New Findings: Employment Outcomes of Bachelor’s Degree Recipients

July 24, 2014

jobsThe National Center for Education Statistics has released its initial findings about the employment outcomes of bachelor’s degree recipients roughly four years after they completed their degrees and data on postsecondary tuition, fees, and degrees.

Some of the select findings of the report include:

Employment and enrollment status
  • Eleven percent of 2007-08 bachelor’s degree recipients were combining employment and additional postsecondary enrollment in 2012, some 6% were exclusively enrolled, 69% were exclusively employed, 7% were unemployed (looking for work), and 8% were out of the labor force (not looking for work).
  • Four years after graduation, 83% of graduates who were not enrolled were employed. Of those, about 85% worked in one full-time job, 8% worked in one part-time job, and 8% had multiple jobs.
  • Among graduates who were not enrolled in 2012, some 87% of those who majored in health care fields as undergraduates were employed, and of those 76% worked in one full-time job, 14% in one part-time job, and 10% in multiple jobs.
  • Among graduates who were not enrolled in 2012, some 78% of those who majored in social science fields as undergraduates were employed, and of those 84% worked in one full-time job, 8% in one part-time job, and 8% in multiple jobs
For more information see the NCES.

FCC Modernizes E-Rate Program to Expand Internet Access in Schools

July 24, 2014

U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan

U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan recently issued a statement in reaction to the Federal Communications Commission voting to modernize the E-Rate Program and make strides toward expanding Internet access to schools and students across the country. According to the FCC, the reform will expand Wi-Fi to more than 10 million students in 2015 alone.

As described by the US Secretary,

Today’s action by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to update the E-Rate program is an important milestone on the path toward realizing President Obama’s ConnectED initiative.  Because of this vote, an additional $2 billion will be made available to provide 20 million more students with high-speed Wi-Fi in their classrooms and libraries over the next two years.  We commend the FCC on this key vote and for its continued commitment to increasing vital school and library Internet connectivity, which we believe will help more students get a great education, train them for the jobs of the future, and continue to build a more competitive U.S. economy.

For more information about the E-Rate program, see this fact sheet.

Opinion: In Teaching Math, Americans Innovate But Don’t Execute

July 24, 2014

The New York Times Magazine recently published an opinion piece on American students’ math performance.  The article describes how while America has developed innovative ways to teach math, we have not implemented them.  Common Core may repeat that theme once again. As described,

Today the frustrating descent from good intentions to tears is playing out once again, as states across the country carry out the latest wave of math reforms: the Common Core. A new set of academic standards developed to replace states’ individually designed learning goals, the Common Core math standards are like earlier math reforms, only further refined and more ambitious. . . And yet, once again, the reforms have arrived without any good system for helping teachers learn to teach them. Responding to a recent survey by Education Week, teachers said they had typically spent fewer than four days in Common Core training, and that included training for the language-arts standards as well as the math.

At this year’s Summer MACo Conference, Maryland’s Education Secretary Lillian Lowery, Maryland State Education Association President Betty Weller, and Maryland Parent Teacher Association President Ray Leone will be discussing the Common Core, in a panel moderated by Delegate John Bohanan, Chair of the Education & Economic Development Subcommittee of the House Appropriations Committee.

Learn more about MACo’s 2014 Summer Conference:

Contact Meetings & Events Director Virginia White with questions about Summer Conference.

The Condition of Education 2014

July 17, 2014

The Condition of Education features dozens of educational and economic indicators that provide information about population characteristics, student enrollment, K-12 education and postsecondary education. As described by the National Center for Education Statistics,

Parents, students, educators and policymakers can use this information as a tool to see how our nation is doing, where we’ve improved, and what still needs to be done.

The National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) presents all of this information in its annual report to Congress. The indicators are regularly updated throughout the year and are always available online and on your mobile device. Visit for more information.

Study Links Housing Costs and Student Performance

July 17, 2014

As reported by Governing, a study conducted at Johns Hopkins University found in families that spent more than half their household income on housing, kids’ reading and math abilities declined.  As described,

In families that spent more than half their household income on housing, kids’ reading and math abilities suffered, according to the study. At the same time, children in families that spent less than 20 percent of their income on housing also suffered cognitively. “It’s worse when you pay too little and worse when you pay too much,” says study author Sandra J. Newman, a Johns Hopkins professor of policy studies and director of the university’s Center on Housing, Neighborhoods and Communities.

For more information, see the full story from Governing.

Maryland Student Test Scores Drop During Transition Year

July 17, 2014

As reported in the Baltimore Sun, student test scores had the largest one-year drop since the Maryland School Assessments began a decade ago.  The drop in scores was predicted by officials as a result of the change in curriculum to align with the Common Core.

The state administered the MSAs for the last time this year — at a cost of about $9 million — despite drastic changes in curriculum as schools adopted what’s known as the Common Core standards. While federal officials have agreed not to hold Maryland schools accountable for the scores, federal law required testing to continue. 

