SHARECOMMENTMORE

AUGUSTA, Maine (AP) - Maine's school chief is stepping down to work for a national nonprofit education organization.

Republican Gov. Paul LePage's office announced Friday that Education Commissioner Stephen Bowen will become the Strategic Initiative Director of Innovation for the Washington D.C.-based Council of Chief State School Officers.

Bowen says he will help other states establish policy changes to transform their public education systems.

Bowen will step down Sept. 12 after more than two years on the job. An acting commissioner will be chosen soon.

Bowen brought several changes to Maine education, including the "A-F" performance grading system of the state's schools and most recently a waiver of the federal No Child Left Behind law.

Bowen says he is proud of what the department has accomplished and hopes to "take Maine's transformation nationwide."

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