C. Quint: Maine a fine place to live

While I know that many Mainers find Gov. Paul LePage’s plain-spoken approach to things refreshing and appealing, there are times when his pronouncements make me shake my head. His recent comments that Maine students are “looked down upon” by other states is one such instance.

In my experience with high schools and colleges, both in Maine and across the country, Maine students are, in fact, sought after and admired. Their work ethic, common sense and, yes, their preparation, means they can compete with students from anywhere in the world.

I agree with some of the governor’s education policy initiatives; some, I don’t. But I do believe he wants to do right by Maine students. That is why comments like the ones made recently are so counterproductive. They demean our students, and our teachers, and only serve to reinforce negative assumptions about the state.

Does Maine need to do a better job of educating its students? Yes. Can we? Absolutely. But solutions lie in increasing rigor, better alignment of high school and college curriculum, and creating new opportunities for students to explore careers and the education or technical training they require.

If we want to make Maine a place where our young people want to live and work and raise their families, then let’s focus on creating opportunities for them, and not dismiss them as cast-offs.

Colleen Quint, Minot

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Comments

Bernice Fraser's picture

Jason

The educational system we now have has failed, this is what we have learned, and now should remedy it.
It also should apply to students, if they are not learning we should find out why. We spend an average of $10,000.00 per students, so it isn't lack of money. Throwing more money will not be the answer, when religious schools can teach better at a lower cost, why can't the public school system do so as well. Every time a new school is being built millions are spent for the beautification of the building, something we can boast about. I would rather boast about the kind of education the kids are getting.

Jason Theriault's picture

How has it failed?

How has it failed?
State averages are in the top tier of states.

I think the reason catholic schools do better is that it isn't free. What I mean is that if parents are willing to spend the extra money to educate their kids, they value their children's education and are more likely to be active in their children's development. That's not to say parents who send their kids to public schools don't, but since public schools are the default, they get everyone. People who pay thousands of dollars of their own money to educate their kids are much more likely to make sure they are getting their money's worth.

Bernice Fraser's picture

Education

The educational system has been going down hill for many years, long before Mr. LePage took office. No only in this state but most other states also.
We are dumming down our children , by testing them on a scale. We must not make the child who has done badly feel bad. Yet how about the student who has worked hard, why should his test scores be scaled down because others have not done as well? The schools do not teach how to think, but instead , what to think. memorize these facts because they will be on the test, seems to be the way things are these days. Might as well give them the answers out right. It seems that a lot of time is spent making sure that the students will pass the standardize tests to make sure that the schools look good. But doesn't that defeat the purpose of testing. Testing should be to see how well he understands the problems set before them and how to figure out the answer. If it's a memorization thing then it will be retained for only a short period of time just enough to pass the tests and make the teachers feel good. And even then many do not do well, and when questioned about why test scores are so low the common answer is "well they are many more towns whose test scores are lower",as though that makes things better. We must teach our students how to think independently, to challenge the information given to them to investigate and search to make sure the teachers have the correct information, and if found differently the should be able to point out the fact respectfully to the teacher and not fear they will be repremanded.
I have a daughter who works in administrative dept. for a college, and tells me that many freshman have to take remedial classes, and that they have never been taught to think for themselves, but always need assurance to make sure they are doing thing right.
The best way to learn is by failing, then you know that that method does not work. For years we have been throwing money in our schools and getting poor results, this Governor is trying to right that wrong and use a different approach. If his comments are not politically correct and that offends you, you at least know what he is saying and not sugar coating every thing so all can have that feel good feeling. Hypocritical comments in this paper are constant when it come to the Governor, where many of you have thought or said worse. Do not deny it or your noses will get longer

Jason Theriault's picture

LOGIC BOMB!

The best way to learn is by failing

The educational system has been going down hill for many years...
We are dumming down our children

So, therefore, the education system is working?

Bob Woodbury's picture

All the governor has done...

...since he's been in office is run the state down. If this state is as bad as ikt's governor says it is, no self-respecting business is going to want to come here. He's lost more jobs for Maine than he's created.

Amedeo Lauria's picture

Quality of Education in Maine...

Ms Quint, the Governor has been nothing but supportive of trying to ensure that our students get the highest quality of education and are competitive with students from around the globe. He has opened discussions in this state that are necessary to address concerns of both teachers and the business community. I applaud this effort to be reflective on the quality of Maine education so that practical improvements can be made in the curriculum and teaching methods at our high schools, tech schools, colleges and universities. I have been a member of a Chamber of Commerce, many jobs go begging because students have not been trained properly and must take remedial courses in Math and English. I have taught at the university level where money has to be spent on "Undergraduate Education Centers" to bring students up to college level work. Money that could better be spent offering college level courses. Better to face education issues head on then take offense to his efforts to move education of Maine children forward. Jobs come to places that have an educated work force; he gets it...some don't.

MICHAEL LEBLANC's picture

To those who have clicked "Disagree":

What exactly do you disagree with? Your plan for education has been, for decades, to keep throwing ever larger wads of money at teachers and unions, and to hope for some change in the outcome. What we have received is a roaring failure. Not only do colleges have to provide remedial education to incoming freshman, but those who choose not to go to college need lots of help filling out their welfare applications.

Jason Theriault's picture

First off, if you look at

First off, if you look at test scores, Maine's students are doing just fine.
So I don't hope for change. And the only roaring failure I see is your argument. Some colleges provide remedial education, that's been the case for decades. They also provide doctoral level classes. By your logic, everyone's a doctor as well as being remedial.

Also, by saying " those who choose not to go to college need lots of help filling out their welfare applications.", are you implying that those who don't go to college are destine for welfare? That's 70% of the US population.

RONALD RIML's picture

Wouldn't be the 'Parents' - would it???

Not when they protect and defend little Mary or Johnny at every step along the way, and then provide a job for them when they have the opportunity......

Jason Theriault's picture

?????????????????????

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PAUL ST JEAN's picture

Real sneaky way of getting

Real sneaky way of getting some good swear words in, Stig. The parrot sez it's all Greek to him.

Jason Theriault's picture

??? ??????? ?????

??? ??????? ????? ????????????? ? Google ???????????? ????

RONALD RIML's picture

Pauvre fou Paul

Il se souvient que les Canadiens de penser lui aussi stupide. Il croyait que c'était parce qu'il allait à l'école, dans le Maine. Non - c'est parce qu'il était stupide!

PAUL ST JEAN's picture

"Paul est fou??", inquired

"Paul est fou??", inquired the perplexed parrot. "Il est pas le Gouverneur? Sacre bleu!!!"

MICHAEL LEBLANC's picture

Proving beyond all doubt ...

... that one can make a fool of himself multilingually.

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