Archive for February 21st, 2010


Looking for 10-20 Maine High Schools for Pilot

February 21, 2010

World Class Learning Systems Initiative (Board Examination Systems)

Maine has an opportunity to participate with seven other states in piloting some of the world’s best instructional systems and examinations with the intent of dramatically increasing the number of students who leave high school ready to succeed in college.

The National Center on Education and the Economy introduced the Board Examination idea in its groundbreaking report, Tough Choices or Tough Times, in late 2006.  The report received wide acclaim, and was the cover feature of TIME magazine and praised broadly by educators and the media.

As Maine strives to insure our students are prepared for post-secondary education without remediation and to be globally competitive this is an opportunity for 10 to 20 high schools in Maine to pilot one of the Board Examination Systems.  NCEE has recently received funding from the Gates Foundation to support this work and anticipates additional funding for the next three to four years through a combination of federal and private foundation support.  The five Board Examination Systems programs already identified by NCEE include: ACT’s QualityCore; the Cambridge International Examination’s General Certificate of Secondary Education (IGCSE) and their AICE program; the College Board’s Advanced Placement program; the International Baccalaureate Diploma program; and Pearson/Edexcel’s IGCSE and A-level programs.

Students from the pilot high schools who volunteer to participate will take the exams at the end of the 10th grade, and should they pass, be given a high school diploma and opportunity to enroll the next fall as a full-time student at any two-or-four year open admission post-secondary institution in the state without having to take remedial courses, if they choose to do so.

It is important to understand that the early graduation option is not our major focus, and we anticipate that only a handful of students would take that option each year. Rather the focus is on allowing high schools that choose to participate to adopt some of the best (and proven) instructional practices in the world, to provide a powerful system of support to our struggling students, our most able students, and everyone in between, and to motivate our high school students to take tough courses and study hard in school.

Marc Tucker of the NCEE will be in Augusta on Feb. 25 to conduct three briefings, along with Commissioner Gendron: one for higher education officials, legislators and various friends of education such as the MCEE and the Maine State Chamber of Commerce; one for school personnel; and one for DOE staff.


RSU 20 Art Exhibit: Hutchinson Center, Belfast

February 21, 2010

RSU 20 art educators initiative

"Fish" by Jay Hoagland

The towns of Belfast, Belmont, Frankfort, Morrill, Northport, Searsmont, Searsport, Stockton Springs, and Swanville have reorganized to become RSU 20 and the ten art teachers there are leading a consolidation initiative. UMaine Hutchinson Center in Belfast are hosting an art teachers exhibit, March 1 – the end of April.

"Cog" by Laurie Brooks

The idea is a positive way to endorse the consolidation effort! The opening reception will be on March 4th, 6:00-7:00 PM. in the beautiful new Walsh wing, Fernald Art Gallery at the Hutchinson Center which is located on route 3 in Belfast.

The following art teachers/artists will have their work on display. Congratulations to all of them!

  • Ron Bisbee
  • Laurie Brooks
  • Nancy Desmond
  • Ginney Hallowell
  • Charles Hamm
  • Jay Hoagland
  • Samantha Maheu
  • Heidi O’Donnell
  • Jessica Porter
  • Lynnette Sproch
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