MSEA Wants State to Modify “Race to the Top” Application

As reported in a June 18 Gazette article, the Maryland State Education Association (MSEA) and local teacher unions are expressing concerns about the State’s application for federal funding under the “Race to the Top” program. 

Teachers’ union presidents throughout Maryland are voicing concerns about the state’s application for federal money that comes with some qualifiers, including a possible change in how teachers are evaluated.

The state Department of Education submitted its Race to the Top application June 1. If the application is approved by the U.S. Department of Education, Maryland could receive as much as $250 million in federal money.

Under the application, the state will form the Maryland Council for Educator Effectiveness, whose 21 members will set the framework for how teachers and principals are evaluated and what constitutes a highly effective teacher, among other measures. …

With the application, the state Department of Education also is seeking to increase the time it takes for a teacher to reach tenure from two years to three. The application also ties teacher and principal pay to test scores and provides incentive pay for high-quality teachers to move to struggling schools.

All told, the Race to the Top application process lacked “meaningful collaboration” with union leaders, [MSEA President Clara] Floyd said during the news conference.

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