December 16, 2017
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Comments for: LePage wants educators to step up work, make gains in student achievement

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  • Anonymous

    LePage, like most Republicans, has sparse if any praise for teachers, and treats them as if they were broken machines that need to be rendered more efficient, usually by cutting  jobs, upping class size, and forcing them to take more tests and suffer more evaluations, observations, and analyses. 

    The result is the GOP trying its best to destroy public education and turn it over to the wealthy monopoly players, who see the schools as one more card to add to their stack–and they get to charge everybody rent.

    • Anonymous

      Now this is a lame, kvetching comment. It would be interesting to hear a progressive, helpful comment that might actually help. After all, it is an election year and hate politics is very passe. imp1, above, has made some suggestions that might actually move the ball forward.

      • Anonymous

        I’m sorry that the truth hurts. 

        The answer is pretty simple:  stop wasting money on stupid wars and put that money into education– instead of taking money out of education, doubling class size, eliminating ed techs, penalizing teachers, calling them inefficient, hurting their morale, and so on.

        Republicans don’t want educated citizens, anyway.  Educated citizens tend to realize that global warming is human caused, that evolution should not be taught next to Christian creationism, that birthers are ridiculous, that “death panel” accusations are pathetic, and so on.

        Education is the GOP’s worst enemy.

        • Why “DO” we need better student achievement ?

          Lepage “IS” the answer to that question!

          When a fool like this can become Governor , critical thinking skills of the Electorate surely need improvment!

          • Anonymous

            wow ! how correct you are ! The # 1 perfect answer.

        • Anonymous

          Maine put more money into education than the national average since 1992.  During this time period, the test scores dropped from about 3rd to 13th in the nation.  That means that the other states caught up and passed Maine.  It is one day, as the MEA spokesman said, but that is one day for the other states, also.  It is one day every time they take the test.  If you have ever sat through a school budget hearing, you could be aware that the majority of the money spent on ‘education’ does not go to the classroom.  

          If you want to draw a conclusion from this, the numbers show that MORE money has resulted in POORER test scores.  By increasing education spending more than the national average, Maine succeeded in lowering the achievement of its students.  The solution is clear:  logically, we should reduce spending.  

          • dadoje

            Maine is still scoring above average in testing. When your belwo average you can improve more then if your above average.

        • Anonymous

           It’s also the worst enemy of organized religion.In every case,the smarter a country has become,religion has fallen away.

          • Anonymous

            Amen!

        •  The Texas GOP put into their platform that they did not want students learning critical thinking skills.

      • StillRelaxin

        Folks, it’s not about programs, teachers, administrators, unions, low pay, high pay, pensions, continuing contracts etc. etc. etc.  It’s about us and the society we’ve developed. In our new society it’s always someone else’s fault. Everything mentioned by me and others here is important but the real answer to the problem is simple and cost nothing. It’s us. We need to actively raise responsible, respectful, and ambitious children. In that vain we are failing. Don’t believe me? Go substitute in a school for a few weeks. Politicians who say they have the answer are only scamming us because they know most of us don’t want and won’t take responsibility for this failure.

        Lastly, we just spent a year of listening to the many very ODD comments and positions of Paul LePage. After all that if you still believe he or anyone connected to him has anything positive to add to a discussion of how best to raise student test scores then you might as well just skip H.S. and or college and send all your kids directly to Wal-Mart or Marden’s. Thanks to Paul’s weakening of child labor laws they can now start there sooner than ever.

        • Anonymous

          You are right.  The crux of the whole issue might just be that it takes responsible, respectful and ambitious parents to prepare their kids for responsible, respectful, ambitious lives. Despite all our talk, those three seminal virtues particularly the second one are all too often lacking as we stumble along, distracted, fragmented and entertained.  Add to it the need for a healthy respect for the hard work involved in intellectual development and we’ve got our hands full. I hope we can get squared away in this regard, but I don’t know if we’re up to it.

    • Anonymous

      Without discussing it with them, Mr. LePage cut teacher pensions and insurance benefits so he could lower top bracket taxes .  And now he wants teachers to do what he says?

      Ya.  Sure.

