State releases 2014 school report cards
The 2014 school report cards were released May 15, and certificates of achievements are in the mail for 121 schools that earned an A or B grade, including six schools in the Midcoast.
In Regional School Unit 13, Cushing Community School received an A and Oceanside High School West received a B. In RSU 28, Camden-Rockport Elementary received an A, Camden-Rockport Middle School received a B. In School Union 69, Hope Elementary School received an A, and Lincolnville Central School received a B.
This the is second year the LePage administration has issued school report cards. The reports highlights third- to eighth-grade schools, as well as high schools. Schools were given a grade between A and F. The grades are based on math and reading proficiency, student growth and graduation rates.
"The goals of A-F grading are to provide a starting point, with easy-to-understand and concise information showing how a school is doing, and to make sure that schools are accountable for explaining that to their communities," according to a news release issued by the Department of Education. According to the DOE website, there are 13 other states, as well as New York City, that use a similar grading system for schools.
The overview indicated there will be state-level support for struggling schools that previously were not eligible for federal improvement funds.
"We'll use this funding to assist underperforming schools with direct funds and with technical assistance," the report states.
Statewide, schools earned a C average; 40 elementary schools and 10 high schools earned an A, while 53 elementary schools and 18 high schools earned a B.
When compared with the state-issued grades from 2013, schools in the Five Towns' area have seen a decrease in student proficiency.
Last year, Camden Hills Regional High School, Camden-Rockport Middle School and Camden-Rockport Elementary School "were given what would commonly be interpreted to be good or excellent grades" based on the introduction of an A through F grading system, according to Superintendent Elaine Nutter.
While the high and elementary schools maintained the 2013 rankings — B and A, respectively — the middle school dropped from an A to a B. Lincolnville Central School also dropped from an A in 2013 to a B. Though the state-issued grades dropped, both schools still remain above the state average.
Hope Elementary School maintained its A ranking and Appleton Village School also held steady with its C ranking from 2013, according to the state website.
In RSU 13, Cushing Community School remained at an A score, the same as last year, while Oceanside High School West improved from a C to a B. Lura Libby School and St. George Schools both dropped from a C to a D. The remaining four schools stayed the same.
Union Elementary School improved their score from a D to a C, while Miller School remained the same as last year at an F. The rest of the district five schools' grades each went down a letter grade.
To see the full 2014 report cards, go to maine.gov/doe/schoolreportcards/reportcards/index.html
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Stephanie is editor of The Republican Journal in Belfast. She previously served as editor of Camden Herald following its return in April 2012.
Stephanie also was editor of VillageSoup's Capital Weekly in Augusta and has nearly a decade of experience in the newspaper business ranging from southern and central Maine to Waldo County.
Outside the office, she enjoys reading, cooking and gardening.
Stephanie lives in Washington with her husband Jeff, four children, a dog named Chewbacca, a rabbit and chickens.