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  • Published
    October 27, 2016

    Support Question 2 to give Maine students a competitive education

    Maine should move decisively to join the nationwide movement prioritizing global education and the study of world languages in K-12 schools. These are key curricular areas that will prepare our young people — and our state — to participate successfully in the economy of the future. Twenty-two states now offer a Seal of Biliteracy to high school graduates who have achieved proficiency in at least one language …

  • Published
    October 13, 2016

    Stand up for Students offers a chance to help struggling districts

    Through the Stand Up for Students ballot initiative, Maine has a chance on Election Day to help less-affluent school districts provide a quality education to their students. As the Picus Report, funded by our Legislature in 2013 to the tune of $450,000, found, Maine needs to “…increase funding for public schools by $260 million per year to pay for programs.” We trail most of the rest of the nation in our …

  • Published
    October 6, 2016

    Spending money wisely on schools

    I came to a realization recently that stopped me dead in my tracks: many outstanding teachers in our public schools suffer daily from deep feelings of inadequacy because they think they are failing at their jobs. I thought about what we all know about children and their learning — they don’t learn well when they feel like failures. It seems to me that this phenomenon of really excellent teachers feeling bad …

  • Published
    July 21, 2016

    Use school buildings to offer mental health, other services

    Maine has an opiate and heroin addiction crisis, and it’s impacting our children. Some of them are born addicted; others suffer the results of living with parents who are addicted. As a teacher I am trained to help children develop intellectually, socially and emotionally. My fellow teachers and I work hard and try to do our jobs well. However, far too frequently we cannot really help the desperate children we …

  • Published
    July 7, 2016

    The state needs to provide equity in education

    I read with dismay Jake Bleiberg’s June 24 story in the Bangor Daily News about the poor condition of four of Portland’s elementary schools – Presumpscot, Longfellow, Reiche and Lyseth – and about unsuccessful efforts dating back two decades to have the schools renovated. In this country we are unfortunately accustomed to hearing about grossly neglected school buildings in certain neighborhoods in big urban …

  • Published
    February 25, 2016

    Time for global competency education in Maine

    The insensitivity toward cultures other than his own demonstrated by Gov. Paul LePage’s Feb. 11 “joke” at the expense of a Chinese man and his name perfectly illustrates the need for more world language and global education in Maine. To begin with, in an era when the demographics and economy of the state are changing, and when a globalized economy is no longer theoretical but well-established, we cannot afford …

  • Published
    February 4, 2016

    Guide to a cheaper fix for schools

    Roland Barth, leading writer on education, suggests that a key ingredient to improving schools is regular, school-focused, honest, mutually respectful conversation among the adults who work in them. Compared to the millions of dollars we have spent in this country in the past decade on much more complicated “fixes” (and that have seen dubious success — and that’s being generous), creating structures in schools …

  • Published
    January 7, 2016

    Rethinking education: Resolutions for the new year

    In the spirit of the new year, here is my list of wishes for children and schools across Maine. • Let’s equalize the playing field. It is morally wrong that inequity in access to the arts, advanced courses, languages and quality facilities characterizes schools in our state. The privileged graduate with the background a broad education gives them to pursue professional dreams, while the less fortunate finish …

  • Published
    December 24, 2015

    Social services in the schools

    The December 10 issue of the paper included an excellent editorial by The Courier-Gazette Editorial Board titled “Facing poverty in Rockland.” The editorial discussed Rockland’s unfortunate status as”‘among the poorest communities in Knox County, far behind many of its neighbors,” and pointed to the high level of food insecurity of residents of the city. The editorial pointed out that because Rockland provides …

  • Published
    October 1, 2015

    Don't drive creative teachers out of the schools

    We should not rob our schools of our most creative teachers We are driving excellent teachers out of the profession with our insistence on measurement and standardized systems of accountability. People who became teachers because they were fascinated by the developing human mind, attracted by the chance to help children reach their potential, engaged by the challenge of fashioning learning experiences that would …

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