      • mdenis46

         I had in effect a contract with the state on my health insurance.  He and the Legislature unilaterally broke that contract.  And the way health costs are going up, I’ll be forced back to work by the time I’m 75 just to put food on the table.  Meanwhile, millionaires in Maine get a nice tax break — “to create jobs.”  Yeah.  Where?

        • Anonymous

          China, Mexico, Phillipines, Vietnam…etc.

    • Anonymous

       Don’t forget the charter school “choice”scam where conservatives who are too cheap to use church schools are trying to jam God,creationism and conservatism down our students and the taxpayers throats,all while hating science and facts.It’s destroyed TX education.ME could be next.Parents need to be vigilant.Support Freedom From Religion Foundation (ffrf.org)

      • Anonymous

        Interesting link…a balance, reasoned analysis by some “freethinkers?”

      • Anonymous

        you nailed it ! Thanks

    • Anonymous

      Based on how our public education system is performing, why wouldn’t we want to change it?  In the real world, “the only constant in life, is change”.  So, if you’re sitting back on whatever laurels you think you might have achieved, everyone else is running past you!

    • Anonymous

       Thank you Spruce.  You are fighting a principled fight.  This is the most important thing in the world, bar none. We are up against well funded opponents who do not care about our children’s futures and you bring that reality to us where the storyline usually does not.  Like you, I understand the importance and stand with you to fight this battle.  We must win.  If we fail the consequences are …. unthinkable.

      • Anonymous

        Thank you.  You’re so right.

  • Anonymous

    Well good for him .    The lack of gain in fourth grade students is a clear indication that we do not have strong readers and that needs to be addressed quickly.   Get out there and find the programs that work in the states with the highest scores, make sure there is a strong phonic component and implement quickly.    Get going on finding competency based programs in math so that students can progress at their own rate without missing any important steps to understanding.  They will be great at math and will feel competent if you do this.   He is right, there is no time to waste.   This does not require sitting around thinking about it.    We have failed miserably in many areas of the state and it is time to stop passing the buck.   

    •  I’m not sure we’d be willing to pay for  new programs at the current time.

    • dadoje

      Problem is that teachers have to teach kids to recognize words instead of sounding them out like we did. If it’s a word the kids didn’t learn by recognition they can’t figure it out.

      •  Kids are taught to use their knowledge of letter sounds.  But, since the English language is so full of irregularities, kids need other ways to get through unknown words.

  • Anonymous

    Want grades to increase? Hire more teachers, start more afterschool tutoring programs. You can’t expect to be the best in the nation while asking for cuts to education.

    • dporter8462

      Not only that, but stop concentrating so much of these funds on the lowest demographic of students. Has anyone checked to see what the comparison is between ‘at risk’ students and gifted and talented students. We are investing a fortune to help so many kids just keep sight of the standard and totally ignoring those that could excel given the opportunity.

      • Anonymous

         You’ll probably get killed for that but you are 100% right.My friend  has two girls who are bright,have very good grades/test scores and are active in their community-kids anyone would be proud of.She is having trouble getting $$ for them as every other parent is chasing the same shrinking $$ pool.

        • dporter8462

          I had three ‘gifted and talented’ kids (due to my good judgement in selecting a mom). The schools program consisted of ‘when the kids finish their normal work they can ask for more to do on their own time’. Yes, I can see my (or anyone’s) kids voluntarily staying after school to do more school work. Somehow I do not think my second grader had Harvard in his sights.
          So my kids coast through five grades. Homework was done while the teacher was repeating the instructions to the kids who weren’t doing as well. When they got to the fifth and sixth grade they had no study or homework skills. Yes, I dropped the ball with that. But the school also contributed to my kids not living to potential. If the gifted and talented program had just a fraction of the money spent on the lower level kids, it would have made all the world of difference to my kids.

          • Anonymous

             Tough call there.It sounds like you did the best you could with what you had to work with-and hindsight is always 20/20.I would love to see more $$ put into G&T programs but the sinkhole that is school funding will not easily be closed.People like Palin get all the $$ and airtime and could care less about kids who can make a difference.Good luck.

      • dadoje

        So your saying these at risk students don’t deserve the extra help to succeed. Most children that are excelling will do fine but some of these at risk students will not make it if not given the extra help. What do you suggest is done with at risk students?

