—and schools, colleges and universities must include producing bilingual […]

Back to Basics in Schools

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Improving student learning is the goal of schools, and Victoria Kornfield does a great job in today’s Bangor Daily News of sharing one clear way we can achieve our goal: make sure students have enough to eat. Other basic needs for children include adequate time playing outside, sleep, and positive relationships with adults. When children’s needs are […]

How can our education tax dollars best be spent ?

  The teacher is at the heart of a student’s learning experience at school. Research shows that excellent teachers impact the lives of students in many ways, from academic learning outcomes, to lifetime earning potential. It makes sense then to pay a lot of attention to what helps teachers do their best work. Speaking from […]

Governor LePage Should Go Back to School

Governor LePage should go back to school. If he did, he would learn that slinging provocative statements about without bothering to cite any evidence at all would earn him failing grades in our schools in Maine. We have higher standards than that. Seth Koenig, of the Bangor Daily News, reports LePage as having stated that […]

Bringing out the best in children

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As I was walking down Church Hill today the potential of our nation torpedoed toward and then past me in the form of a vigorous 8 year-old girl. Her feet pounded the pavement, her wide golden eyes locked with mine, and then she was gone. “Who knows?” I thought. “Maybe that girl will do humankind […]