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Efforts continue to quell the backlash over President Donald Trump’s changing statements on the Russia summit. Also on the Thursday rundown: protestors are out for Mike Pence’s visit to Missouri; and nobody wants to go, but one option is green burials.

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Blackboard Blueprint: 10 Things Maine Education Needs to Improve

PHOTO: Educate Maine, a group of business leaders, has issued its annual report of 10 indicators it believes best measure Maine’s educational performance -- and 10 goals for 5 years from now. Photo courtesy of Educate Maine.
PHOTO: Educate Maine, a group of business leaders, has issued its annual report of 10 indicators it believes best measure Maine’s educational performance -- and 10 goals for 5 years from now. Photo courtesy of Educate Maine.
October 27, 2014

PORTLAND, Maine – Maine has a new report card evaluating its education system, issued by a group of the state's business leaders.

The annual Education Indicators report, released by Educate Maine, shows 10 areas along the pipeline from preschool through post-secondary that the group says makes for good measuring tools.

Colleen Quint, the group’s interim executive director, says there are some bright spots.

"Maine actually leads New England and leads the nation in terms of pre-K enrollment,” she points out. “So that's a really exciting piece of news and a good thing to see. "

But reading and math proficiency is stagnant in elementary and middle school, college costs and student debt are up and only about 38 percent of Mainers have an associate degree or higher.

Raising that to 50 percent by 2023 is one of the report's 10 goals.

Quint says a positive sign is in the cost of college in Maine.

"But with the college costs, for example, we're still – even though it's gone down as a percent of per capita income in Maine – it's still significantly ahead of or more expensive than the rest of New England,” she stresses. “So even where we see positive trends, we know there's still more work to be done."

Quint says it is estimated that 90 percent of Maine's high-growth jobs in the next decade require some education beyond high school.

"So it includes two-year degrees, four-year degrees, certificates and industry credentials,” she says. “So it's not about everybody in a march step to a four-year degree from an elite liberal arts institution."

Educate Maine is making the report available to educators and parents around the state as well as policymakers.

And, because of the possibility of some turnover in the Legislature, the report will be re-sent to the State House after Election Day, Nov. 4.


Mark Scheerer, Public News Service - ME