Maine schools average a "C" in new grading system

On this page: How the schools were graded

AUGUSTA — Lewiston High School, Mountain Valley High School in Rumford and Portland High School got D's.

Auburn's Edward Little, Farmington's Mt. Blue and Oxford Hills high schools got C's, as did Monmouth, Lisbon and Oak Hill high schools.

Poland Regional High School got a B.

Cape Elizabeth, Falmouth, Scarborough and Yarmouth high schools got A's.

For the first time, the Maine Department of Education released report cards, consisting of one grade for each public school, an initiative of Gov. Paul LePage. The state average for high schools and grades 3-8 schools was a C.

Speaking to reporters Wednesday at the Maine State Library, LePage said his goal is to improve education by giving everyone an easy-to-understand snapshot of how their school is doing. When everyone pays more attention to schools, they'll improve, he said, adding that's what happened when Florida graded its public schools.

People get more involved as the schools improve," LePage said. "Enrollment improves.” When that happens, parents take their kids out of private schools and send them to public schools, he said.

Schools can't improve, he and Education Commissioner Stephen Bowen said, without everyone — students, teachers, administrators, parents and the community at large — pitching in.

In the past few years, Maine test scores have been flat, Bowen said. “Our remediation rates are too high. We hear from employers (that) our graduates are not ready to go. We want parents to start thinking about what is their role.”

The state formulated school grades from a combination of statistics. Elementary school grades come from reading and math test scores and how much student growth was gained in a year. High school grades are from test scores, learning growth and graduation rates.

But high school scores can go down if less than 95 percent of juniors took the SAT in the previous year. Last year in Lewiston, 91.5 percent of juniors took the SAT. That made Lewiston's grade go from a C to a D. Schools where fewer than 90 percent of juniors took the SAT get an automatic F.

A look at the state list shows that Telstar High School in Bethel was the only high school in Androscoggin, Oxford and Franklin counties that got an F. The grade was based on test scores from the past three years, Superintendent David Murphy said. “We recognize that we have our work cut out for us and are confident that we can work to improve this grade for next year,” he said.

Four local elementary schools — East Auburn Community, Strong, Stratton and Phillips — got A's.

And a few elementary schools got F's, including Lewiston's Longley and Montello, Auburn's Washburn, and Mountain Valley Middle School in Mexico. Lewiston and Auburn middle schools each got D's.

Grading schools isn't popular with superintendents and teachers, who say some of the criteria for the grades comes from things they can't control, including poverty, a lack of parent involvement, truancy and students not showing up to take tests.

"I'm not sure what that's going to accomplish," Longley Elementary School teacher Debra Rodrigue said of her school's F. Longley serves a population of which 98 percent receive free and reduced school meals, in a neighborhood that is among the poorest in Maine and New England.

"It is frustrating," Rodrigue said. "It is heart-wrenching because we do hard work here." No matter what kind of student comes through the door, "our job is to teach and educate so every child can reach their maximum potential. We do that here."

The Maine Education Association, the state's largest teachers' union, called the new grading system "flawed."

Schools in wealthier communities “fared far better under the governor’s grading scheme, while schools in areas with higher indicators of poverty were the ones branded with the majority of failing grades," according to the MEA.

The school districts that scored the lowest are also the ones that have the most students on free and reduced lunch," said MEA Director Rob Walker. "Since when did it become OK to tell poorer communities that their students are failing when they’re faced with obstacles out of their control?”

LePage said poverty is not an excuse. He called teachers like Longley's Rodrigue "heroes."

Let me tell you something," LePage said. "I'm not measuring the parents; I'm measuring the students,” he said. Thirteen states are grading schools, and it's improving schools by focusing attention, he said. “Look at the results.”

Lewiston Superintendent Bill Webster complained that his high school went down a full letter grade under the state criteria because 8.5 percent of juniors last year skipped the SAT test, which is mandated to be given on a Saturday.

