LePage signs executive order to keep federal educational standards out of Maine schools

AUGUSTA — Gov. Paul LePage signed an executive order Wednesday that prevents Maine schools from adopting federally mandated educational standards.

The executive order is designed to ensure that Maine schools maintain local control in light of concerns about new educational benchmarks in reading, writing and math.

“Higher standards play an important role in that, but the federal government does not" wrote LePage in a prepared statement. "With my executive order, Maine is making clear that we set the standards for our state, that implementation of those standards is locally controlled.”

The executive order mandates that local school districts are responsible for setting rigorous educational standards consistent with state standards. Neither the state nor federal governments can set "specific curricula or instructional approaches," according to the executive order.

It says that future decisions to adopt state educational standards must be done through a transparent process and reaffirms that the federal government cannot set Maine's learning standards.

Also, the Maine Department of Education is barred from applying for any federal grant that "requires, as a condition of application, the adoption of any federally-developed standards, curricula or instructional approaches."

The order is aimed at sending a message to opponents of the Common Core State Standards, adopted by 45 states. Opponents recently kicked off a campaign to repeal them in Maine through a ballot referendum.

They say the uniform standards strip decision making abilities from school districts. But education officials say the standards are merely goals and districts will continue to make curriculum decisions.

Information from the Associated Press was used in this report.

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A little late......

What's even more troubling by this move is that he waited so long to issue this order after so many schools have invested so much time and effort into the adoption of Common Core. You get an "F" for this one, Mr. LePage.

Jim Cyr's picture

How can an

investment in the educating our children be gone to waste unless it was for some other agenda? One can use it for a source if they want to. Or the district can pursue there own theory on education. You get an " F " for giving the Federal Government more unconstitutional power !!

Robert McQueeney's picture

A local school

A local school could still strive to achieve common core's values. I think Lepage is removing the requirement for it. Nothing to stop a local community from doing so. If I understand this correctly.

Jason Theriault's picture

BTW - Does this matter?

Sun Journal Staff;

I had a question for you - Does an executive order have any standing outside of the executive branch of the state government?

I mean, can the governor issues a statement like this one that carries ANY weight? It's not law, and funding and whatnot is set in law, so is there anyway this order has ANY bearing on local schools?

Jason Theriault's picture

What this is

All this is, is people rebelling against any federal program, regardless of whether its a good idea or not. No thought went into this, and LePage is just showing how utterly stupid he is.


Local control

Wouldn't you think that a guy who is defending local control would ask the locals and the voters if they want this before unilaterally deciding for them ? Or maybe this is just a knee jerk bone he is throwing to his federal government hating Tea Party base. You also have to wonder just how much he actually knows about the Common Core Curriculum other than it comes from Washington. Schools are supposed to prepare kids for a world that doesn't even exist yet. However, it makes sense to assume that jobs of the future will be more national and global rather than local. So why would it not make sense to ask schools to set the same standards in Louisiana as in Maine? And why is it better to let testing companies decide what belongs on the curriculum rather than educators?

Jim Cyr's picture

Madame Gamache,

Why don't we just have the U.N take over our education and would they not be better prepared for the your world interpretation of education preparatory ?

Jim Cyr's picture

The Federal Government has

no authority over local control.. We have 50 states not one big central government. You Progressives have no love for our Founders magnificent works for a free society. Give me, give me, give me !! No wonder you guys are driving the economics to of this once great nation to h _ _ _ in a hand basket .

Jason Theriault's picture

Oh come on

That argument is crap. How is setting standards like common core anything but a good thing? I mean, the ONLY thing I can see being a problem is that they would interfere with an agenda of sabotaging the public schools.

I mean, common core sets a common bar, no differently than the SATs or other tests.

Jason Theriault's picture

Oh come on

That argument is crap. How is setting standards like common core anything but a good thing? I mean, the ONLY thing I can see being a problem is that they would interfere with an agenda of sabotaging the public schools.

I mean, common core sets a common bar, no differently than the SATs or other tests.

Jim Cyr's picture

Monsieur Theriault,

My argument is " crap "?? Where in the Constitution does the Fed have this power you speak of over our education? Take your Progressive glasses off and put your Constitutional ones on !! It really disheartens me to see such intelligent people refusing to stand up for the Constitution !!

FRANK EARLEY's picture

Could this just be...........

Could this just be another assault on the Federal Government? I know he likes to use very impressive language, he makes some very broad statements that really don't say a lot. I don't see particular instances of what he's trying to avoid. It just seems that the biggest problem this program has is, it's Federal. Paul LePage has continually gone out of his way to alienate the State of Maine from the rest of the country.
My fear now is, if he has any hope at all of winning or even coming close to winning, this upcoming election, it will require substantial support from the Tea Party. To that end, he's going to do whatever it takes to impress the Teabaggers at the expense of the citizens of Maine. That could spell disaster for an untold number of people in Maine.................

Robert McQueeney's picture

I feel this is not a good thing.

Common core would keep all students in America at approximately the same level of education for the basic studies. I.E. every child would be expected to read at a certain level by graduation, have a certain grasp on math, etc....

When one thinks of a Japanese educated 20 something coming to the US for a job or further studies, one has a vision of a very well educated person who should do very well. Other countries have educational goals that are well above what America presents. This is only going to handicap Maine students, as they will not even be expected to attain the national goals.

 's picture

Where are the cries of "Dictatorship", bypassing the

legislature, and well the usual conservative nonsense that follows executive action?
This action like most of the Governor's actions appears more like an irrational temper tantrum than policy. Common core is no threat to Maine independence in methods or curriculum.
I oppose all concentration of authority in education. And that begins at the local schools. Every child is a sponge soaking up knowledge at a fantastic pace if adults will only let them. The child who will not learn is the child who has been taught that learning is not in their interest by adults. Our primary educational problem are adults not children.

JOANNE MOORE's picture

Equal opportunity.

Kids in Maine are going to be short-changed is some districts if local control tops federal standards. Those standards are there for a reason - to see that all children get the basics and that none are discriminated against for whatever reason.

Reading, writing, math and science (all the sciences). Music and art and civics (or current events) and History need to be grasped and mastered by each student who want to be able to achieve success in today's world.

The first time any of my grandchildren tell me that cavemen rode on dinosaurs or that the earth is only a few thousand years old, I will sue that fat doofus in Augusta so fast his head will spin. No child should be without the correct tools to make it into a career of their choice. School is a one shot deal. You either get a quality education or you will be asking"Will you have fries with that?" or be stuck in a series of dead end jobs or worse, no job and no control over your own life.


Will this idiot ever stop making it look like the rest of us Mainers follow him...I think he has done more harm for this state in the few years he has been on office...does he not read anything so he could maybe have an idea what the people of Maine want..he hurts us more than helps us...enough already!!!!


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