Archive for March 21st, 2012


Department News Release

March 21, 2012

Bowen lauds Ed Committee vote on teacher effectiveness

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – Wednesday, March 21, 2012
Contact:   David Connerty-Marin, 207-624-6880/831-3313

The Legislature’s Education Committee voted unanimously Wednesday afternoon in favor of LD 1858, a bill that would require schools to adopt teacher and principal evaluation systems.

“Of all the education bills this session, this one has the potential to positively impact education more than any other,” Bowen said. “The bill goes to the very heart of what we know has the greatest impact on learning: the effectiveness of teachers and school leaders. The best curriculum and learning materials in the world are of no use to us unless we have effective educators in our schools. Supporting great teaching and school leadership is what this bill is all about.”

The Education Committee has supported efforts to promote improved standards for students and now follows suit with clearer standards for teachers. The Maine Department of Education will work with many groups to develop guidelines and standards for evaluation systems, but the systems themselves will be developed or adopted at the local level.

“I appreciate the give and take with the Maine Education Association and legislators,” Bowen said. “It made this bill better by underscoring its true purpose – to improve the ways in which we prepare, support, and evaluate teachers.”

The committee approved LD 1865, which enhances career and technical education, by a 10-1 vote earlier this week. Both bills are part of Gov. Paul LePage’s education agenda and will likely go before the full Legislature in the next week or two.

Two more bills are part of the Administration’s agenda. One deals with public and private school choice options, the other with allowing funding for religious schools.  Those measures will be discussed by the committee on Thursday.

Information about all four bills, including links to the bill language and the commissioner’s testimony, can be found online at


Happy Spring!

March 21, 2012

So many good days to be surprised and grateful for

The weather has been tricking us lately, that is for sure! I keep remembering that it is only March 20th, the first day of Spring, and then I check the calendar! This is Maine and the weather is very unusual for this time of year. Seventy degrees today, the flower bed is raked, the shorts are out, canoe in the water, and it looks like it will continue for a couple more days anyway. We heard woodcock last night on our walk and the air seemed perfectly still! Almost like a July warm evening. I don’t remember a first day of Spring like this!

While canoeing over the weekend the ice was still in the pond, the water very calm so the reflections were intense, and sign of beaver along the bank. It was a delightful morning. I hope you’ve had a chance to get outside and enjoy this unusual weather!

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