The school has a week to encourage students to make up the test. Chasing students to take the test, and to go to school, is related to too much truancy in Lewiston, which hurts student performance, Webster said.

Lewiston needs help from parents and the state, he said. “We have a truancy officer. We're pursuing court cases (with parents whose students are truant). We report truancy to (the Maine Department of Health and Human Services). We get no support from the state, from the legal system, from the welfare system.”

Oxford Hills Superintendent Richard Colpitts said the grades indicated that most of his schools are showing growth, but that schools "are not in the business of shaming kids.”

RSU 10 Superintendent Tom Ward said his district is working to support individual student growth. “We are not there yet but will continue on our journey,” he said. RSU 10 includes schools in the Rumford, Dixfield and Buckfield areas.

RSU 9 Superintendent Mike Cormier said he was disappointed his schools didn't get higher grades, “based on the quality work that I know is happening in classrooms and schools.” His district will keep at it, he said, “and I expect to see improvement in our school grades in the future.” RSU 9 comprises Farmington-area schools.

Rangeley Superintendent Brian Foster said of the grades that “one size does not fit all.” Some classes in his schools are small, which means on testing day individual students performing poorly can bring down the school's score.

One year, three students left school and were counted as dropouts. “When three out of 18 students drop out, our graduation rate doesn't look very good,” Foster said.

Bethel's Murphy said it would be in the best interest of students and communities not to give them labels, "but to instead focus on digging into the available data and examining ways to improve our efforts and support our teachers.”

In Friday's paper: Inside an "F" school, Lewiston's Longley Elementary.


How the schools were graded

Click on a link to see a larger version of the report card and to download a copy.

Bonnie Washuk/Sun Journal

Students join Gov. Paul LePage as he discusses the report cards released for each public school in Maine on Wednesday.

Forum: School grading initiative has become politicized

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DOROTHY PETERS's picture

What the hell is the matter

What the hell is the matter with this Governor? Where does he come from with these crazy ideas and his potty mouth? This letter grade system based on SAT scores in high schools is absolutely ridiculous, and is an insult to teachers and schools. I am not a teacher, but if I spent my days teaching in a Maine high school I would be totally demoralized. It is time someone spoke the truth about our public educational system. It is time for someone to step forward and tell it like it is. No political correctness and no masking of the truth. It is coming to you direct from the old computer of a typical Maine parent and lifelong resident who is not expert in anything educational.

Maine and this country have been screwing with our public educational system ever since Lyndon B. Johnson was elected president. It suddenly became fashionable to tinker with everything educational. Remember “ new math ? “ That seems to have been the first silly concept meant to change everything for the better. Over the sixties, the seventies, the eighties, the nineties, and right up to today, we have changed our curriculums, changed our text books, and changed our moral beliefs and practices. As a result, we have raised an entire generation, now adults with children, who have no moral compass, no understanding of history, and no understanding of how our government works. They can’t read and they can’t write. They were simply pushed from one grade to another. They do not have a respect for education, and they feel it is not relevant to their lives. The children in school today in many poorer communities are the off spring of that gereration, and a direct reflection of that lack of values. When we send children to school today, it is expected that the teacher and the school authorities will function as a second or even first set of parents. We feed the kids at least 2 meals daily because their parents do not. Almost one out of two kids are labeled disabled in one way or another to provide explanation for their lack of achievement. When one turns on the tele news, all we hear about is how hungry and deprived everyone is and how it is governments responsibility to provide everything.

Lets look at today's schools. Exactly what is happening and what is not happening. When a child is raised by parents who are uneducated; manifest no self worth; have no sense of pride or civic responsibility; have no role models to emulate; and cannot tell you ( 42% cannot in latest Marist poll) the name of the vice president of the United States...we have a problem. It is not a problem teachers can correct. It is a societal problem, and can only be corrected when leaders are willing to admit we have a breakdown in society and are willing to propose solutions to that breakdown.

