A few words from State Superintendent of Schools Lillian M. Lowery
Our State Board room last week was the scene of a momentous event as organizations representing nearly every facet of public education in Maryland signed a Memorandum of Understanding, agreeing to continue to refine the Student Learning Objectives Process.
A story on the right hand side of the page details that agreement. I just want to add my thanks to all members of the group. Having the Maryland State Education Association, Public School Superintendents Association of Maryland, Maryland Association of Boards of Education, Maryland Association of Secondary School Principals, Maryland Association of Elementary School Principals and the Baltimore Teachers Union working together on this important part of the evaluation process is both gratifying and immensely important.
The State Board and MSDE appreciate and celebrate this partnership as we work together to strengthen schools for all Maryland students.
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The 2014 summer break finally arrived in late June, but education in Maryland never really ends. Thousands of our educators are involved in a series of "College and Career Ready Conferences this summer (see article in the right-hand column), and other professional development opportunities abound for our State's teachers and administrators.
Also popular are summer courses for students. At MSDE, we're quite proud of the Maryland Summer Centers for Gifted and Talented Students. For nearly 50 years, this program has offered world-class programs for some of our State's most active minds.
The Maryland Summer Centers are located throughout the State. Programs range from the fine and performing arts to computer science and engineering. All are organized with partnerships with outstanding educational institutions, nonprofits, and for-profit companies.
It is too late to sign up for one of this year's programs, but take a look at the offerings. It makes me wish I was back at school. http://www.marylandpublicschools.org/summercenters
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School is out, but school safety doesn't take the summer off. Many Maryland school systems use the summer months to consider and implement safety upgrades.
The Maryland Center for School Safety last month welcomed nearly 100 school safety leaders to its first statewide conference, "Building Effective Partnerships for School Safety." School safety directors, safety experts, and resource officers gathered in Annapolis to study a variety of issues, including how to best handle critical emergencies and how to create a positive school environments.
It was exciting to address the group and feel the energy in the room. If our schools aren't safe, learning cannot take place. The Maryland Center for School Safety has been open for less than a year, but it is already making an important contribution.
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Connect with MSDE on Facebook!
Don’t forget to connect with MSDE on Facebook. Our department’s Facebook page provides regular updates on State initiatives, MSDE videos, and links to education news throughout the State.
Follow MSDE on Twitter.
Twitter users can connect with us @MdPublicSchools for fast-breaking information.
July 4 – Holiday
July 22 – Maryland State Board of Education meeting, Baltimore
Inside Educator Evaluations Videos
June 30, 2014
Maryland Schools Superintendent Lillian Lowery sits down for an in-depth discussion about Teacher Principal Evaluations with 2013 Cecil County Teacher of the Year Steve Luthultz.
Teacher Principal Evaluations Videos
Part 1 Part 2 Part 3
Facebook Introduction Video
June 5, 2014
State Schools Superintendent Lillian Lowery addresses Maryland's transition to College and Career Ready Standards, and launches the state's interactive communication initiative over social networking sites such as Facebook and Twitter.
In the News
Maryland Groups Collaborate on Teacher Evaluation
Common Core Will Improve Education: Study
Common Core Field Test Went Well
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EDUCATORS, STATE PLEDGE TO STRENGTHEN EVALUATIONS
Maryland’s major education organizations last week joined with the Maryland State Board of Education and the Maryland State Department of Education in a renewed partnership to further strengthen educator evaluations.
Signing the agreement, from left, Dewayne Jones, president-elect, Maryland Association of Secondary School Principals; State Superintendent Lillian Lowery; State Board President Charlene Dukes, Public School Superintendents Association President Stephen Guthrie, Baltimore Teachers Union President Marietta English, Maryland State Education Association President Betty Weller, Maryland Association of Boards of Education President Kathryn Groth, and Maryland Association of Elementary School Principals President Theresa Ball.
Signatories of a landmark new Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) pledged to coordinate resources and strategies in the development of rigorous and measurable Student Learning Objectives (SLOs). The SLOs, developed jointly by teachers and principals, are a key factor in Maryland’s new teacher-principal evaluation system.
