Change is always good, but Gov. Paul LePage’s recommendation of Stephen Bowen as commissioner of education doesn’t meet the high standard needed and should be challenged. Bowen has three years of teaching high school in Virginia and some middle school experience.

A few years in the public sector does not fully qualify one to debate such heated issues as merit pay and charter schools. Four years teaching in Rockport is not the best place to gather knowledge about placing college courses in K-12 curriculum.

I cannot debate the experience gained at the Maine Heritage Policy Center.

What I can debate is the experience gained when the classroom door is shut: a school board meeting that goes into executive session; knowledge of the state funding formula when there is a budget shortfall; and being familiar with Maine law as it applies to schools.

I have been blessed with 45 years in education. I have seen more educational initiatives and commissioners come and go than I dare to count. I do know, at a time when the education of our young people is so critically important, the state doesn’t need someone with inexperience leading the way.

At a time when educators at all levels are being asked to do more with less, what is needed is someone to gather the troops. When the governor is promoting educational change, Maine needs someone on the cutting edge of educational reform.

Why throw inexperience into a big-time ball game?

Walter Ridlon, Lewiston


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