Stories about Maine Department of Education

Maine Education Commissioner Stephen Bowen

Maine education commissioner disbands federally mandated panel

By Christopher Cousins on April 30, 2012, at 7:59 p.m.
AUGUSTA | The Maine Department of Education disbanded a federally mandated panel Friday that was charged with advising the state on issues involving youths with disabilities, prompting concerns among former members that the move was retaliation for the panel’s questioning of department initiatives. Maine Education Commissioner Stephen Bowen said …
Jeff Mao

Maine Department of Education official to receive national award

By Abigail Curtis on April 22, 2012, at 11:39 a.m.
AUGUSTA | A Maine educator will join the ranks of such luminaries as President Bill Clinton, George Lucas and Elmo from Sesame Street this week when he is honored by a San Francisco-based nonprofit organization that aims to help parents and teachers improve children’s experiences with media and technology. …

Education panel amends bill requiring schools to sync calendars

By Jen Lynds on March 19, 2012, at 6:14 p.m.
AUGUSTA | Proposed legislation seeking to coordinate school calendars between school districts that share a career and technical education center, or CTEC, was amended Monday to give districts more time to implement the changes needed if the bill passes. The amendment to LD 1865, An Act to Enhance CTEC, …

Maine releases estimates of how much money each school district will receive

By Christopher Cousins on Feb. 02, 2012, at 7:43 p.m.
BRUNSWICK | School districts across Maine learned Thursday the latest estimates from the Department of Education of how much state money might come their way for the next school year. The new figures meet a statutory requirement that the department provide estimates about its next-year funding for schools in …

Veazie, Glenburn residents start ‘difficult-by-design’ school district withdrawal process

By Nick McCrea on Jan. 29, 2012, at 6:13 p.m.
Residents in Glenburn and Veazie are in the early stages of attempting to withdraw from RSU 26, and already are finding it’s not a simple process. During a Glenburn Town Council meeting Thursday, Jan. 26, councilors reviewed the language of a petition submitted by a committee of …
Education Commissioner Stephen Bowen

Department of Education seeking input as it tries to get Maine out of ‘a disaster’ of a law

By Andrew Neff on Dec. 08, 2011, at 10:04 p.m.
BANGOR | Even as he decried the law, Department of Education Commissioner Stephen Bowen said the problems brought on by the No Child Left Behind Act can pose an opportunity for the state of Maine. “Our thinking is the law’s a disaster and it has done terrible things to …

State rewrites rules on restraining students

By Christopher Cousins on Nov. 11, 2011, at 6:28 p.m.
AUGUSTA | The Department of Education’s draft of new rules for the use of restraint and seclusion of students in public schools has members of a stakeholders group concerned that key provisions have been altered. Most of the concern centers on the definition of restraint and the process laid …
Education Commissioner Stephen Bowen.

Maine test scores show major reforms needed, education official says

By Christopher Cousins on Nov. 01, 2011, at 7:56 p.m.
BANGOR | A unique nationwide study of student performance found that Maine is one of only 13 states making significant progress in the area of mathematics. Reading scores are stagnant in Maine and many other states, prompting the state’s education commissioner to call for an overhaul of the century-old …

Use of restraint, ‘timeout rooms’ in Maine schools being re-examined

By Christopher Cousins on Oct. 28, 2011, at 2:45 p.m.
First of two parts AUGUSTA | For Jude Herb, it was the stuff of nightmares: Her first-grade son, flushed and screaming, pinned face-down to the floor by three adults. Worse, the 6-year-old had been restrained that way for 25 minutes when Herb arrived. “My first words were, ‘Get off …

‘Carelessness’ leads to Rockport high school’s $56,000 laptop repair bill

By Heather Steeves on Oct. 23, 2011, at 1:32 p.m.
Camden Hills Regional High School spent $56,000 on laptop computer repairs last year, a cost officials are calling astronomically high. A bill that large could jeopardize the entire laptop program at the school, Camden Hills officials said. The school is one of 69 statewide that participate in …
Education Commissioner Stephen Bowen

Maine applies for federal funds for early childhood education

By Christopher Cousins on Oct. 19, 2011, at 1:59 p.m.
AUGUSTA | The state is seeking $32.2 million in federal Race to the Top grant funding to improve public and private early childhood education programs in Maine, particularly those serving students with special needs. Though the grant would be aimed primarily at students who haven’t yet reached kindergarten, the …
Gov. Paul LePage took a few moments to meet the students like Chelsea Minson of Winterville, who are participating in the Pleasant Street Academy at the University of Maine at Fort Kent. The pilot program allows high school juniors to take university courses toward both a university degree and their high school core requirements.

