To be a teacher these days, we are also social workers, counselors, life coaches, and frontline health responders to Prince George’s County Public School (PGCPS) kids, every day, in our classrooms and in the halls of our schools, says Prince George’s County teacher Yvonne Baicich in an opinion piece we publish to mark the national Teacher Appreciation Day.
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.
As we begin national School Choice Week, here’s an open letter to Brit Kirwan, chair of the Commission on Innovation and Excellence in Education, which completed its preliminary report on Friday with no mention of charter schools.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Poll: Marylanders back spending more on school safety, career education, but less support for pre-K and teacher pay
Marylanders support spending more money on school safety and career and technical education, according to a new statewide poll. But they are less enthusiastic about expanding pre-kindergarten or paying teachers more if those initiatives mean higher taxes or reductions in other services.