The Maryland Campaign for Achievement Now is calling for changes to the state’s charter school law to allow for more school choice. Known as MarylandCAN, the state chapter of the 50CAN nonprofit organization, is encouraging Maryland lawmakers to allow for universal access to pre-kindergarten for all 4 year old students, as well as a new law that would allow parents to meet with teachers without penalty from employers; efforts the group argues, will help close the achievement gap. The Gazette reports:
The Lanham-based organization is highlighting the disparities in Maryland’s public schools, despite their recent No. 1 national ranking for a fourth consecutive year by Bethesda-based Education Week magazine. It calls for an overhaul of the state’s charter school law to help this effort.
As an example of the large inequity, MarylandCAN cites the results of the 2011 Nation Assessment of Educational Progress — a federally administered national test in various subjects — in which Maryland had the second-largest gap in the nation in eighth-grade math between low-income and wealthier students.