September 20, 2013

Letters to the editor: Long-term jail policy long overdue

(Continued from page 1)

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Inmates meet with visitors at the Cumberland County Jail. By creating a panel to study Maine’s unified jail system, the state is abdicating responsibility for policymaking, a reader says.

2013 File Photo/Derek Davis

The question posed to Peace Action Maine should be "Are Syrian and Egyptian Arabs not as worthy to defend as Palestinian ones?" Or is it just the Israeli thing that has this group in a tizzy?

Mickey Haas


Common Core criteria give students chance to advance

Maine businesses support Maine's Common Core Standards. Why? We demand the very best from our employees in order to compete successfully in a global economy, and these rigorous standards will develop the skills to achieve that goal.

Our companies need a future workforce with a mastery of core academic content and competitiveness skills like critical thinking, communication and collaboration to help us innovate and grow.

The standards are rigorous learning goals that help students develop that knowledge and those skills so they are college- and career-ready when they graduate from high school.

Independent organizations like the Thomas B. Fordham Institute have concluded that the Maine Common Core Standards are more rigorous than Maine's prior state standards. And that is good for Maine's businesses and our economy.

Our students are no longer competing with students in other states. They are competing with students from around the world. The new standards are internationally benchmarked, which will help our students compete with the world's best.

Contrary to what some believe, the Maine Common Core Standards are not national standards, or curricula, or textbooks. Maine voluntarily adopted the standards, and the state, school districts, individual schools and teachers are developing the curricula and instructional materials aligned to the standards.

We need to be honest with ourselves concerning where our students are and get them where they need to be for success. We have raised the bar and need to stay on course.

Robert A. Moore

president and CEO, Dead River Co.

South Portland

The Common Core represents a real step forward. It supports teachers as they work with students (across the spectrum) to learn more thoroughly and to apply their learning to the real world. Sure, the federal government has encouraged it, with funding, but that doesn't make it bad.

Our company works with school districts across the country (in Georgia, West Virginia, Utah, Illinois, North Carolina, Tennessee, California, etc.) as they transition to these new Common Core standards and practices, and each state and district has its own unique approach.

There is no one "Common Core." There is no "federal takeover." The real danger is that, in the interests of maintaining local control, Maine will miss this opportunity to take a great leap forward.

Al Noyes

president, Walch Education/ Walch Printing


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