Tag: Maryland State Education Association

State teachers recommend special ed students get to opt out of testing

Despite limited mental capacity, a feeding tube, a wheelchair and the inability to speak, a child with cerebral palsy must take the same standardized tests in Maryland as his classmates. But the Maryland State Education Association wants to give students with disabilities the chance to opt out of grade-level testing, depending on their needs, parents’ wishes and any testing accommodations allowed.

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Wide variance in hours spent in testing public schools kids, commission finds

In Queen Anne’s County, second graders take 28 hours of locally mandated tests each year, the highest in any Maryland school system. In Montgomery County, they take just four hours of county required assessments but that number climbs to 23 to 26 hours by the time students are in high school. In Carroll County, high school seniors take 32 hours of required tests — not counting the statewide assessments — the highest amount in the state, along with Cecil County. In Howard County high schools, seniors take no locally mandated assessments. What do these numbers mean? A new commission on testing would like to figure that out.

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Teacher’s union gives Brown his biggest endorsement for governor

The pandering cameras were on at the Maryland State Education Association in Ocean City Friday as four candidates for governor came seeking the endorsement of the largest union in the state with promises in hand.Lt. Gov. Anthony Brown walked away with the prize less from what he promised than for what he and Gov. Martin O’Malley delivered to public schools over the last six years — the most massive increase in funding in Maryland history, $1.5 billion more in school aid, 35% higher over six years.

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New teacher evaluations don’t fully match new Common Core curriculum

Teachers could face salary freezes or eventual firing under a new evaluation system based on results of old tests that don’t match up with the new curriculum they are teaching. Maryland’s school districts are revamping their teacher evaluation guidelines as required by the Maryland State Department of Education.
At the same time, the state is implementing a new curriculum – Common Core, a state-led effort to make curriculum across the United States more uniform.

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Private K-12 schools in Md. get little state aid

The rift between public and private education couldn’t be much larger than it is in Maryland, where the public schools are boasted about as number 1 in the nation and the private schools receive less state funding than several neighboring states.

“Looking at other states when it comes to education, Maryland state government provides significantly less to support private education,” said Mary Ellen Russell, executive director of the Maryland Catholic Conference.

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Teachers union rejects pension commission proposals

The state teachers union is rejecting most of the final recommendations of the special pension commission, particularly its proposal to shift half the funding of pensions onto county school boards or governments. In a strong letter to the governor and legislative leaders, the union also wants county governments to be forced to fully fund school budgets and to give them authority to raise more taxes or disregard local tax caps.

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Blog: Teachers have bigger stake in pension cuts

The teachers’ union has taken the lead role in the fight against cuts in state pension benefits, an understandable position, since teachers have more at stake.

The Maryland State Education Association has more members than any other union in the fight. Its members make more money on average than other government workers. And because of higher pay, they get higher pension benefits, according to figures from the Maryland State Retirement and Pension System.

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