|May 7, 2001
||Vol. 12 , No. 5
Panel Chairs Named
Superintendent Nancy S. Grasmick has named Jack Jennings, the director
of the Washington, D.C.-based Center on Education Policy, and Sister
Helen Amos, the executive chairperson of the Board of Trustees of Mercy
Health Services in Baltimore, to head the Visionary Panel for Better
Schools that will conduct a year-long examination of Maryland’s
widely-recognized school reform program.
The study group will be
asked to review Maryland’s progress over the past 10 years and to make
recommendations on measures that can accelerate progress in the decade
Although many studies have
been made of the first decade of the state’s school reform program,
Dr. Grasmick emphasized she wanted this group to use its analysis of the
past to provide a look toward the future.
"We had a number of
objectives when we decided to create this panel," said Dr. Grasmick.
"We needed the advice and opinions of people who understand
education, and how to run an efficient organization. And we were
determined to have a panel that could look at the world around the
Maryland State Department of Education and give us a vision on where we
should fit in over the next decade. With Jack Jennings and Sister Helen
Amos heading this panel, we are guaranteed to reach all of our
Jennings is director of a
center considered a national non-partisan advocate for improved public
schools. For more than 25 years, he worked in the area of federal aid to
education. Sister Helen Amos is currently on the boards of 15 major
organizations. She was named one of Maryland’s Top 100 Women by The
Daily Record on three occasions.
3 Gain Board Appointments
Clarence A. Hawkins
Sr. and Karabelle A.L. Pizzigati have been appointed by Governor Parris
N. Glendening to four-year terms on the Maryland State Board of
Education and Lauren McAlee has been appointed to a one-year term as the
Board’s voting student representative.
The new members will take
their seats on July 1. George Fisher completed his second full term and
could not be re-appointed. Judith McHale completed her one term on the
Board and did not seek re-appointment. Current student member Aaron
Merki is a senior at McDonough High School in Waldorf.
Hawkins, a former teacher,
was a school administrator in Kent County for 21 years. He is a retired
pastor and former president of the Kent County Board of Commissioners.
He has served on the Kent and Queen Anne’s Foster Care Review Board
and has been chairman of the Kent chapter of the American Red Cross.
Pizzigati has a doctorate
in child development and family studies. She is a policy and leadership
development consultant to agencies that provide services for children
and families. She formerly was director of public policy for the Child
Welfare League of America.
McAlee is currently a
junior at South River High in Anne Arundel County. She has been active
in the Maryland Association of Student Councils.
Dr. Grasmick, MBRT Get
Association of State Directors of Career Technical Education (NASDCTE)
honored State Superintendent of Schools Nancy S. Grasmick and the
Maryland Business Roundtable for Education at a May 1 program on Capitol
Hill recognizing superior accomplishments in career and technology
Sixteen awards were
presented, with other honorees including University of Maryland
professor and Department of Technology Chair Leon Copeland and Black
& Decker, Inc./Harford Technical High School.
Dr. Grasmick was presented
with the NASDCTE Distinguished Service Award. Under her leadership,
enrollments in career and technology education have grown each year
MBRT, a coalition of 120
employers that has made a long-term commitment to education reform, was
given an Outstanding Business Partnership Award. Since its establishment
in 1992, the MBRT has been the state’s strongest advocate for school
New Title I Rules Could
Provide Transfer Options
Part of a new
federal appropriation of Title I funds to states includes a provision
that will give students in 114 Maryland schools identified as low
performing the option to request transfers to other public schools in
At 114 Maryland Schools
provision was designed to inspire states to address low-performing Title
I schools. Some states have been slow to address the issue. However,
Maryland has been a national leader in identifying low-performing
schools as part of its decade-long school reform efforts that include
local reconstitution (probationary status) and state reconstitution (the
state taking control of a low-performing school). To date, the state has
placed four Baltimore City schools under state reconstitution and 102
other schools are on the local reconstitution list. Still, the new
legislation requires Maryland to adhere to the federal Title I
definition of low-performing schools as part of funding to help
The new appropriation will
be an increase of $3.3 million in Title I funds that go directly to
Maryland schools. These funds are in addition to the $119.5 million in
Title I funds Maryland schools will receive in the upcoming school year.
The new transfer provisions affect schools in 15 of Maryland’s 24
local school systems.
The new provisions cover
all local school systems with one or more Title I schools identified as
needing improvement (in Maryland, schools that have had declining scores
for two consecutive years on Maryland School Performance Assessment
Program tests) or already under corrective action (in Maryland, under
local or state reconstitution). Students in those schools would have the
option to transfer to other public schools.
To meet these new
provisions, the 15 local school systems (as part of their 2001-02 School
Accountability for Excellence plan updates) will provide a description
of how they will implement these new provisions.
Transfers to a school can
be denied if the school a student has selected is already overcrowded.
The 2000 General Assembly:
The following bills
affecting education were among those passed by the Maryland General
Assembly during the 2000 legislative session:
Opportunity Summer Program (HB 53)—Authorizes a county board of
education to develop a proposal for an educational curriculum and
activities during the summer. This program will apply this summer to
Baltimore and Prince George’s counties.
Equity and Excellence Act of 2001 (SB 719)—Continues $252.6
million in mandated state aid to local school systems that would have
terminated after FY 2002. Includes funding provisions for special
education, academic intervention, teacher mentoring, Judith P Hoyer
Early Child Care programs, early education initiatives and
locally-reconstituted schools. Extends Teacher Salary Challenge to
FY2003 (originally was a two-year program).
Repeal of Law
Prohibiting Possession of Portable Pagers on School Property (HB 67)—Repeals
prohibition against the possession of portable pagers on public school
property. States local education agencies should work with MSDE to
develop local policies regarding use of pagers and cellular phones on
public school property during school hours.
Adult Education (HB
775/SB 399)—Establishes task force that will study services
including basic skills instruction, English as a second language, GED
instruction and family literacy instruction.
Pilot Program (HB 825)—Establishes juvenile justice alternative
education pilot program for suspended and expelled students in a county
designated by the State Superintendent of Schools.
Adult External High School
Program (SB 41)—Extends
termination date for the Maryland Adult External High School Program to
June 30, 2006.
Extension of Schools
for Success (SB 64)—Extends termination date of challenge grant
program to June 30, 2007.
Firearms Safety and
Accident Prevention Education Program (SB 124/HB 791)—Creates
mandatory gun safety education program in public schools. Requires MSDE
to establish guidelines for the program and each county board to develop
a specified curriculum.
Re-employment of Retirees
(SB 221)—Exempts certain
retired employees of school systems from earning caps limitations of
their retirement system if they are rehired by a school system.
School & Community Outreach Office
Maryland State Department of Education
200 W. Baltimore Street
Baltimore, MD 21201
Web site: www.msde.state.md.us
Assistant State Superintendent