Stories about Maine Department of Education

Supporters of Orono High School music teacher and orchestra director Waldo Caballero -- a popular instructor for the past 15 years -- protest his possible firing outside Orono Town Hall on Wednesday.

Popular Orono High School music teacher may be dismissed over test score

By Nok-Noi Ricker on July 30, 2014, at 6:58 p.m.
Orono High School music students, soccer players and community members staged a protest at the town hall Wednesday afternoon in support of music teacher and orchestra director Waldo Caballero — a popular instructor for the past 15 years — who has been told he might lose his …
Jacob Reynolds, 7, eats his strawberry cup, which was free as part of a summer lunch program, at Second Street Park in Bangor on Thursday.

No school shouldn’t mean no lunch

By Danielle Walczak, BDN Staff on July 08, 2014, at 4:15 p.m.
BANGOR | Summer for children who rely on free and reduced-price school lunch programs during the school year may mean being hungry. But a community effort in Bangor is ensuring children can eat well at lunchtime, even when school is out. The Bangor Housing Authority Community Center is among …
Maine Department of Health and Human Services Commissioner Mary Mayhew

Power grab by DHHS oversteps the law, basic integrity

on June 14, 2014, at 7:30 a.m.
If you don’t get your way by following the legal channels, try the illegal channels. That’s the message the Maine Department of Health and Human Services is sending with what is supposedly a new rule to prevent state dollars from funding general assistance for undocumented immigrants. The department says it …
Jim Rier is commissioner of the Maine Department of Education.

School districts given option to slow implementation of proficiency-based diploma law

By Nell Gluckman on May 28, 2014, at 2:12 p.m.
AUGUSTA, Maine —The Maine Department of Education will allow school districts to slow the process of implementing a law that requires students to graduate from high school only after demonstrating they have met a set of state standards. In response to multiple requests from school superintendents, the DOE outlined a …
Maine Department of Education Commissioner Jim Rier

Maine student scores drop on reading and math exams

By Nell Gluckman on March 24, 2014, at 1:44 p.m.
AUGUSTA | Maine students in grades three through eight scored lower on the state’s reading and math exams in 2013 than they did the year before. The tests were taken by nearly all students last October and are used to satisfy state and federal school accountability requirements. The scores …
Sen. Brian Langley, R-Ellsworth,

Legislators back moratorium on Maine virtual charter schools

By Christopher Cousins on Feb. 12, 2014, at 3:28 p.m.
AUGUSTA | The Legislature’s Education Committee on Wednesday kicked off what is sure to be a spirited debate about virtual charter schools when its members voted 11-2 in favor of a bill that would place a moratorium on the approval of virtual charter schools while the state attempts to …
Maine Senate President Justin Alfond, D-Portland.

Education advocates pan Maine’s decision not to seek $37 million in federal grants

By Christopher Cousins on Nov. 01, 2013, at 5:27 p.m.
AUGUSTA | Early childhood education advocates are calling a decision by the state to not apply for up to $37 million in federal “Race to the Top” grant funding a missed opportunity for Maine families. The Department of Education and Department of Health and Human Services said the decision …
Maine Education Commissioner Stephen Bowen and Gov. Paul LePage in 2012.

Feds approve waiver of No Child Left Behind standards in Maine

By Christopher Cousins on Aug. 12, 2013, at 2:30 p.m.
AUGUSTA | The U.S. Department of Education announced Monday that Maine’s application for a waiver under the Elementary and Secondary Education Act has been granted, allowing the state to implement another school accountability measure separate from the A-through-F grading system unveiled earlier this year. The two-year waiver means that …
Sean Doughty, 13, of the Sacopee Valley Middle School in Hiram sits with his Apple laptop in 2012. Students will start using Hewlett Packard computers beginning in the fall of 2013.

