October 29, 2010

Gubernatorial candidates address education

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Yes, I support charter and magnet schools. The student is the most important person in the classroom. I will work for a voucher system that allows students and their parents to pick the school that works best for them.

 

Do you support initiating a system of merit pay for public school teachers?

 

The best indicator of a teacher's ability is the success of the students in the classroom. If students excel, their teacher should be recognized and rewarded. If students consistently fail to improve, their teacher should not benefit with automatic pay increases based on longevity.

 

Do you support further administrative reductions in the K-12 public education system?

 

Our limited education dollars need to be reprioritized. We need to fully fund classrooms first, so teachers have the resources to teach. Our dollars should be used to advance learning in the classroom and not fund a bloated education bureaucracy.

 

Should Maine create statewide standards for special education programs?

 

Yes, we should eliminate the disparity between communities and have a statewide standard for special education programs.

 

Do you believe the state should reach 55 percent in GPA funding? If yes, how long expect to get there and if no, what's the appropriate level of state funding?

 

The citizens of Maine voted for the state to fund 55 percent of GPA funding. Therefore, the state has the responsibility to abide by the will of the people. To meet that responsibility the state needs to reprioritize spending and shrink the size and scope of state government.

 

Is Maine's current per pupil spending too much, too little or just the right amount?

 

Maine's student population has steadily decreased, while per pupil spending has steadily increased. We need to make sure our education dollars are going directly into the classroom to provide our teachers with the resources they need to teach, instead of funding a bloated administrative bureaucracy.

 

Do you support collecting students' Social Security Numbers to help develop Maine's longitudinal data system? Why or why not?

 

No, I believe we should protect our children's privacy.

 

Should there be consolidation between the University of Maine System and the Maine Community College System? What do you think it should be?

 

Consolidation efforts for K through 12 have not produced the intended savings. Therefore, I will look carefully at any consolidation proposal for higher education to see if there will actually be any savings.

 

 

Shawn Moody on

Education

 

Do you support creating a charter school system in Maine?

 

Not at this time, (because) creating a network of charter schools in Maine would take 3-5 years. We can use charter schools as leverage when negotiating with the teachers' union over issues like merit pay.

 

Do you support initiating a system of merit pay for public school

teachers?

 

Absolutely, but not tied directly to student performance. Merit pay is the American way - pay for performance. We will do so by using a whole range of criteria to judge performance, a 360-degree approach involving students, parents, the principal and a small teacher peer group.

 

Do you support further administrative reductions in the K-12 public education system?

 

The fact is that while school enrollment is dropping, teaching and administrative staffs are growing. We need a second-generation consolidation to address additional opportunities and to clean up the loose ends that remain after the original consolidation plan. This time, we'll do it in a less punitive way and put the savings back into the classroom.

 

Should Maine create statewide standards for special education programs?

(Continued on page 3)

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Additional Photos

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Shawn Moody,  Eliot Cutler, Paul LePage, Kevin Scott, Libby Mitchell
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AP

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