The Maryland State Board of Education, Maryland State Department of Education, Maryland State Educators Association (MSEA), Public School Superintendents Association of Maryland (PSSAM), Maryland Association of Boards of Education (MABE), Maryland Association of Secondary School Principals (MASSP), Maryland Association of Elementary School Principals (MAESP) and the Baltimore Teachers Union (BTU) signed the MOU.
“Every student needs great teachers and school leaders. Every educator needs support and collaboration to be their best. That's why we've taken a comprehensive approach to providing high-quality education for more students in Maryland,” said Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley. “By bringing together teachers, principals and advocates, this MOU on Student Learning Objectives will ensure that we're doing everything we can to build on our progress and better prepare our students to lead not only the nation in achievement, but eventually, the world.”
Maryland State Board of Education President Charlene Dukes said all parties have been committed to building an educator evaluation system that improves teaching and learning.
“Since the beginning of this work, the Maryland State Board of Education has been engaged and supportive of this partnership to improve the evaluation process and make it a fair opportunity for professional development that improves instruction,” said Dr. Dukes. “Our State and the State Board are focused on making certain Maryland high school graduates are ready for college or career, and this agreement moves us another step forward. It is a testament to the commitment of every partner that we have put student performance as a critical component at the forefront of our work.
MSDE has provided training and support for teachers and school leaders for four years as every local school system developed and refined their evaluation systems.
“The State will continue to support educators in partnership with all school systems as they develop a fair and equitable process for gauging learning and improving instruction. Every child deserves a great education,” said State Superintendent of Schools Lillian M. Lowery.
Student Learning Objectives are measurable goals that educators and their supervisors develop and agree upon at the start of each school year. These objectives are reviewed at year’s end, as part of the evaluation process.
Under the MOU, the partners agree to:
- Focus on continuing professional development for teachers and principals in developing rigorous SLOs;
- Identify and develop a diverse group of leaders to develop professional development on the SLO process.
- Establish a network for collaboration on SLO development.
- Initiate a study of the SLO process, to be completed by August 2016.
Maryland school systems in 2013-14 implemented new Teacher-Principal Evaluation Systems. Those systems include both professional practice measures and student growth measures.
Maryland piloted evaluation systems in seven districts during the 2011-12 school year, and evaluation systems were field tested in 22 districts during the 2012-13 school year.
THE MEMORANDUM OF UNDERSTANDING
THOUSANDS OF EDUCATORS BEGIN SUMMER TRAINING ON NEW STANDARDS
The More than 4,300 Maryland educators are taking part this summer in a new round of professional development conferences to further strengthen implementation of the new College and Career-Ready Standards.
MSDE is offering eight voluntary “College and Career Readiness Conferences” this summer, providing educators with more than 100 different sessions on the new learning standards. Educators can choose to attend the sessions that meet the needs of their schools. Two of the conferences have already taken place – in Kent and Prince George’s counties.
Content was determined by feedback from site visits conducted by MSDE curriculum and assessment staff to every school district in the state during the 2013-14 school year.
MSDE staff met with district central office staff, school-based administrators, and teachers to determine individual needs so that professional learning could be designed to meet the needs of all Maryland educators. This summer’s sessions build upon the Educator Effectiveness Academies held the past three summers to provide high quality professional development for the principal and 3-5 lead teachers from each of the approximately 1,600 schools statewide.
“Our educators have embraced Maryland’s College and Career-Ready Standards, and the registration numbers for this summer’s conferences demonstrate their commitment to strengthening classroom instruction,” said State Superintendent of Schools Lillian Lowery. “These sessions offer practical information that teachers and administrators can put to use from the very first day of class in the fall.”
MSDE is offering these voluntary conferences free of charge to educators throughout the state. Each two-day conference begins at 8am and ends by 5pm. Educators have scheduled the time-frame of their sessions to meet their needs. They can earn 1-2 Continuing Professional Development (CPD) credits by attending conferences.
The remaining conferences are:
Hagerstown Community College
Universities at Shady Grove
July 31-Aug 1
Universities at Shady Grove