State Senator Blocking Teacher Evaulation Regulations

An October 22 Gazette.net article discusses the efforts of Maryland Senator Paul Pinsky to block adoption of regulations that would reform Maryland’s teacher evaluation process and potentially jeopardize the State’s application for federal Race to the Top funding.

The new evaluation standards from the Maryland State Board of Education don’t match the law set out in the Education Reform Act passed by the General Assembly last spring, said Sen. Paul Pinsky (D-Dist. 22) of University Park. In September, Pinsky placed a hold on the regulations in his position as co-chairman of the Joint Committee on Administrative, Executive and Legal Review in the legislature.

The new evaluations were included in the state’s successful Race to the Top application for $250 million in federal funds. They state that half a teacher’s total evaluation must be based on student progress on test scores.

“States were awarded money based on their comprehensive education reform plans,” U.S. Department of Education spokesman Justin Hamilton wrote in an e-mail. “If a state deviates from its [Race to the Top] plan, it is putting its funding in jeopardy.” …

“It’s totally removed local autonomy,” said Pinsky, who works for the Montgomery County Education Association, the local teachers union.

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