Notice the top ten high schools in Maine in this stupid test. Every single one of them have many things in common. Some glaring commonalities are that the child is in the school voluntarily, understands the importance of an education, and is willing and able to listen to his teacher to accomplish an objective. In other words, when you put a willing student in front of a teacher, and the student’s parents participate enthusiastically, wonderful educational results will occur. Secondly, The socioeconomic make up of every one of those schools is far above the average. Third, almost the entire student population in all ten schools is happily college bound. That cannot be said for the bottom ten schools. The majority of the students in the bottom ten schools will not go on to college. They see no value in studying math and reading and doing well on exams. They will tell you that it does not apply to their lives. The parents don’t care. Why should they.

Maybe it is time for all the phd’s in Maine, along with Maine’s governor, to understand that as politically incorrect as it may seem, all kids are not created equal. All kids are not college material. Some kids are better with books than others. There is nothing wrong with being a carpenter, a plumber, an electrician, working in manufacturing, or any other honest profession. What this country and state need are common core values, and what our kids need is a track that interests them and leads to a productive future. A lot is said about how unfair life was in the fifties. Was it really unfair? We had kids and parents select what kind of high school career they wished to pursue. College course;general course; industrial arts course,; etc. We gave up that system when a few goody two shoes decided that all kids should get a college education. Well folks, look at us now.

I can guarantee you that the teachers in the top schools are no better than the teachers in the bottom schools. Again, when you put a willing student in front of a teacher that student will achieve to his ability level. If the student is not prepared; gets no encouragement from home; sees no value to the subject matter; refuses to pay attention in class; does not do his homework; etc.; then failure will happen. Throwing money at the problem won’t fix it. Forcing all kids toward a college education is dead wrong and won’t fix it. Using a college SAT to measure learning success in not only wrong but stupid. Lets go back and reevaluate our goals for students. Lets give them a chance to succeed in a general course, for example. Lets teach things like civics once again so that kids will understand how their government works. Lets teach consumer math to kids instead of advanced algebra. If a kid’s ability as measured by observation and agreement leans toward vocational endeavors, lets provide that opportunity and encourage it. Every one can’t be a lawyer. If we must test results, lets test in areas relevant to the students courses and goals, and not to see if Harvard will accept him.

Bottom line...teachers are not the problem with our educational system. We are. Society is the problem. The governor loves charter schools. All charter schools do is take the willing students and the money out of public schools and leave the problems behind. If LePage can’t understand all of the above, then we need a new governor. Fast.

DONALD FERLAND's picture

Well said!!!! Where did the

Well said!!!! Where did the agree and disagree buttons go...I would love to give this guy kudos.

CLAIRE GAMACHE's picture

The point

I was waiting for it. " Money is not the answer" Funny nobody ever says that about the military. I can say with great certainty that cutting funds for Headstart will not close the gap between wealthy and poor schools. " More charter schools will solve everything". It will surely work if you take the funding away from the schools that are struggling and their high achieving students too and put it all in schools which are not accountable to the taxpayer. Then you can double the shame you can heap on the even poorer scoring schools. And the best one of all "It's the fault of the parents". Well, maybe the parents are AWOL, or in jail, or homeless, or addicts or mentally or physically incapacitated, or working 60 hours a week at a minimum wage job to keep a roof over the family's head. And maybe the family doesn't speak English or are illegal immigrants. Is that a reason for defunding the programs that will help these children like Headstart, and afterschool study , and summer school? Is that a reason to take away their healthcare and their free lunch? Is that how we break the cycle of poverty? Are the children to blame? Think about the five day old baby living on the third floor of a drug dealing, flea and bed bug infested condemned building who now doesn't even have that. When we figure out how to get this child to score above average on tests we will have solved the problem.

