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Baltimore County Teacher Evaluation Plan Among 9 Rejected By State

The Maryland State Department of Education said the plan did not align with state law regarding student growth measurements.

The Maryland State Department of Education rejected teacher evaluation plans from nine Maryland school jurisdictions, including Baltimore County.

During his report before Board of Education Tuesday night, Superintendent Dallas Dance said school administrations across the state were notified of the decisions last week.

"We are engaging right now with [Teachers Association of Baltimore County], we're engaging with [Council For Advancement and Support of Education] right now to figure out our next steps," Dance said.

The primary issue, he said, was that the state department wants the county to count Maryland School Assessment results as 20 percent of the rating measuring student growth. Baltimore County's plan calls for 10 percent.

Dance's reasoning for the figure is that the Maryland School Assessment will soon be phased out in favor of the more rigorous Common Core Standards.

William Reinhard, a spokesman for the state department of education, said the 20 percent figure is required by law and is something the U.S. Department of Education wants. However, he said, the state department is committed with working with school districts to transition the plans as standardized testing changes occur.

"There's not a provision to stand still during that period," Reinhard said.

The superintendent noted that the plan put forth by Baltimore County was negotiated and mutually agreed upon by TABCO, CASE and the county administration, as mandated by state law.

"We feel it is the best model for us to move forward to improve instruction in our classrooms," he said.

Dance added that he asked State Superintendent Lillian Lowery to provide him with a one-page document detailing issues with the plan and explaining why it was not approved.

If a compromise can't be reached, the county will have to default to a state evaluation plan.

Montgomery, Frederick, Prince George's, Washington, Carroll, St. Mary's, Cecil and Charles counties' teacher evaluation plans were also not approved by the state department.

The rejections come on the heels of the U.S. Department of Education releasing a report stating that Maryland had fallen behind in progress on education initiatives funded by the four-year Race to the Top grant, according to The Washington Post.

JD1 February 07, 2013 at 12:23 AM
But wait - MOM keeps saying that Maryland schools #1. Somebody's telling a fib! Glad to hear BCPS is taking MD to task. Systems that have adopted value added models of teacher evaluation have demonstrated that the concept sounds great but simply cannot be implemented in a fair and consistent manner. Hopefully common sense will prevail - but I'm not hopeful.

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