The Maryland State Board of Education says it will continue to tweak an evaluation process for teachers and principals during its second year. Under the first year of the new system, more than 97% of teachers and principals received effective or highly effective ratings. "Beneath the surface of the rating, there are a lot of other pieces working to contribute to those ratings. This is the next chapter of the work," said Dave Volrath, with the state Department of Education.
The Maryland State Board of Education has voted to require students to pass the English 10 and Algebra I courses to graduate from high school. However, the requirement to pass the exams for the courses will be delayed for two years before they will help determine whether students have earned a diploma.
The Maryland State Board of Education on Tuesday accepted new discipline guidelines to help districts determine when to suspend or expel students. The guidelines were prompted by concerns that too many students were being sent home for minor infractions, such as disrespecting adults.
Despite calls for a one-year moratorium on state testing, the Maryland state Board of Education on Tuesday said the state will go ahead with Maryland School Assessment tests this year. The board voted 10-1 to seek a federal waiver to avoid the double testing of students and delay for one year the use of testing data to evaluate teachers. Some educators say the MSA tests -- which do not reflect the Common Core State Standards now being taught in the state's schools -- will offer little valuable information about student achievement, though the annual testing is required under federal law.
The Maryland State Department of Education has instructed nine counties to revamp how they evaluate teachers and principals, saying that original plans do not place enough emphasis on students' scores on standardized tests. State officials said student test scores on the Maryland School Assessment should account for 20% of assessments. Counties have been given until May 15 to submit new teacher-evaluation plans to the state.