Monthly Archives: January 2014

When the principal’s load is too heavy …

Dysfunction on a school board or in a superintendent’s office or at the state level impacts what goes on in the classroom, but the quality of teachers is what matters most, and the principal of a school is charged with ensuring that quality. Sometimes it seems that a principal’s load is simply too great to […]

As School Budgeting Season Heats Up Remember the Crucial Middle School Years

As budget season heats up, school board members should make sure they are basing decisions at least partially on current research about what makes schools successful. A recent report out of the Center for Education Policy, Applied Research, and Evaluation at the University of Southern Maine conclusively – and not surprisingly – establishes that “…levels […]

Take Two Schools: Add Students of Poverty to One and Middle Class Kids to the Other. Different Results? Usually … but not always.

The University of Southern Maine has just published a study that documents the strong connection between school poverty and student achievement in Maine. Most interesting about the study is not the announcement (which is hardly news to most of us) that schools with a large proportion of low-income students have fewer high-achieving students than schools […]

Dear Teacher: My Mother is on Drugs. She didn’t call me on Christmas. I haven’t seen her in a year and a half.

At 8:40 this morning, alone in the room with me for sixty seconds between classes, a young boy shared this with me: My mother takes drugs. She didn’t call me on Christmas. I haven’t seen her in a year and a half. As he spoke I suddenly understood at least some of why this child […]

Stakeholders in RSU 13 and Other Districts Must Guard the Future of Schools

The current debacle in RSU 13, a school district in mid-coast Maine, provides a unique opportunity for taxpayers and employees alike to push that district to better serve its citizens. In order to seize this opportunity the district’s stakeholders must recognize that inclusiveness and transparency are of primary importance in decision-making. RSU 13 (along with […]