For Immediate Release Contact: Ms. Debra Lichter, 410-767-4694

Baltimore, MD (September 9, 2013)

The Maryland State Department of Education is seeking public comment regarding its request to the United States Department of Education (USDE) to amend its approved ESEA Flexibility Request. The proposed amendments make adjustments in two narrowly focused areas, as follows:

1. A one-year waiver to allow schools participating in the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC) field tests to administer only one assessment in 2013-14 to any individual student – either the current Maryland School Assessment or the PARCC field test. MSDE is further requesting that those schools field testing the PARCC assessments in the spring of 2014 be permitted to retain their federal accountability designations for an additional year during which the same targeted interventions would continue.

2. An extension of one additional year before using new teacher/ principal evaluation systems to inform personnel decisions.

Maryland's ESEA Flexibility Request was originally approved in May 2012. In June 2013, US Education Secretary Arne Duncan announced USDE would consider amendments to approved state ESEA Flexibility Requests in the two narrow areas enumerated above because of the complexities associated with the transition to new teacher/ principal evaluation systems, new curriculum based upon new Common Core Standards, and new statewide assessments. Copies of the two proposed amendments can be found here:

ESEA Flex Amendment - TPE

ESEA Flex Amendment - Double Testing

Written comments will be accepted from September 9, 2013 through September 20, 2013. Comments must be addressed to Ms. Debra Lichter, Federal Liaison, 200 West Baltimore Street, Baltimore, Maryland 21201 or If you have any concerns regarding this notice, please do not hesitate to contact Ms. Debra Lichter at 410-767-4694.

Thank you for your consideration.