Workgroup Discusses Common Core Implementation in Maryland

The Maryland College and Career-Ready Standards (MCCRS) and Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC) Implementation Review Workgroup met to hear about county school system best practices for common core standards implementation and discuss several aspects of common core and PARCC implementation.  This was the fourth meeting of the Workgroup and three more meetings are scheduled.

In her presentation before the Workgroup, Queen Anne’s County Superintendent of Schools Dr. Carol Williamson described her school system’s work to implement the common core standards over the past four years through an Executive Team structure of Teacher Specialists, Reading Specialists, and Math Specialists who meet weekly to review progress toward school and county-wide goals. Queen Anne’s County’s Assistant Superintendent Mrs. Roberta Leaverton then described how they started with a gap analysis between current teaching and the new standards, which then guided development of gap lessons, dedication of additional resources, and a commitment to necessary professional development. The presenters emphasized the importance of instructional coaching for teacher throughout the transition to the new standards and shared how much time is needed to continue to adjust to the new standards.

Meanwhile, the presenters stated that they have not yet seen the new PARCC assessments.  Henry Wagner, representing the Public School Superintendents Association of Maryland on the Workgroup, noted the importance of keeping the fiscal impact of this reform on the radar, indicating that the transition to PARCC could create new technology and professional development costs.

The Workgroup then heard a presentation on the Teacher/Principal Evaluation System and Student Learning Objectives. Following the presentation, the Workgroup discussed next steps and decided that the chairs of the Workgroup, Jack Smith (State Superintendent of Schools’ designee) and Betty Weller (President of the Maryland State Education Association), will draft recommendations for the Workgroup’s review at the next meeting.

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