PORTLAND — State Education Commissioner Stephen Bowen will hold a public forum here tonight, seeking ideas on ways to boost school and teacher effectiveness and accountability.

The forum will be held from 6 to 7:30 p.m. in Room 250 of the Portland Arts and Technology High School, 196 Allen Ave.

Bowen held similar forums at Bangor High School on Dec. 8 and online on Dec. 13.

Bowen is seeking input as the Maine Department of Education prepares to submit a formal request to the federal government seeking flexibility under the controversial No Child Left Behind Act.

The U.S. Department of Education is offering states a chance to develop their own systems of accountability and recognition to replace the federal law on elementary and secondary education.

To qualify, states must devise new systems to hold schools accountable, recognize their success and evaluate teachers and administrators in fair, accurate and constructive ways.