I received a couple of private responses to a post entitled Education Studies: Who Would Know? after it appeared on DirigoBlue. Really, I do understand that I could contact someone at the Maine Department of Education and maybe get the information. But that’s not the point. It’s not the public’s responsibility to search out such information; it’s the government’s obligation to make sure the data is accurately posted as soon as possible so citizens from the entire state can see it. Even something as basic as who was appointed to these various stakeholder groups, task forces, work groups and study groups is not available and there’s no logical reason that I can come up with to explain why not.
That being said, I was banned* earlier this year from posting at the Department of Education’s Newsroom site so whether or not my request from information would be favorably received is open to question. If the ban has since been lifted I don’t know because I haven’t checked recently; it’s not important. If the DoE asks for public input, but then chooses which comments it wants to “hear” via public posting, that’s its decision. I have other avenues to make my views known if I choose. I can only hope that other people who are cynical about so-called education reform in Maine (and elsewhere) choose to make their views known via other venues, as well.
*I use the word “banned” because any comments I made in the applicable box were put on hold indefinitely with the statement “awaiting moderation“. I can only assume the term moderation in this context meant “to check on before posting” rather than “to weaken the content” since I never heard from the Department asking me to tone down whatever I had written. Given that another commenter identified other educators in the state of being less than “professionally courageous” and the Commissioner himself accused Maine schools of allowing students to graduate for merely having sat through classes, I fail to see how anything I wrote could have been much worse.