Change in standards, not expectations

Dear Editor:

I am appalled by the recent spate of articles and opinions on the state of our schools in Maine. Does anyone truly believe that Maine schools are suddenly going to plummet because our standards of measurement are changing? That is a terrible commentary on the teachers in our schools. Teachers will still have expectations for students to meet standards and become proficient in math, reading, writing, science and history. As for students not being available for summer employment, where are the statistics on where all our high school, employment-ready students are? Is it accurate to make a broad blanket statement that local teens don’t want to work without any evidence to back it up? I have yet to see hoards of students roaming the streets or hanging out in the local parking lots. Is it not possible that they have better jobs than are offered by the tourist-dependent businesses? Having worked as a teacher through Learning Results, Common Core and proficiency-based education models, I know that our teachers in the former Union 92, RSU 24 and the Hancock/Lamoine systems are dedicated and will continue to maintain high expectations for all our students. Our local school boards will continue to champion high standards as well. I doubt if anyone can come forward and say, “Our school is lowering standards for our students.” No one wants that. Just because a particular model, forwarded by a group or an individual, is no longer seen as pertinent to our students does not mean we are going to lower standards!

Jo Williams


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