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Middle Level Education in Maine

“Education, particularly in a democracy has to involve the heart as well as head, attitude as well as information, spirit as well as scholarship, conscience as well as competence." - Dr. John H. Lounsbury


Bright Futures Image  

The Commission on Middle Level Education, under the leadership of Mary Callan and Ed Brazee, created the report Bright Futures! on the current state of middle level education to make recommendations to the Maine Department of Education about improvements for educating Maine’s 10 to 15 year olds.  The report is posted below in its entirety and by individual sections.  The Commission hopes that middle level educators, parents, and policy makers will gain a clearer understanding of what is needed for high quality, equitable, and effective middle level programs. 

An accompanying poster has been created that includes highlights of the Bright Futures! report. You can obtain copies of the the poster by contacting Argy Nestor at the Maine DOE.

As the Middle Level Education webpages continue to develop at the Department, we hope they will become useful as you plan and work to create the best middle schools possible for all students.

    Bright Futures design by Peter Bernard



A Framework of Twelve Core Practices for Maine Middle Grades Schools Developing Full Academic, Personal and Social Potential for Maine Young Adolescents.


Complete Document

A Letter from Commissioner Susan Gendron


Bright Futures Professional Development Opportunities

Save the dates for MDOE Bright Futures Statewide Webcasts

This is an opportunity to learn more about the Bright Futures Report.  You’re invited to join in the statewide conversation about middle grades teaching and learning.  The webcasts will be facilitated by Chris Toy and Jill Spencer.  It is recommended that you attend with a colleague, team or perhaps your entire middle school staff.  Be present during the actual session and/or you can access it later on.  The sessions will be taped and available on the web. All sessions are scheduled 3:00-4:00.

Click here for more information.


Research that Supports Bright Futures


Bright Futures by Section:


  • More than the Sum of its Parts: Changing a Middle Level School
  • Call to Action

Underlying Beliefs

Renewing our Commitment to Young Adolescents

Core Principles for Maine's Middle Level Schools

The Middle Level in the K-16 Curriculum

Core Practices

  • The 12 Core Practices
    • Learning and Teaching Practices in Maine's Middle Level Schools
    • School Practices to Support Learning and Teaching in Maine's Middle Level Schools


  • General Recommendations
  • Middle Schools Cannot do it Alone
  • Two Goals to Implement Immediately

Appendix 1

  • Taking Stock
  • What We Have Learned About Middle Level Schools in Maine
  • Academic Achievement in Maine's Middle Schools

Appendix 2

  • NMSA and NCATE Performance-Based Standards for Middle Level Teacher Preparation

Appendix 3

  • The Maine Commission on Middle Level Education Endorses This We Believe: Successful Schools for Young Adolescents and its Core Principles

Appendix 4

  • Resources
  • References
  • Acknowledgements


If you have questions please contact Argy Nestor at the Maine Department of Education - e-mail or phone 624-6825


Collaborate with other educators on the Middle Level Learning Wiki.


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Updated 1/11/10 -pb