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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 […]

Half-baked Common Core

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Some believe the Common Core will help improve education in this country; others do not.  Elizabeth Green, in Why Do Americans Stink at Math? falls into the latter category, and so do I. Even if we could agree that the standards of the Common Core were developmentally appropriate, worthy of implementation, and sensible in every way, it […]

Standardized testing can impoverish children’s education

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The testing culture that drives current educational decision-making in our schools impoverishes children in many ways. One of the external forces interfering with student learning is time stolen from teaching.  A middle school colleague in Maine recently told me she literally lost five weeks of instructional time each year to standardized testing. In a system where […]

Spend education money more wisely for better results

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Amidst all the fuss about (and money spent on) the Common Core, Mass-Customized Learning, proficiency-based education, and the collection and use of data  we must not forget that the quality of human experiences in a school is what ultimately determines the learning outcomes of the students. If the adults in a school don’t feel satisfied professionally, then the students won’t thrive. We can […]