AUGUSTA — State officials are looking for public input as they craft new accountability systems for schools and educators.

The Maine Department of Education will file an application Feb. 21 to be released from some provisions of the federal No Child Left Behind law, including a requirement that all students be proficient by 2013-14 — a standard that many people say is impossible to meet.

To get waivers, states must create new ways to evaluate schools and teachers.

“We’ll still need to test all schools every year,” said Maine Education Commissioner Stephen Bowen on a conference call Monday. “We will need to look at how they’re doing; we will need to identify schools that are underperforming, and we’ll need to determine what we’re going to do about it.”

One criticism of No Child Left Behind is that schools have been measured on the basis of standardized tests alone, Bowen said. Maine wants to include other indicators of effectiveness.

The department plans to gather input on what educators, parents and other stakeholders value in their schools through public forums in Bangor and Portland, an online forum and an online survey. The Portland forum is scheduled for 6 to 7:30 p.m. Dec. 14 at Portland Arts and Technology High School, Room 250.

The survey will ask respondents to rank potential tools for measuring a school’s success, including rates of attendance, graduation or dropouts; parent, student or teacher surveys; parent engagement; and staff turnover rates.

Bowen said evaluations probably will include other measures of effectiveness and won’t be implemented fully until 2014-15, around the time Maine transitions to a statewide test being developed by the Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium.

Kennebec Journal Staff Writer Susan McMillan can be contacted at 621-5645 or at: [email protected]