        • Anonymous

          We shouldn’t use all of our resources for a single special group.

          • Anonymous

            Not all resources, no, but I disagree with throwing those that struggle to the curb.  Helping these students is what will turn the curve upward and keep some of these kids out of Police Beat later on.  Encourage students that aspire to be teachers to help tutor these kids, for extra credit, and require university teaching majors to work with struggling students as well, as part of their course study.  Work with school guidance counselors to identify and help those that need it most.  It is not a child’s fault, after all, that they were born to inadequate parents.  

          • dporter8462

            No. Helping these kids is very important and might keep them from a shady lifestyle. But helping them will not show Maine making improvements in test scores. Those improvements will only be made by those who excel. If the majority of states have fifth graders that can read at a sixth, seventh or higher level and Maine continues to have none then we will allows lag in comparison.

        • dporter8462

          No, of course I do not suggest abandoning the at risk students. But I do not think hiring one on one teachers for them and allotting solitary classrooms is not neccesarily a good  investment either. Get them the help they need. And then if they cannot meet the standard, make them repeat the grade. No one stays back anymore, it is bad for self esteem or some pc crap.
          One inaccurate statement is yours about excelling students doing fine. The exceptional students are sitting in classrooms cooling their heels while the attention is given to the slower kids. I see it ever year. I do not see one dollar or one minute spent to challenge those that are meeting the standard.
          If you want to show improvement in Maine scores then it will be accomplished by those exceptional students, not those we are simply pushing through the system.

    • Anonymous

       Perhaps that is the case, but we have double the number of employees in the public education system  than there we 40 years ago with an increase in kids that is about half that. But they aren’t doing as well. The additions would have to be rifle shot fixes. of

      • Anonymous

        If you look at all the mandates that have been put in place over the years, at both the state and federal level, (ie) no child left behind, Maine learning results etc. that are unfunded.  The schools have to have more administration just to keep up which takes away from education.  If the state and federal government are going to require these mandates then they need to be funded. Education does need to evolve as times change, but everyone needs to have input from educators, administrators, to parents and politicians and even the students themselves, because in the long run they win or lose based on what we decide.  Education needs to be looked at as an investment in our future because that’s what it truly is.  I’ve had 3 children go through the schools here in the last 20+ years, and in that time the educational system has progressively gotten worse, not better.  I’ve heard people complaining at town meetings about why we have to have so many teachers.  Simple answer as the children get older, the classes they take become more complex and require more specialization by teachers.  You want the people who teach your children to be the best.  Like it or not we are a village and the village is responsible for our kids.  Just because someone no longer has a child in the school system makes them no less responsible for the education of our children.  Parents, grandparents, teachers, friends and neighbors all play a role or at least they should in forming our children into the best individuals we can make them. 

    • dadoje

      Don’t forget getting parents involved in getting their children ready for schools. You can’t take a child that is 5 years old that has never been read to, taking outside with a parent and see what nature has to offer, take away the televison babysitters, and expect him to be interested  in learning anything. A childs foundation for learning begins at birth with responsible parents. Read to an infant and show pictures starting at birth and continue, find time to play.

  • Anonymous

    Everyone needs to step up — that includes the parents and the students themselves. 

  • Anonymous

    Within my continual stream on educational issues is the adamant observation that insuffcient reading skills manifest through the entire process as undigested assignments, incomplete homeworks, and a general inability to remain on task. From the conclusion of 3rd grade, students in ALL grades who test two or more years belown expected reading levels should not be permitted to proceed to the next grade without participating in a mandatory six week summer reading remediation program that will help bridge the gap. Pushing them forward simply ensures an inability to compete on an equal footing. Political pundits who scream about social niceties, peer judgements, or self image are not part of the educational solution, but are a large part of the problem. You have to teach in a high school to even begin  realizing how much time intended for the expenditure of knowledge, exploration of concepts, and forays into more advanced academics are sacrificed to enhance or even teach the most basic tenets of reading that should have been addressed at much lover levels of the process. Ken

    • Anonymous

      Of course the teachers need to be accountable for doing a good job and I think for the most part they are, however, on paper, if they give real consequences to students who aren’t doing the work, the teachers tend to get the blame. That’s wrong. 

