The Associated Press

AUGUSTA — Maine officials are handing out new grades to the state’s schools.

The new A-F grades for Maine schools are set to be released to the public on Thursday. Schools received their individual grades earlier this week.

Republican Gov. Paul LePage’s administration began handing out letter grades to schools last year. It says that the grades bring accountability and transparency to the school system and help students improve.

Maine’s Department of Education says that 110 Maine schools improved by at least one letter grade since last year.

Democrats criticized the plan to grade schools last year, saying it was punitive and wouldn’t help struggling schools.

Grades are based on things like student proficiency and improvement. At the high school level, the graduation rate also factors in.

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