DONALD FERLAND's picture

I am going to take exception

I am going to take exception to the comments below about Head Start...from the looks of the use of the word their instead of they're or there maybe some would have benefited from time in Head Start. The problems in the education didn't just start. From the looks of the grammatical uses of some it has been going on for a long time. However, the way in which the grades were determined is a cause for concern...basing it on test scores and growth each year does not take into consideration that even some of the smartest children do not test well. It doesn't take into consideration the transfer rate of students from one school to another because a family moves. In regards to High Schools, can someone tell me how a high school plays any roll in a student staying in college? Could it be that the student left for financial rather than academic reasons? This system of grading does not take into consideration ELL student population rates or the rates of special education students. While knowing that my son's school is receiving a D, I find it a little strange that all these factors were not considered and do not put much stock into the actual grade the school received. Now the governor has presented the grades, without any real solutions to the problems. Throwing money at it doesn't solve the problem. Give a poor test taker all the money in the world and they are still a poor test taker. Throw all the money in the world to an ELL student and they are still an ELL student. I know our schools are struggling and until we get rid of standardized testing that does not consider the situation we are not going to know how our schools are truly doing. I say let the teachers teach and our students learn without the pressure of a standardized test.

Bob White's picture

You may be better at writing

You may be better at writing and spelling at the end of the day all you have is reason why the kids should be failing. I'm guessing you must be a teacher or a spouse of a teacher. I think the big picture is we can do better. As far as a black mark your right so lets work harder and do a better job.

DONALD FERLAND's picture

Actually I am not a teacher

Actually I am not a teacher nor a spouse of a teacher. I am just a simple mom who has been a part of her children's education for years. I have always expected more from them then others have. My solution is to get rid of the standardized tests and let teachers teach to meet the needs of their students versus teaching to the tests. Schools really started going downhill when the government forced standardized testing on us. Let each school decide what the needs of their students are, let them teach and forget the tests.

Bob White's picture

Mrs. Gamache I know their is

Mrs. Gamache I know their is no way you will understand or agree with me but all those programs (like headstart) I did not participate in and guess what I made out ok. My kids didn't have those programs either and their doing ok. One will graduate from Hussen this month which he paid for on his own and my other one is on honors in High schools. Sure I would like to take credit for it but at the end of the day their doing it. I will say when they came home complaining that something was tuff or not fair I would tell them "get use to it life is tuff and not fair" I didn't give them ways of justifying why they were struggling I gave them ways of getting through their struggles. What your doing is giving them all the excesses they need to tell us how they will fail. Their a lot of successful people that have had a lot less then I have had and they are a lot more successful then me. When I use the word "successful" I don't mean a person of great money but a person that works hard is honest and is kind to fellow man kind. As far as the military well they are faced with plenty of funding issues (their use to be a Navy Air Station in Brunswick) Just like school they are both needed

CLAIRE GAMACHE's picture

no disagreement here

I am not offering excuses. I am merely pointing out some of the obstacles that the students and teachers have to overcome in some of these less affluent and urban schools. What we need to do is exactly what you said to do. Give them the tools to overcome these obstacles. I recall several twelve year old girls who came to school three days out of five because they had to babysit siblings so Mom could go to work. I also recall how hard they worked to get caught up and they did succeed in getting good grades and an education but neither their effort nor their eventual success registered on the standardized tests because they were not in sync. I am not saying we should accept failure. I am saying the tests don't tell the whole story and they do more harm than good. Especially when you consider how much money we pay in this state for those tests and how much instructional time is wasted taking them. In my day when the teacher wanted to know if you had mastered a skill she didn't give you circles to color she stood you in front of the board and asked you questions. If you didn't know the answers the first time you darned sure made sure you were prepared the next. It was cheap and it worked. The tools that schools need in order to close the income gap are precisely the ones that get cut first; after school tutoring, summer school, early education, headstart. Also focusing narrowly on a curriculum of only math and reading is harmful to low income students. They tend to need hands on learning and are likely to be motivated by sports, music, science, technology and art.Because of the testing, they are usually pulled out of those classes to double up on reading and math. Then they are not only low scoring but they hate school too.