      • Anonymous

        I agree with Ken and wolfndeer.  Education starts at home.  To parents:  care about what your children do, ask them about their day, look at the work they are doing.  MAKE them do their homework.  When you see Fs on the 1st quarter report card, no longer assume because little Johnny tells you he has no homework, that he is telling the truth.  If your child lies to you, YOU have a problem with your kid…..talk to teachers, check the grades online.

        Oh, and one final thing……MAKE YOUR KID GO TO SCHOOL.  Too many parents allow (or want) their child to stay home 20, 40, 50 days or more.  If the kid isn’t in school, the teacher cannot teach them.

        • Anonymous

          Oh my God you hit the nail on the head, well said, so, so, so so, TRUE!!!!!!

        • Anonymous

          I kind of like these lame duck parents, it’ll make it easier on me to have my kids look exceptional by simply giving two snotz about their education.

      • mdenis46

        One year, I had a particularly lazy group of 7th graders, who were spoon-fed in 6th grade.  First quarter, there were a number of “F” grades because they had never had homework, could re-take tests, etc.  By 2nd quarter, they straightened up and got used to standards.  However, I caught hell from the administration because I had too many “F” grades.  No one bothered to look at how many “A” and “B” grades I had.  The next year I had 7th graders, same problem.  But this time I “gave” all the “F” grades a “D-“.  Result, they still straightened up by 2nd quarter, and the administration got off my case.

  • Anonymous

    Not all must be bad if Maine is 13th in achievement in 50 states.  Someone needs to stuff something in that putrid pie hold of the Governor to keep his negative, destructive, divisiveness and baseless attacks on teachers from positive recognition of what is working in Maine’s educational system and finding a way to spread that success to all Maine school districts.  Please governor enough is enough! Save you insults and senseless attacks  for your return to Mardens. You are a constant embarrassment to us throughout our nation and a constant reminder of how absentee balloting can go wrong.

    • Anonymous

      We used to be third.   

  • Anonymous

    Then he should
    pay them more, he gets more pay then teachers do, and he doesn’t help anyone!!!

  • Anonymous

    He should spend a week in a classroom and see just how hard it is these days to teach children!!!

    • Anonymous

      That would require being open minded though :S

    • He should step into Mitt Romneys Time Machine and go back and look at HIS sorry Arse when he was 12 beating up on little kids for their Candy in the school yard and get a look at the dysfunction that teachers have to put up with!

      • Anonymous

        Many thanks to the national Party for giving us yet another beauty.

        The RNC: Obama’s Secret Weapon

  • 13th highest achieving state for education+46th worst paid teachers=bang for your buck.

    • Anonymous

      We pay more than the national average per student.  If you are correct that we are 46th in worst paid teachers, where is that money going?  I believe that the classroom is where the money belongs, but that is not where ‘education’ dollars have been going.  Look at your school budget.  

      • Anonymous

         Special ed.A lot of that is mandated and open ended(a mistake)but look  at the cottage industry of mainstreaming,ed techs,psychologists,kids on Ritalin,etc.The list goes on and costs us all.Anybody remember this number being as high even a decade or two ago?

      • …and we are better than average in educational achievement.  Not sure what your beef is.  We spend a tremendous amount on technology, which makes us the envy of some of the top states for achievement in the country.  Don’t believe me?  Spend a week with some of the best teachers in Maryland at an AP preparation conference.  I did, and I told about our technological advantages, and they were amazed.  Y’all don’t know how lucky we are and just how well we are doing all things considered.  

  • Giselle Davisson

    “But what [the report] doesn’t mention is that we’re still 13th out of
    the 50 states” in achievement.” 

    It’s much easier to show growth when ranked low, which Maine certainly was not and IS not to this day.  “Almost no gains” means still in the top 75%!  This after a decade lackluster leadership from Augusta, from both sides of the aisle.  I’ll take it and challenge Gov. LePage to put some money where his mouth is.  Support our students and teachers!

