In January we reported about the $4.35 billion available for education and states winning President Obama’s “Race to the Top” competition. Governor Martin O’Malley has been working toward bringing a piece of that money pie to Maryland to support education here. In order to become eligible for those funds, states must show certain educational reform measures.
Yesterday O’Malley introduced legislation to further reform Maryland education as prescribed by the competition in preparation of applying for those federal dollars.
The Education Reform Act of 2010 is designed to accelerate efforts to improve Maryland’s public school system through a series of measures that will make the State more competitive for federal Race to the Top Funds.
“In Maryland, we strongly believe that the education of our students must be a priority, and that’s something we’re proud of,” said Governor O’Malley. “It is more important now than ever that we continue to protect our investments in education, so that every student has the opportunities that strong academic preparation can provide. This legislation aims to sustain and build upon the real progress we’ve made for every student and every school in Maryland, making Maryland even more competitive both nationally and throughout the world.”
The Governor’s Education Reform Act of 2010 includes reforms in the following areas:
Teacher Tenure: extending the period before a teacher is eligible for tenure from two years to three years. This is the same length of time required by at least 33 other states.
Student Growth in Evaluations: As mandated by the Race to the Top guidelines, the Education Reform Act of 2010 requires that student growth data be a significant factor in the evaluations of teachers and principals. However, because of the complex factors that affect student performance, the bill also requires that other factors be considered as well.
Differentiated Pay: State law currently provides differentiated pay programs to attract effective teachers and principals to low-performing schools or hard to staff subjects. Under the Education Reform Act of 2010, the State would also provide additional stipends to teachers and principals in the lowest achieving five percent of Title I schools in improvement, corrective action, or restructuring. Implementation of this stipend program is contingent upon Maryland’s receipt of Race to the Top funds.
Each school system that participates in the State’s Race to the Top application is required to develop a plan that includes strategies to promote the equitable distribution of teachers and or principals across their districts, including their high-poverty and/or high-minority schools as well as hard to staff subjects and specialty areas.
The Governor established a Race to the Top Executive Steering Committee to guide the development of Maryland’s Race to the Top proposal. The Steering Committee is dedicated to pursuing a reform agenda that will insure the long-term success and achievement of Maryland’s Public Schools.
The Steering Committee includes representatives from business, public and private higher education institutions, parents, teachers, administrators, local superintendents, local boards of education, the State Board of Education, the State Department of Education, and the Governor’s Office.
See the full Education Reform Act of 2010 bill here.
$4.35 billion at stake for education and states winning `Race to the Top` competition
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(source Maryland.gov / cover image: flickr)