Melody Martin's picture

The evidence speaks for itself

It's evident from your response that you did not benefit from programs such as head start and other early education initiatives. Otherwise, I'm guessing your spelling and use of the English language would be more advanced. If our country ever seriously intends to regain its global status we must start with a focus on education; however, the Governor's approach is backward and counterproductive. It's disengenuous to give a school a failing grade yet refer to its teachers as heroes. A black mark on a school reflects on students, teachers, parents, and the community at large. And when the criteria used to judge the success or failure of schools is inherently flawed, the problem is exacerbated.

Bob White's picture

You may be better at writing

You may be better at writing and spelling at the end of the day all you have is reason why the kids should be failing. I'm guessing you must be a teacher or a spouse of a teacher. I think the big picture is we can do better. As far as a black mark your right so lets work harder and do a better job.

Melody Martin's picture

It's you're and let's, not your and lets...

and I'm neither a teacher nor the spouse of a teacher. I'm the product of a very effective public education system that was not evaluated by subjective criteria. Rather, my public school system focused on outcomes and achievements, encouraging students to surpass expectations and not settle for mediocrity. It taught me how to contract two words into one, how to avoid run on sentences...essentially, how to clearly communicate in writing. It's refreshing to know that we can at least agree that the educational system can and must do better if we have any hope of graduating new generations who can compete globally. The devil is always in the details, though.

Bob White's picture

Well I guess we can look at

Well I guess we can look at like you Genise or we can look at it like you Jason But if you look world wide how do our kids match up with other countries? Trust me the kids aren't going to loos much sleep over the grades and if they do well the have a long life ahead because this world is a tough and mean place. Anyway you two want to slice it we can always do better and push our self and that's what we should be teaching to the kids. Not how mean people pick on you because you have challenges.

Genise Knowlton's picture

I agree we need to take a closer look at our education system...

but shaming kids, especially those who already live marginalized lives because of poverty, generational gaps, kids having kids, etc. is not the way to go about it.
Teachers work hard to reach all the kids, which is impossible when you have parents who are working and little energy or interest in helping their kids be all they can be when they don't even have that gift themselves. To lump all kids into one style of learning, in oversized classrooms, expecting a teacher to meet the needs of two spectrums - the gifted and the academically challenged - and everything in between is unrealistic. And yet every 2-3 years the teachers have to adjust to a new curriculum or teach to a new standardized test that is supposed to monitor their effectiveness as teachers. I could write an essay here but I think you can get the gist of my thoughts.....

Bob White's picture

I guess by most of the

I guess by most of the comments everybody thinks the schools are doing great and we don't need to do better? Well I think their is always room for improvement whether its work, home, school or personally. Does the letter grade real the best way of setting a base line well that is up to the persons personal preference. Maybe we should look at it like this the base line has been put down and lets dig in and start working to see how we can improve things. I do know it is hard when you been working hard and somebody comes along and says you need to work even harder. So here's a thought if everybody would sit their and think of ways we could improve the schools and not try to justify why are schools are struggling we can get things done.

Jason Theriault's picture

We can always do better, but...

We can always do better, but basing grades on cherry picked factors invalidates the grade.

Example -"Elementary school grades come from reading and math test scores and how much student growth was gained in a year"
Basing the ranking on standardized tests scores if good. However, "student growth"? What is that?

Another:
"But high school scores can go down if less than 95 percent of juniors took the SAT in the previous year"

To me, that has nothing to do with how well a student is doing. And if LePage thinks taking the SAT's is that important, why doesn't he have the state pay for it for every student?

These grades seemed cherry picked to push a political agenda, not improve schools. They seem rigged to giver poorer sections of Maine lower scores so he can push his low income vouchers.

LAIRD PRUIKSMA's picture

SAT

"But high school scores can go down if less than 95 percent of juniors took the SAT in the previous year"

To me, that has nothing to do with how well a student is doing.

This is straight out of No Child Left Behind. If fewer than 95% of students in every measurement group take the state assessment test, a school faces federal sanctions under NCLB. (To be clear, I'm not disagreeing with you, just adding context.)

why doesn't he have the state pay for it for every student?