  • Anonymous

    Maybe re-instill some disapline in the classroom that will in turn result in students paying attention.
    Maybe teachers should not be scared that if they look at some spoiled brat crosswise they won’t end up down in the office facing some deranged parent who’s kid would never do anything wrong and the teacher is ruining thier self esteem? They are not bored, thier lazy.

    • Anonymous

      Amen

    • Anonymous

      discipline is easier to achieve when the parents are supportive,  all too often the parents go in with the attitude of What, NOT my child, they wouldn’t do that.  Until you get parents on board, discipline in the schools will alway be an issue

    • mdenis46

      I was once called into the office and yelled at, because I had told a student he was not working up to his potential.  He told his mother, mother called the principal, and the principal ripped me a new one.  Please tell me that administrative support exists somewhere…I didn’t see much of it much of the time — they were too busy mollycoddling parents.

      • Many Years ago, I reported to a Principal that a student pulled a joint out of his pocket in front of the librarian in school. He told me not to do anything ,he would “Take Care” of it! He did nothing!

        He now is a Superitendant!

        • Anonymous

           Was he a football player?They get away with EVERYTHING!

      • Anonymous

        My brother misbehaved and was suspended.My father,all 6’6″ and 300 pounds of him,APOLOGIZED to the teacher and principal,as did my brother.Then his butt got warmed and allowance removed as my father didn’t get paid for missing work.No more suspensions!

  • Anonymous

    Look what happens when you take prayer out school.

    • Anonymous

      Someone hit the nail again, well said!!!!!

      •  Not correct- kids taking tests pray all the time.

    • mdenis46

      Assume you’re correct.  Would putting prayer back create supportive parents?  Hard-working students?  Supportive administration?  Model discipline?

    • Anonymous

      Oh please.  Read the first amendment and keep your mythology to yourself.  That has NOTHING to do with education nor student achievement.  What utter foolishness.

    • Anonymous

      they didn’t. Kids can still pray. 

    • Anonymous

      Wasn’t it in the 1960’s when the supreme court ruled the prayer in school was unconstitutional?  And in 1992 Maine was 3rd in our test scores, so something doesn’t quite add up there, but what would I know I went to school in Maine.  

      Maybe we should instead blame Barney the purple dinosaur who came out in 1992, coincidence…or maybe not!  Ridiculous.

      • Anonymous

        Don’t celebrate birthdays do ya.

    • Anonymous

       Our kids would do much better if they spent a few minutes each day closing their eyes and making pretend contact to an imaginary friend in the sky.  That will solve all of our problems in fact.

      Great thought.

  • Anonymous

    I wish the Gov would stop doing things like this.  It riles the liberals and causes them to post senseless statements on the comments site. 

    • Anonymous

      another unbiased opinion gheeeesh

    • Anonymous

      Speaking of senseless …

    • Anonymous

      It is the TeaRadical right wingers who think that goofballs like the drug addict college dropout Rush Limpmind and job quitter Failin’ Pailin actually have anything intelligent to say are the ones who post the truly baseless and senseless statements on this site.

  • Gary Libby

    The world is changing very fast- and we’re primarily still using a 19th century model that was meant for manufacturing and agricultural needs.  Other countries have recognized that just cramming facts into a kid’s head isn’t preparing him(her) for a good paying job in today’s economy.  Finland is currently the model that everyone is pointing at.  To teach in Finland, you must have a masters degree-there is also a strong mentoring program.  The teaching profession is also treated with respect, so it is a desirable profession to enter.  Children are not taught a formal reading program until 7 years old.  Class activities are focused on brain development.  Finnish students score well on the international test because they are nurtured to be problem solvers who are  able to think on their feet and work cooperatively, using technology as a tool. And- you Republicans will love this- as the Finns understand the importance of learning and socialization from birth to entering school- CHILDCARE IS FULLY SUBSIDIZED BY THE GOVERNMENT.

    • Anonymous

      They also have a much smaller and more homegeneous population there, their teachers are not in endless meetings and cafeteria duty, they have a longer school year, and parents make their kids work hard.

      •  Finland is also dealing with immigration issues like many other Western European nations.  They do have a longer school year.

