AUGUSTA — The Maine Department of Education today released academic achievement data for 560 public schools that were reviewed in a recent effort to identify the state’s 10 persistently lowest-achieving schools under certain federal funding criteria.

Education Commissioner Susan Gendron said she provided the background data because several school officials, legislators and others asked for it after she released the list of 10 on March 9.

The 10 schools are eligible to share $12 million in federal grants if they pursue aggressive improvement plans in the Obama administration’s Race to the Top initiative.

“It’s time to make some changes,” Gendron said during a media conference call. “You have to restructure. You have to change leadership.”

The 10 schools are Riverton Community in Portland, Deer Isle-Stonington High, Longley Elementary in Lewiston, Houlton High, Sumner Memorial High in Sullivan, Carrabec High in North Anson, Hodgdon High, Lake Region High in Naples, Livermore Falls High and Madison Area High School.

Eight of the schools, excluding Riverton and Deer Isle-Stonington, would have to replace the principal to receive as much as $2 million per year for three years. Principals of the eight schools were on the job before the 2007-08 school year, Gendron said.


Improvement plans also typically call for more one-on-one attention for struggling students, extended learning opportunities after school or in the summer, targeted professional development for teachers and administrators and increased use of test results to improve instruction.

The 10 schools scored lowest among 98 in Maine that fit the following criteria: They receive or are eligible for federal Title I funding; have demonstrated low reading and math proficiency over three years; and fell below the state average in making progress during that period. Title I funding targets financially disadvantaged students.

Districts must notify Gendron of their intent to apply for the grants by Friday. District officials for two of the schools, Houlton High and Livermore Falls High, have reportedly decided to forgo the additional funding, Gendron said. They face no sanctions for declining the money and could be eligible for similar funding next year if they fall in the same category.

The 10 schools are divided into two categories.

One category identified Title I schools that have failed to show progress according to federal criteria for two or more years: Riverton, Deer Isle-Stonington, Longley, Houlton and Sumner.

The other category identified Maine high schools that are eligible for Title I funding but whose districts use the money in other schools: Carrabec, Hodgdon, Lake Region, Livermore Falls and Madison.

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