Race to the Top Implementation May Be Delayed

A November 19 Gazette.net article reports on the likely delay of Maryland’s Race to the Top pilot programs because of delays in the establishment of new teacher evaluation criteria.

Seven school districts are scheduled to pilot the new evaluations at the start of next year, after receiving recommendations regarding new criteria from the Maryland Council on Educator Effectiveness. …

In August, Maryland received $250 million in Race to the Top funding, one of 11 states to do so along with the District of Columbia. The state’s application includes the seven districts identified for the pilot and the January start date.

The program will be tested in Baltimore city and Baltimore, Charles, Kent, Prince George’s, Queen Anne’s and St. Mary’s counties. The group’s guidelines are due to be submitted to Gov. Martin O’Malley, school officials and state legislators on Dec. 31; a year later, the council is scheduled to recommend changes or corrections to the evaluation system based on experiences in the pilot.

But on Wednesday, a spokesman for the Maryland State Department of Education indicated the council likely will not complete its work by Dec. 31. The pilots can’t start until the council’s work is complete.

If the council has not issued its guidelines by Dec. 31, the pilot programs would have to start in fall 2011, state education department spokesman William Reinhard said.

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