        • At last, someone who actually think’s about education as a whole and what’s needed, as a whole, to get thing’s moving. Be careful Gary, you might jst be looked at for Bowen’s replacement (and that can’t happen too soon !)

          •  Don’t think the Gov. and I would work well together either at Marden’s or the Dept. of Education.

      • Anonymous

         Look at the Asian countries where students are expected to work hard and put school first.They’re eating our lunch as we fall further behind in the STEM disciplines.Dan Rather did a great show on the Finnish system.
        To another point,we are stuck in the 19th century agrarian system.What if school was March to October.Think of the heating savings and transportation issues(winter driving)
        Yes a big change,but worth looking at.

  • Anonymous

    News headline edit:   Educators want LePage to step up work and make gains in Governing!!
    (we can dream can’t we?)

  • Anonymous

    Contrary to the finding that only a quarter of the low rates of gain were due to better than average performance, that does not seem to apply to Maine.  Our rate of improvement has stagnated because we were so close to the goal to begin with.  And remember, many of the NCLB goals are unrealistic, “perfection” will never be attained.  ECLB.

  • Anonymous

    Now if LePage and the R’s in the legislature would step up and get to work …

  • Anonymous

    LeBUFFOON has no credibility in telling anyone to step up to do anything.  He needs to step up to shut his big arrogant ignorant rude nasty mouth.  He is a disgrace to this state that hasn’t spent one single second in a classroom teaching kids day in and day out and couldn’t do the job himself if his life depended on it.  He is completely ignorant.  Go away LeBUFFOON.  You have destroyed your own credibility time and time again.  You set a ROTTEN example for this state, and you have no business lecturing or second guessing anyone or anything.

  • Anonymous

    Didn’t Lepage cut the funds to head start?
    Yet I am supposed to believe he cares about Maine children’s education?
    This is just yet another attack on Maine teachers.
    Has there been a group of Maine’s citizens he hasn’t attacked ?

    • Anonymous

       Yes-the old and wealthy who have already gotten every tax break known to man that they don’t need

      • Anonymous

        I hope you meant the old who are wealthy. Continuing attacks on teacher(mostly because they are unionized) will do nothing to solve the problem, neither will school choice> A education commissioner who spent less time in the classroom than I did on duties isn’t the answer. You can’t beat a dog and expect him do more with less. There are 37 states that would love to be where we are. He needs to show where each state started from so he can make a true comparison.
        Cur Head Start one of the best educational programs for underprivileged children and expect them to do better. He spent to much time  the corner I think.

        • Anonymous

           I did mean the old wealthy who are busily  bleeding the system for every nickel.I want there to be many more well paid teachers.

  • Anonymous

    This is the pot calling the kettle black what is really needed is evaluation forms for the lawmakers and gov. instead of muddying the waters to make people look the other way

  • jimbobhol

    Social  Decay the road to Serfdom. It’s coming folks.

  • Anonymous

    LePage doesn’t have a clue.  On Educating a child you can not put all the responsibility on the teachers.   Parents have to be equally involved. 

    • Anonymous

      Unfortunately, good parenting cannot be regulated – it is a reality that needs to be considered as part of the challenge of the education system.  While what you say is definitely so, there seems to be no way the MEA can improve that aspect of students’ education.  How about requiring college education majors to have a “lab” that included working with struggling students for a semester or year?  It would be a lesson for both.  Our tax money goes to support the university of Maine, too, after all.  

  • Anonymous

    In Belfast they have something called a ‘super senior’ which is a kid who has taken 5 years or more to complete high school because they have failed a year or two…….REALLY??  In my day it was called get out and quit wasting our time and yours and go get your GED.

    • dadoje

      Some of those that waste your time may need the extra time. Some have learning disabilities and some kids just take longer to learn. Another words throw them on the streets.

      • Anonymous

        Those are not the population of kids to which I am referring.  I am talking about able bodied teenagers who can’t be bothered to do the required work.  Case in point:  I have a friend whose son is bright but refuses to do the work for whatever reason.  He just managed to flunk his sophomore year at Belfast so he will be repeating it again….he’s gone to summer school every summer since his freshman year…they told my friend back in February that he was going to flunk the year because he had done pretty much nothing the previous Sept- Dec…..so now he will get to be a ‘super senior’  I highly doubt this kid will graduate at all- he’s more than capable but clearly lacks the discipline to do what is required.  THAT is the population I am referring to.