For more information, see the full story from the Sun.

The Common Core will be the subject of the education session at MACo’s summer conference this year.

Learn more about MACo’s 2014 Summer Conference:

Contact Meetings & Events Director Virginia White with questions about Summer Conference.

The Role of Principals in Teacher Evaluations

July 7, 2014

Courtesy of the MetLife Survey of the American Teacher: Challenges for School Leadership.

Several pieces of legislation this past session defined how new teacher evaluation systems, based on student performance tests aligned with the Common Core State Standards are implemented in Maryland. Ultimately, the General Assembly passed a bill to delay the integration of new state test scores into teacher evaluations until the 2016-2017 school year.

As reported by the Center for American Progress (CAP), a recent survey may indicate that new teacher evaluation systems place extra burdens on school principals. As described,

We reviewed studies from a number of states that collected data on the pilot implementation of new teacher-evaluation systems to see how principals responded to their increased responsibilities. Specifically, we reviewed implementation studies from Michigan, Connecticut, New Jersey, and Chicago, as well as a report that surveyed districts in Maryland, New York, and North Carolina. These districts received federal grants through the Race to the Top initiative. Our review confirmed that principals are struggling with their new responsibilities.

For more information, see the full story from CAP. For more information on teacher evaluations in Maryland, see our previous posts, Principals, School Boards, Educators, and State to Partner on Teacher Evaluations, Senate Votes to Delay New Teacher Evaluations, Legislators Consider When to Use Student Assessments in Teacher Evaluations, and Superintendent Lowery Supports Delay in Teacher Evaluation Changes, Bill Delaying Use of Test Scores in Teacher Evaluations Passes.

Delegate John Bohanan, Chair of the Maryland House Appropriations Education & Economic Development Subcommittee, will lead a panel discussion of the  Common Core State Standards at this summer’s MACo Conference in Ocean City.  Learn more about MACo’s 2014 Summer Conference:

Contact Meetings & Events Director Virginia White with questions about Summer Conference.

Developer Contributes $1.6M to Frederick School Expansion

July 2, 2014

As reported in The Frederick News-Post,

Matan Cos. has paid $1.6 million to Frederick County to help pay for the expansion of Urbana Middle School.

The payment, delivered Monday to county treasurer Diane Fox, according to a news release, was required in an adequate public facilities agreement for the Urban Green project, a Matan development in Urbana.

For more information, see the full story from The Frederick News-Post.

School construction funding is a major issue in Maryland, where the average age of school facilities is increasing, construction costs are high, and some counties are seeing continuous growth of their K-12 student population.  Counties and the State of Maryland share in the costs of public school construction and renovation.

For more information, see our previous posts, County Officials Participate in School Construction Funding Study, Senate Committee Considers Public School Construction Capital Budget, Anne Arundel to Consider Creation of Special Fund for School Construction, and Debt Affordability Committee Considers School Construction.

Education Reform Hub Monthly Newsletter from the US Department of Education

July 1, 2014

Education Reform Hub Monthly! is a monthly email update from the U.S. Department of Education will alert readers to new resources that inform policy and practice across several areas of education reform. This month’s email feature a report on the Expanding Great Options initiative in Baltimore along with other resources:

Parent and Community Engagement is Key Driver of School Transformation in Baltimore

Visit the PROGRESS blog for a report on the Expanding Great Options initiative, started in 2008 by Baltimore City Public Schools to improve school options for the city’s students. Commodore John Rogers Elementary/Middle School is one of the initiative’s success stories, engaging parents through focus groups, social events, and conferences where students present their academic progress. The school has doubled enrollment, reduced chronic absences, and raised the percentage of students proficient in math and reading by 20 percent since 2010.

To join the Education Reform Hub Monthly email mailing list, click here or email




St. Mary’s County Superintendent to Lead West Virginia Schools

July 1, 2014

As reported by Southern Maryland Newspapers Online, Michael Martirano, superintendent of the St. Mary’s County public schools, is expected to become the state superintendent of West Virginia’s schools later this year. As described,

Martirano, 56, who when first hired was the youngest superintendent in the state, is now the longest currently serving superintendent of the 24 school systems in Maryland. . . As superintendent of St. Mary’s public school system, Martirano oversees about 3,000 employees — including teachers, administrators, substitutes and bus drivers under contract who, in turn, educate and transport more than 17,000 students.

He was selected the 2009 Superintendent of the Year in Maryland and a 2010 Innovator of the Year by the Maryland Daily Record. He currently serves as president of the Public School Superintendent Association of Maryland.

For more information, see the full story from Southern Maryland News and this press release from the West Virginia Department of Education.

Update: As reported on WTOP, West Virginia’s Board of Education has approved Mr. Martirano’s hire as the next State Superintendent.


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