School standardized tests to get shorter next year

Here’s some good news for Maryland’s public school students – the state Department of Education plans to cut the time they spend taking standardized tests. The new Maryland Comprehensive Assessment Program (MCAP) is being developed to replace the PARCC exams that have been used for the past four years to measure progress in areas such as language arts, math, science and social studies.

Legislative leaders shelve new school funding another year

The most expensive and most controversial issue facing the new legislature — increasing the formulas for school funding — has been shelved for another year.
The House speaker and Senate president told the Kirwan Commission on Innovation and Excellence in Education in a letter that there was not enough time for the legislature to take up both its policy changes and its funding decisions in the 90-day session that starts in three weeks.

Kirwan Commission to recommend billions more to raise teacher pay

The commission will be proposing a major bump in teach pay, raising pay for all Maryland public school teachers by 10% between 2020 and 2022, with a minimum teacher salary of $60,000 phased-in by 2024. The commission is also proposing a new career ladder for teachers and additional certifications for teachers under the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards. This will raise average teacher pay in Maryland from the current $69,557 to $93,137 by 2029. In the final year of phase-in, the additional state spending is $1.3 billion, according to preliminary costs estimates by the Department of Legislative Services.

Kirwan recommendations will fail if same mistakes are made as with Thornton, consultant says

Thornton failed to deliver the improvement in student performance that its authors envisioned because no one was held accountable, says consultant Marc Tucker. Maryland now ends up with one of the most expensive state systems in the United States but only average student performance. Kirwan will not succeed and be any better than its predecessor unless there is a strong oversight body to make sure it will succeed.

Campaigns debate school funding, but Kirwan education commission provides no guidance

How much it will cost to expand pre-Kindergarten to most 3- and 4-year-olds in Maryland or to substantially raise teacher salaries have become heated arguments in the race for governor. But the state Commission on Innovation and Excellence in Education that is supposed to be determining the price tags for these and other big public school changes appears to be months away from decisions on revising funding formulas that was the basic charge of the commission.

New polls support more pre-k, need for higher teacher pay

The Kirwan education commission Thursday morning is set to take up the final detailed recommendations for much more pre-Kindergarten in Maryland and higher salaries and a new career ladder for teachers — both programs with “significant fiscal impact.” Two new polls out this week seek to bolster the argument that spending more money on these recommendations has broad support and is needed.

Kirwan commission wrangles over who will oversee increased education funding, school reform

As the Maryland Commission on Innovation and Excellence in Education moved closer to recommending billion-dollar increases in K-12 funding along with major structural changes, commission Chairman Brit Kirwan again stressed his repeated calls for accountability. The commissioners clearly showed there was no consensus on who or what would make sure their reforms were implemented to get the increased funds.

Kirwan education commission back to work on most politically sensitive task — how much it will cost

The  education commission that met in relative obscurity for 16 months now faces the challenge of deciding what it will take and how much it will cost to implement its lofty goals of change and improvement for Maryland public schools. The Kirwan Commission on Innovation and Excellence in Education has become a key talking point in the 2018 election campaign, and on Thursday it picks up its work where it left off in January for the legislative session.