State has high hopes for UMFK’s Pleasant Street Academy pilot program

By Julia Bayly on Sept. 03, 2011, at 3:39 p.m.
FORT KENT | Twenty St. John Valley students are on the front lines of a new program combining high school and university classes that may well be the future of education in Maine. A joint project between the University of Maine at Fort Kent and Fort Kent Community High …

New teacher evaluations, bonus pay included in $16M project

By Heather Steeves on Sept. 02, 2011, at 7:55 p.m.
AUGUSTA | Eighteen Maine schools are participating in a $16 million federally funded pilot program designed to enhance training for teachers and to develop standards for evaluating them. A controversial aspect of the Maine Schools for Excellence initiative involves plans to evaluate teachers and provide them bonus pay based …

Deficit projected in Children’s Developmental Services program

By Mal Leary on Aug. 28, 2011, at 10:26 a.m.
AUGUSTA | Even though it is early in the budget year, the Department of Education is already projecting that it will need additional funds to pay for the Children’s Developmental Services program. “We have been providing them with software to do budgeting and transportation software, so we are doing …

Racing to the top again — this time Maine takes strides to win

By Heather Steeves on Aug. 24, 2011, at 7:51 p.m.
AUGUSTA | Last year Maine lost a chance to win millions of federal grant dollars for education. This year, the Department of Education is sure it will do better with its application for the $50 million in Race to the Top funds for which it qualifies. This year’s competitive …
Students and parents gathered last spring outside Georgia's Capitol in Atlanta to protest a state supreme court ruling that overturned a Georgia law allowing state-approved charter schools. The number of students enrolled in charter schools has tripled in the last decade.

What’s stopping successful charter schools from expanding?

By Mary Ann Zehr, Education Week on Aug. 24, 2011, at 5:46 a.m.
The pace at which the highest-performing charter-management organizations are “scaling up” is being determined largely by how rapidly they can develop and hire strong leaders and acquire physical space, and by the level of support they receive for growth from city or state policies, say leaders from some charter organizations …

Ellsworth, Sullivan schools replace principals so RSU 24 can get federal funds

By Bill Trotter on Aug. 16, 2011, at 6:55 p.m.
With a few changes in the district’s administrative staff, RSU 24 has received more than $1.8 million that it plans to use at schools in Ellsworth and Sullivan over the next three years. Renee Thompson, the assistant principal at Ellsworth High School, has been promoted to principal …
Abigail Kohlstrom, 4, of Camden runs out of the marshy area where she was looking for frogs with a group of home-schooled children during Raylene Hunt's (top) weekly home-school nature study group at her Camden Home. Hunt offers the classes to home schooling parents in the area who want to continue their childrens' education through the summer. Abigail and her two brothers all come to the weekly classes because their mother likes the hands-on teaching method.

Home schooling in Maine: ‘Children don’t stop learning, so you don’t stop teaching’

By Heather Steeves on Aug. 12, 2011, at 8:10 p.m.
HOPE | Kathy and Ed Green tried to enroll their oldest daughter in kindergarten in 1981, but back then, the town of Hope didn’t have a kindergarten. The closest school that did was far away, so the couple decided to give home schooling a try. Thirty years ago the …

Newport teacher resigns amid allegations kids saw MEA questions

By Ryan McLaughlin on Aug. 05, 2011, at 6:09 p.m.
A science teacher at Sebasticook Valley Middle School has resigned in wake of allegations he allowed students to review questions on a state standardized test before they took it. William R. Brooks, a teacher for the school for the last seven years, handed his resignation in Tuesday …
Amy Smith, the 2010 University of Maine valedictorian, gets her diploma from UMaine president Robert Kennedy.

Program helps Mainers who have been out of school for awhile prepare for college

By Heather Steeves on July 08, 2011, at 9:42 p.m.
ROCKLAND | Amy Smith was a senior in high school when she got pregnant. Once she finished high school in 1989, she decided to be a full-time mom and put aside her dreams of going to college. She had her baby, and later three more. In 2006, when that …