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Governor unveils school grades

6:40 PM, May 1, 2013   |    comments
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AUGUSTA, Maine (NEWS CENTER) - The Governor and his Commissioner of Education released their controversial plan to give schools across the state a grade, the same way students are graded.

Of the state's 422 elementary schools 81-percent received a C or better. Only 69-percent of the state's High Schools got those grades.

The Governor's Commissioner of education says parents hear all kinds of information about test scores being thrown around and schools given titles, but no one knows what it all means. He says simplifying it into grades of A, B, C, D or F is something everyone can understand.

Groups representing teachers, administrators and school boards say the grades given to elementary and high schools show a a major flaw. The schools that fail are generally in the state's poorest communities, where extra resources for education are scarce.

While the governor says failing grades will motivate teachers, students and their parents to help improve the school's grades, others say it will do just the opposite.

"When you tell these children now their schools, which are the centers of their universe, are now graded and receiving F's I think its really demoralizing for students", said Connie Brown of the Maine School Management Association.

The Governor says his only motivation here is to improve Maine's schools. He says this is data relying heavily on Math and Reading, the two subjects he feels are most important to students. That data is put together to come up with grades for schools just like students are graded.

"I want the good schools to be rewarded and those that aren't doing as well we want to be able to help them", said Governor LePage.

The state was given an overall grade of C. The grades will be updated each year. The next grades for high schools will be released in the fall. The elementary school grades will come out next spring.

To see the grades of the schools in your community go to the Maine Department of Education Website. 

NEWS CENTER

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