Educators across the state are working with their local boards of education to improve teaching and learning and develop rigorous, research-based evaluation systems.
In a bipartisan vote on November 8, the Joint Committee on Administrative, Executive, and Legislative Review (AELR) overwhelmingly rejected the State Board’s regulations as inconsistent with the Education Reform Act of 2010.
The regulations have been returned to the State Board for revision. “The number one school system in the country should not settle for anything less than the number one evaluation system in the country,” said MSEA Executive Director David Helfman. “This is a process that will require thoughtful, research-based discussion and intense local collaboration.”
This process has been taking place at the local level for years. MSEA members and educators work with their local boards of education to improve teaching and learning and to develop rigorous, research-based evaluation systems.
When the Education Reform Act was signed into law in May, local associations and local school systems engaged in proactive, serious discussions about how to integrate the law’s requirements into local evaluation systems. They’ve been busy ever since incorporating the new law’s stipulations into their county’s evaluation systems. “We are working collaboratively, based on the requirements of the Education Reform Act. Our goal is retain what we value in our current evaluation system, a system we spent four years working with our school system to create, while incorporating the changes required under the law,” said Frederick County Teachers Association President Gary Brennan.
What makes evaluation systems successful?
Over the last week, educators, parents, and community members from across the state have sent over 6,500 emails to State Board of Education members, sharing frontline stories of collaboration and efforts to improve teaching and learning at the local level. The message? Research, collaboration, and local involvement are crucial for any system to be successful.
“We have a long history of working with our Superintendent and Board administration to improve Charles County schools,” said Education Association of Charles County President Elizabeth Brown. “EACC wants to continue to work together with our Board of Education to develop an evaluation model that is not only fair to teachers but will improve student performance. Together, we can create such a system in Charles County. And together, we will do our very best to make such a system successful.”
“In St. Mary’s we pride ourselves on our collaborative relationship with our Superintendent and his leadership team,” said Wanda Ruffo Twigg, president of the Education Association of St. Mary’s County. “We will continue at the local level to design and develop a system that works best for students in St. Mary’s County, and we will continue to work together to maintain the high performing system that we have worked so hard to create.”
MSEA leaders continue to participate on the Maryland Council for Educator Effectiveness, a workgroup created by Gov. O’Malley to develop a model evaluation system. “We support strengthening evaluation systems,” said MSEA Vice President Betty Weller, co-chair of the Council. “We support efforts to improve teaching and learning. We support using student growth as a significant component of the evaluation process. We believe that the Education Reform Act and the recommendations of the Maryland Council for Educator Effectiveness will achieve those goals, and inform the State Board in its drafting of future regulations.”