The state has paid for one sitting of the SAT for every student since 2006, when then-education commissioner Susan Gendron made the SAT the state's NCLB assessment tool, and mandatory for all high school juniors.

Jason Theriault's picture

Good to know.

I didn't know those things... Good to know.

Follow up - If it's mandatory and free and kids arn't taking it, I don't see how that is the fault of the school.

I guess I see it as a weird metric to be measuring and weighing as much as they are.

Bob White's picture

I think if we encourage our

I think if we encourage our kids to take the SAT test then hopefully we have also been encouraging them to go on to college again teaching them to push and better themselves and not give them excesses on why its ok to fail. I know not all kids are going on to college but its not a reason not to push and motivate these kids to work hard. I think if you talk to teachers from both poor and wealthy schools we will see a lot of the same things in the kids sure they will be better dressed but they have the same problems like the parents not being involved. Money doesn't make a parent more involved in their kids. Talk to teachers at the Catholic schools they have the same problems To me the success of the kids really starts at home. On the comment of pushing his low income vouchers I haven't heard anything of that coming from the governor if anything the opposite

Jason Theriault's picture

It's been a couple of months.

It's been a couple of months since he brought it up, but here's a link on the low income vouchers.
http://www.pressherald.com/politics/voucher-plan-for-low-income-pupils-i...

Jason Theriault's picture

It's crap.

First off, if you want to rank schools, we should have it based on criteria that everyone agrees is a good measure of performance. We should then make standardized tests, so that there isn't anything subjective about it, and that way we can compare ourselves to other schools in other states. Then, we could get a good feel for how our schools are doing....

Oh wait, that's already being done.

http://nationsreportcard.gov/

And Maine schools ranked near the top(top 20%) in reading, math and science.

But that doesn't make sense.... I mean, LePage rated the schools as a C, so how can we be in the top 20%?

I mean, it couldn't be that he looking to manufacture some sort of mandate to make sweeping educational changes when none are needed.... That would be dishonest, and playing politics with our children's future.

He wouldn't do that.

Jon Cantin's picture

Proven

How about we increase the availability of charter schools? We also need a solution oriented eye kept on schools that having poor performances. This is not a new problem. I don't think that just throwing money at it will improve education much.

Robert McQueeney's picture

Reports of wealthier schools doing better

I've seen the report card, and read comments on wealthier schools doing better. I do have a couple observations. Obviously, I have not been to every school in Maine, but I have worked on and in schools, and for people in various communities. What I see happening in the success of children in wealthier school districts has little to do with money.

What I have seen is better parental involvement. Setting time aside to assure their children do their homework. Parents talking to and mentoring their own children. Parents showing up at school functions, despite their busy work schedules.

In the lower scoring school districts I have seen, is parents with plenty of time, not involving themselves with their children. Not attending school functions. Not setting time aside to oversee their children doing their homework.

I am aware my observations sound broad, and I don't wish to "paint with a broad brush", but these are my observations. While everything is a factor, I see wealth in a community as less of a factor in how well children do in school and parental involvement as a huge factor in how well children do (or don't).

CLAIRE GAMACHE's picture

No excuses

The story coming out of the governor's office is that poverty is no excuse for failure. And for once the governor is correct. He is the perfect example. However, I would bet that if both he and Governor Mckernan had been given the same language tests when they were both ten years old that the governor would not have looked so successful. Disadvantaged children are not as sheltered from life's harsher moments and so their progress in school is sporadic. They do not advance at the same rate as say the Obama girls. And they don't learn things in the prescribed order. When you have a test that registers what students have accomplished according to a rigid time schedule and rigid linear skills development you are putting them at a terminal disadvantage. The hardest thing their teacher has to teach them is an internal vision of themselves as successful. Mostly the only thing they recognize as success is the family bully. Without that vision they have no motivation to succeed and no goal to reach for. Nothing will make Biddeford schools into Kennebunk schools; not threatening, punishing nor shaming. We need to work with the students we have and help them to succeed realistically. This school grading will only confirm their self-assessment of themselves as life- long failures.

