Media report on UMaine support for Bangor School Department equity review

Bangor School Department leaders and teachers are setting goals and analyzing their school cultures after evaluation and research by faculty members from the University of Maine College of Education and Human Development, the Bangor Daily News, WFVX-TV (Fox 23/ABC 7 in Bangor) and News Center Maine reported.

COEHD faculty members Rebecca Buchanan, Ian Mette and Leah Hakkola are part of a research practice partnership (RPP) assisting the district with an equity review that has included surveys and interviews with educators and community members, as well as analysis of student information system data. The results have shown that some Bangor students experience school differently based on gender, race, socioeconomic status and whether they require traditional academic support. The district is using data from the equity review to make its own decisions and address student outcomes.

“We know that students that are from an impoverished background or are living in poverty often struggle to achieve more,” Mette told WFVX. “That’s something that’s consistent across the United States. But what I think the Bangor School Department is trying to do is acknowledge those disparities exist and figure out how to close that gap moving forward.”

As part of the RPP, Mette, Buchanan and Hakkola are offering three separate courses throughout this school year for Bangor educators on culturally responsive educational practices.

In addition to Mette and Bangor schools’ superintendent James Tager, WFVX interviewed four-time UMaine graduate and 14th Street School principal Brian Bannen ‘03, ‘09G, ‘13G, ‘22G.