Category: Education

Kirwan education reforms are at high risk of repeating historical disappointments

Oversight of Kirwan’s education reforms is expected to come from an Accountability and Implementation Board, whose responsibilities would include governance and accountability during the board’s limited 10-year life. The board’s design casts significant doubt that $32 billion of additional education spending to implement Kirwan’s goals over the next 10 years will lead to durable and significant improvements to Maryland students’ “College and Career Readiness” by the end of high school.

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Accountability must be key element in increased money for schools

As battle lines harden over how much reform of public schools in Maryland will cost and who will pay for it, the argument has become just about money, and not the scores of moving parts in a comprehensive proposal that would drastically change education here. Lost in arguing about the billions more the changes will cost state and local taxpayers is the key fifth part of the recommendations from the Kirwan Commission on Innovation and Excellence in Education (p.122). It spells out in detail how a new super oversight board will hold the school systems accountable for how the money is spent.

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Md. Inspector General for education: A junkyard dog that can’t bite

In Maryland, compromise provisions of the law “The Blueprint for Maryland’s Future” establishing (among other things) an independent Inspector General (IG) for Education, have created a weak auditing office—a tired, toothless canine. The new IG will be statutorily much weaker than his or her counterparts within the U.S. GAO, federal IG offices, Maryland’s Office of Legislative Audits (OLA), and IGs in the state’s executive-branch agencies. 

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Opinion: Bootleggers, Baptists, and Howard’s school redistricting

The prevailing media narrative surrounding redistricting is a Manichean frame pitting social justice advocates fighting for equity (however ill-defined they use the term) against wealthy parents who do not want their children moved out of their community schools.  However, there is another framework at play, one that explains the real coalitions and motivations at play: Bootleggers and Baptists, a theory developed by a Clemson University economist.

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Analysis: Moving students around in Howard County is not enough to achieve equity

Children from lower-income families are concentrated in Columbia’s older neighborhoods and the Route 1 corridor because that’s where their parents can afford to live. Achieving equity in education for these students requires the additional resources laid out by the Kirwan Commision on Innovation and Excellence in Education. Simply moving them to higher performing schools, as the superintendent has proposed, is not enough.

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