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Press Release: Educators, State Pledge To Further Strengthen Evaluations

Teacher & Principal Organizations, Superintendents, Boards, State Board and MSDE Solidify Relationship

For Immediate Release                      Contact: Bill Reinhard, 410-767-0486 

Baltimore, MD (June 27, 2014)

Maryland’s major education organizations today joined with the Maryland State Board of Education and the Maryland State Department of Education in a renewed partnership to further strengthen educator evaluations.

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 practices 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. 


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