        • dadoje

          I understasnd what your saying. Unfortunately some kids can not be motivated no matter what.

  • In a nutshell, Governor LePage thinks that school choice, including virtual schools, a tougher evaluation system for teachers, and college courses for high school students will help, but no more money, maybe even less.

    As far as I know, most high school students can take college courses now if they want to.  I would imagine most Maine high schools are working out arrangements with colleges, which may not be nearby, to have that happen.  I think every high school in my area of the state does.

    What is the outcome of a tougher evaluation system?  Differential pay?  Local school boards negotiate with teachers to set pay.  Would the state now get into that?  So much for local control.  If you aren’t satisfied with the quality of your workforce, the American way is to pay more and attract more capable people into the job.  I don’t see that happening unless the state takes it upon itself to raise teacher pay, and I don’t see that happening either. 

    School choice, that would be interesting.  But how would that work?  Say school A and school B are near enough to compete for students.  How do they do that?  Better programming, but that would require more money being spent by each school in the competition to make each look better than the other.  You can’t really use Marden’s business model.  That is sort of the opposite.  Marden’s competes by being cheaper.   I like Marden’s, but I don’t think I would choose a school for my children by seeing what I could get the cheapest. 

    All in all, I can’t see that Governor LePage and Commissioner Bowen have come up with anything except to tell teachers to work harder.  Move on, folks, nothing to see here.

  • Anonymous

    When is LePage going to step up to the plate and fund the schools at 55% as required by law? 

  • Anonymous

    Every time a politician opens his mouth about education reform, educational progress takes a step backward. Every politician, Republican or Democrat, has his own idea how to make education better. They fund studies and latch on the the “new” idea, whatever it may be. Each new idea usually adds to the burden already heaped on educators. The actual time they are able to spend with their students is hampered by workshop days, often a big waste of time and money. These workshops rarely provide professional development for the classroom, but serve as a way to communicate how the school or district is trying to accomplish the mandates of state government.  With the electronic age, teachers are also turned into data entry minions who need keep their computer gradebooks up to date so that the three parents in the district who want to check daily on their child’s progress are appeased. Politicians need to step out of the educational arena and stick to what they know how to do – argue. Very few politicians have ever been educators, but they all know how to do the job better than the ones who are in the trenches day after day. As Yosemite Sam would say: “Back off!!”

  • Anonymous

    Pay no attention to Lapage and the testmakers.  Teachers in Maine are the finest in the country. They are dancing as fast as they can preparing their lessons,  wiping noses, mediating student conflicts, attending endless committee meetings, watching the kids on the playground, paying for supplies out of their own pockets, grading papers, motivating, encouraging, and educating  our young people. Let’s support them in that effort. I encourage everyone to log on to FairTest, Rethinking Schools, MassRefusal, PencilDown, NoMoreTests, and other web sites relating to this issue. Let’s make sure that we are doing the best we can for our young people.

  • Anonymous

      “The only way we will climb the ladder is to implement meaningful change
    such as school choice for students and families,” the governor said.

    Wrong.  Raise taxes on cigarettes and give the money to schools so they’ll stop getting rid of the some of the best teachers.

    • Anonymous

      Wrong – I don’t smoke but you can not balance the budget on a single product. A product that Maine already over taxes as it is.

      • Anonymous

        Sorry — I guess generalizations are lost on you.  Raise taxes on junk food, cigarettes and other disgusting products.  There, is that better?  My point was that the state should take care of its seasoned teachers.

        • Anonymous

          Actually I am against raising taxes on anything at all.
          Including anything you have deemed disgusting.
          I am for cutting government spending – basically no more free lunches for our politicians, no more bail outs for big corporations while the CEO’s still collect millions, you know the big stuff.
          Because sorry – your not going to balance the budget on a twinkie tax
          As for generalizations being lost on me – Isn’t that what your complaining about?
          The generalizing that all teachers are failures and it is the teachers fault that students can not pass a test?

