[Bilde:100619_142415_0.png]Common Sense for Maine Education It was interesting to read the editorial by Micky Bedell in the Bangor Daily News of January 7, 2017. The title of the editorial “The Education Push Everyone Knowns Maine Needs” rather gives away the common sense approach that Bedell advocates. Befell writes, “If Maine wants to prosper and grow, it needs to reduce that gap between rich and poor. And it’s not doing it. The difference in fourth-grade reading scores has not improved since 2007; it’s worsened in math. And the gap between students from lower-income families and higher-income families who go on to college actually grew between 2008 and 2014. What’s more, low-income students who make it to college are more likely to drop out.” We know the focus - the focus needs to be advocating for all students to do what they can at the best level they can, and then to do what they can’t at improved levels. Let’s work on advancing the strength and remediating the weaknesses. That requires understanding and collaboration. Bedell reports out the findings of the study group and writes, The researchers with the California firm Picus and Associates found the schools used similar strategies, which include:  — Focusing on instructing core subjects, such as language arts, math and science. — Adopting curriculums across the entire school that are based in research. — Providing intensive, ongoing professional development. — Organizing teachers into collaborative groups that continuously met to improve their instruction and figure out how to target students needing more help. — Providing more instructional time for struggling students Those are necessarily research findings, they are common sense assumptions that can be made by any teacher in the classroom. These recommendations really mean fewer initiatives that take teachers from the direct classroom experience. These recommendations mean fewer hair brained schemes not supported by experience and research. These recommendations mean fewer, but more meaningful test programs. In many ways, we have lost sight of what we know we want and need and instead focused too much on assessing what someone else thinks we need. The New Classroom is a common sense classroom, not an experiment with the futures of our children.