2017-01-06 Update

2017-01-06

Weekly update

This was the first "real" week in the legislature.  We met on Wednesday and Thursday.  The day began with a Democratic caucus and then a session in the House.  Most of the work there was procedural, concerning official communications.  The sessions ended quickly, allowing time for House members to discuss upcoming bills and initiatives.

Very soon we begin layering in the committee meetings, and I can see already that the real heavy lifting is done in committees.  

There is a level of discussion regarding the Governor's movement and initiative to encourage, maybe force, school administrative consolidation.  While I favor economies of scale, the idea that the entire state of Maine might have only 25 superintendents who are all funded by the local communities alone seems pretty drastic.  Yes, there may be extra weight in the school administrative budgets, but that suggestion seems like recommending we chop the head off a dieter to save pounds.  Ah, "the operation was a success, but the patient died.". Where's the common sense in that?

Instead, we need to be asking some pretty basic questions.

1. What is the responsibility of the state for education?
2.  What does it mean to be educated in 2017 or 2025?
3. How do we best measure that success?

I know that the next few weeks and months will be interesting. And, I'm reminded of that Chinese curse, "May you live in interesting times."


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