Yesterday Maine Governor Paul LePage signed an executive order pushing back against top-down federal intrusion into education, and seeking to safeguard student privacy. Truth in American Education’s Shane Vander Hart noted of the executive order, “It doesn’t back Maine out of the Common Core State Standards, but it is a HUGE step and other governors should be doing the same.”
You can read “An Order Regarding Protection of Local Education Control and Student Privacy Rights” here.
A press release from Maine’s Department of Education characterizes Governor LePage’s motivation this way:
The Governor’s action prohibiting the influence of the federal government into Maine’s education policy comes after parents and educators have raised concerns about the Obama Administration’s attempts to hijack successful state-led education reforms, including more rigorous, relevant standards in mathematics and English language arts Maine voluntarily adopted in common with other states in 2011.
The press release also details Maine’s efforts to safeguard student data:
Last week, Education Commissioner Stephen Bowen sent a letter to the U.S. House Committee on Education and the Workforce saying Maine would not disclose any identifiable student information to the federal government or connect its data systems with that of any other state or nationalized system.
“We believe this sovereignty is critical to the privacy of Maine students and their families, and to the autonomy of our state’s public education system, which is based on a fundamental right to exercise local control,” Commissioner Bowen wrote.