Steve  Dosh's picture

Claire ? That's somewhat

Claire ? That's somewhat pessimistic isn't it ?
We try to remain positive and not cynical even in our old , o l d age
Sasha and Melia have good parents . In fact , her mom Michelle is a summa cum laude Princeton grad .
My four children are all smarter than i am and it makes me angry at times
Chin up . ME does well . Better than Hawai'i . Out here we have the schools left behind
http://www.hawaiiantel.net/news/read.php?rip_id=%3CDA60RG501%40news.ap.o...
hth , Steve ;)

Thomas Hamilton's picture

Ok so

Ok, so now what? Will the state fund all the schools as promised?

What happened to No Child Left Behind? A very wide range in scores suggest that a lot of kids are being left behind.

Jason Theriault's picture

So now what Governor?

Great, you graded the schools. Is that it? Is your plan to just shame them? Or do you plan on helping them?

Steve  Dosh's picture

State grades schools: Lewiston High gets a D, Edward Little a C

†yvm Bonnie for the pictures, also ;) 13:00 hst ?
Very comprehensive reporting
. .There are teachers. .then there are educators •
http://www.nclb.gov
/s , Dr. Dosh , Bates '78 , GWU '86 , PWU '99
Quick : Name the *.stans ( there are eight )
Afganistan , Pakistan , Uzbekistan , Kazahkstan. .etc . .

AL PELLETIER's picture

F

Lepage's score.

Steve  Dosh's picture

AL, We agree ? " F " Has

AL, We agree ? " F " Has he even got his G E D ( Govt. Equivalency Degree ) ?
Prove it ( chuckles ) someone , please
In the famous words of Larry the Cable Guy. .
" Git 'Er Done ." hth ? /s , Steve

Bob White's picture

I don't agree with that grade

I don't agree with that grade

Jason Theriault's picture

Yes, but what does the grade mean?

Just like the letter grades, we don't know whats behind the grade.
Is the F for being Factless? Or is it for the Facade that he gives a damn about schools? Of is it Flawed Fairy tale that Florida's education system is anything other than inFerior to Maine's First Rate system?

CLAIRE GAMACHE's picture

Never saw that coming

So the schools with better funding and higher income parents and schools with large numbers of English Language Learners and low income kids aren't the same. Who knew? I'm sure it will all change now. What might help more though would be for the state of Maine to come up with the funding they promised. It might also help if people understood that little consideration is given to why kids didn't take the test. Some are out of state due to visitation or moving, some are in jail, some are in the hospital for medical or psychiatric problems, some live on the street and are hard to locate and some just refuse to take the test. The only statistic measured is the percentage that take the test. Could it be that Cape Elizabeth doesn't have so many of these absentees? And why not give credit for the hard work of teaching all those learning disabled and mentally handicapped and culturally deprived and non English speaking students. Does anybody really believe their low scores are the result of less work and not more? Is anybody naive enough to believe that Lewiston doesn't also have high scoring high ability students in advanced courses successfully moving on to brilliant college careers every year. The score is just a meaningless put down.

Steve  Dosh's picture

Claire , How about all that

Claire , How about all that casino , cigarette and liquor , tool booths and other tax monies ?
" i believe that children are our future. ." -- Whitney
Your governor proposes 19th century solutions to 21st century problems
hth ? Steve ;)

Jake Paris's picture

Dumb System

Big surprise the richest communities scored the highest. Here's a crazy idea: maybe the schools who do poorly should get more money and resources than those who score well.

Jake Paris's picture

Dumb System

Big surprise the richest communities scored the highest. Here's a crazy idea: maybe the schools who do poorly should get more money and resources.

Steve  Dosh's picture

Jake ? A: Yes ? 

Jake ? A: Yes ? 

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