          • Anonymous

            We’re getting off topic with the tax thing, but I have to say that cutting taxes cannot be the answer! Raising SOME taxes just makes sense to me.  I’m not your enemy, badcop!

            And I guess making general statements was a mistake: my specific ‘complaint’ is that some of the best teachers are being forced into early retirement because they make too much money (a terrible irony right there), and inexperienced teachers replace them at an even lower salary.  I’m definitely not saying all new teachers are bad!!  They have to start somewhere and many have an unbridled enthusiasm for their work.  It’s just sad to see money being diverted elsewhere when it could be paying for the best teachers for our children. 

          • Anonymous

            That I agree with – 
            We can not be balancing the budget by cutting education and the future of Maine’s children.
            We can not attack the education system.
            Maine teachers work hard and love the children they teach.

  • Anonymous

    Wait just a minute.  Since LePage took office, Maine has passed every education initiative proposed by the Obama administration including National Standards, National Testing, Charter Schools, and  Teacher Pay tied to Student Performance to name a few.  For two decades Maine schools have been subjected to constant “Change.”  During the last ten years Maine students have had to endure reform math programs that did not teach the basics so it is no wonder scores are flat. This is just one of the “Fads” that has now been  proven as a failure at a high cost to our kids and the taxpayers.  Maine continues to adopt unproven and untested policies. Common Core Standards and Standards Based Education sound good in theory but it is what is possible to implement in the classroom that is important. LePage campaigned on “Local Control.”  I don’t see it in the legislation that has passed. I see more “Government Control” which should make many of you happy yet you still criticize LePage.   

  • Briney

    The sign for Glenburn Gardens in Glenburn says it all.

  • Anonymous

    What a buffoon.  Have you governor looked into a classroom recently and seen what a teacher has to face day in and day out?  Tired, underfed, ill-prepared, contrary, raised by TV, no father kids.  Some do not know where “home” is.  Our school children are reflective of the population at large. Tattoos, drugs, pants down the rear-end, women dressed like sluts.  These are the role models.
    Please START with the parents!!!  Our culture is in serious decline.  

    • Anonymous

       Parts of what you bring up are true.Kids often are not eating well or are homeless.Yet the decision to cut school breakfasts,Head Start and summer lunch programs goes on every day.I sort of wish a reasonable uniform code could be brought back.Agreed about the T shirts with “magic words” on them.I saw a young woman just yesterday with a T shirt that said “What the *@&* are you looking at?”What is the point there?

  • Guest

    …..

  • Anonymous

    It is time to get mad and take action, neighbors.  These efforts to weaken education have a money trail.  It leads to very wealthy people who have no stake in public education.  They are quickly taking our public resources and using them to gain even more wealth.  Introduce a profit motive to education and you are sure to get two outcomes: 1. it will cost more and 2. it will be subjected to endless cost cutting to keep profits increasing.

    If there is one issue worth drawing a line in the sand over, we need to make it education.  We sat on the sidelines while bankers removed controls preventing malfeasance and they stole our homes and savings and tax dollars.  Now we are witnessing the PR campaign leading to dismantling our schools.  If there is no urgency now, we will lose this battle.

    This is a very well planned and coordinated attack on OUR institutions and until we start treating as such, we will only see them erode.

    Make education your purpose for voting and demand increases in funding to restore the cuts that have been happening.  They are quick to say that we tried spending a bit more and it didn’t get better, but that does not mean they will stay the same if we cut them.  This is they type of manipulation we are being fed every day we read the paper or watch the news.

    The elite cannot destroy public education without our help.  Let’s ruin their plans and show we care at the polls.  Support candidates committed to improving education and don’t support anyone who says they will cut even a dollar.  There has been enough damage sustained already.

  • Anonymous

    I agree that educators must do their part but a huge part of the problem lies with uncaring, uninvolved, & often drug addicted parents.  Society in general also plays a big part in making it known that going to school & graduating are important goals to strive for.

  • Otis B. Driftwood

    It’s the teachers UNION fault  says Paul LaPudge local shop steward of the Tea Baggie Brotherhood, a UNION of the lunatic fringe.  It appears that the two unions are feuding over who should be collecting dues.

  • Anonymous

    Resist Creeping Privatization of Public Education!

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