State awards Hewlett Packard contract for school laptop program

By Judy Harrison on April 27, 2013, at 1:54 p.m.
AUGUSTA, Maine – Thousands of Maine students will be firing up Hewlett Packard laptop computers when school starts this fall, the governor’s office announced Saturday. The Maine Department of Education announced Friday that Hewlett Packard was awarded the contract in the Maine Learning Technology Initiative’s latest bid process, according to …

State releases preliminary school funding amounts for next year

By Christopher Cousins on Feb. 22, 2013, at 6:04 p.m.
AUGUSTA | The Department of Education on Friday released its preliminary estimates on how much funding Maine’s public schools will receive for the next academic year under a pending budget proposal by Gov. Paul LePage. A memo sent to school superintendents Friday warned that the subsidy amounts do not …

Battle over Maine charter schools smoldering

By Robert Long on Jan. 07, 2013, at 4:52 p.m.
AUGUSTA | Maine public school administrators lodged a new complaint Monday about the state’s two new charter schools: They won’t feel any impact of $12.6 million in education aid cuts Gov. Paul LePage ordered late last month to close a $35.5 million hole in the current state budget. Public …
Rosalie Perkins, a pre-K teacher at the Woolwich Central School, talks about shapes and lines with students Garrett Craney (left) and Payson Bowling on Thursday, Dec. 20, 2012.

Maine schools get larger subsidies by adding pre-kindergarten classes

By Seth Koenig on Dec. 28, 2012, at 9:21 a.m.
Faced with plummeting student populations — and therefore less state money — Maine school districts are increasingly adding another year of public education. While reams of research highlight the benefits of early childhood education, there has been no widespread discussion in Maine about the addition of a 14th year of …
Education Commissioner Stephen Bowen

Majority of Maine schools aren’t meeting No Child Left Behind standards, department says

By Christopher Cousins and Nick McCrea on Oct. 11, 2012, at 1:25 p.m.
AUGUSTA | Most Maine schools aren’t meeting goals set by the federal No Child Left Behind Act, according to an annual report released Thursday by the Maine Department of Education. The low scores came as no surprise but are based on a “flawed federal accountability system,” said Education Commissioner …

4 Mainers named finalists for national award to recognize math, science teachers

By Nick McCrea on Oct. 08, 2012, at 4:05 p.m.
BANGOR | Four Maine teachers have been named finalists for a national award that honors science and math educators. The National Science Foundation will pick up to one math and one science teacher from each state to receive the 2012 Presidential Award for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching, …
Robert Lucy

Former Orono principal ordered test answers changed, report says

By Nick McCrea on Sept. 18, 2012, at 7:45 p.m.
The principal of Orono Middle School inappropriately told staff members to allow some students to alter their answers on a 2011 test used to measure school progress under federal law, according to a Maine Department of Education investigation conducted last year. The principal, Robert Lucy, is now …

Maine literacy program being unveiled

The Associated Press on Sept. 11, 2012, at 6 a.m.
LEWISTON | The Maine Department of Education is set to unveil a birth-to-adult literacy initiative called Literacy for ME. Education Commissioner Stephen Bowen will be joined by literary specialist Lee Anne Larsen at an event Tuesday at the Lewiston Public Library. The project’s goals include helping all Maine residents …
Education Commissioner Stephen Bowen

Maine education head presents plan to remake standards in No Child Left Behind

By Nick McCrea on Aug. 23, 2012, at 9:40 p.m.
BREWER | No Child Left Behind is a broken set of regulations and standards, and Maine’s Department of Education is continuing its effort to patch it up, the head of the department said Thursday evening. Commissioner Stephen Bowen visited Brewer Community School, where about 15 teachers, school administrators and …
Education Commissioner Stephen Bowen

Education officials seeking public input in advance of imminent federal waiver application

By Christopher Cousins on Aug. 15, 2012, at 4:17 p.m.
AUGUSTA | The Maine Department of Education, which will apply to the federal government in the coming weeks to implement a new system for holding public schools accountable and helping them improve, has scheduled three opportunities next week for the public to weigh in on the issue. The department …

Veazie, Glenburn groups send withdrawal proposals to Department of Education for approval

By Nick McCrea on Aug. 13, 2012, at 5:09 p.m.
The Maine Department of Education will decide whether to approve school district withdrawal plans from Veazie and Glenburn in coming weeks after the RSU 26 board of directors gave its approval to the proposals on Aug. 9. Michael O’Connor, a Glenburn town councilor and member of Glenburn’s …

State takes away $300,000 grant for Auburn schools after appeal filed

By Bonnie Washuk, Sun Journal on May 22, 2012, at 11:36 a.m.
A $300,000 grant the state Department of Education awarded to local schools on April 21 has been rescinded because another school district appealed the process, DOE spokesman David Connerty-Marin said Monday. Auburn School Department’s loss of the $300,000 grant will mean there will be no expansion of …