State Board of Education Meeting: PARCC, Charters, Bullying

The State Board of Education met today at the Baltimore offices of the Maryland State Department of Education. The monthly meeting had a full agenda today, ranging from progress on PARCC assessments, an update on charter school legislation, and a progress report on programs to stop bullying in schools. There are many new members on the State Board of Education appointed by Governor Hogan.

PARCC

On PARCC, the student assessments associated with the Common Core Standards, the Board heard a report from on the status of PARCC assessments in Maryland following the spring of 2015.  The Executive Summary of the report states,

While there were no major issues during the administration of the PARCC assessments in 2014-2015, there were still concerns among school districts in several areas, including test scheduling, access to technology, and disruption of the instructional program.

Charters

Chapter 311, the Governor’s Public Charter School Expansion and Improvement Act of 2015, was passed by the legislature and signed into law this year.  The law had several elements, one of which was to require the State Board to develop standards and criteria by which an eligible public charter school shall be assessed during a review for a charter. After an overview of the revised law the State Board of Education named board members Chester Finn, Andy Smarick, and Madhu Sidhu to work on developing these standards and criteria.

Bullying

The State Board of Education heard a report on the various types of bullying prevention and reporting programs that have been implemented in our schools from the Maryland State Department of Education’s Division of Student, Family, and School Support. The Division’s data shows a decline in the number of reported cases of bullying in the 2014-2015 year (the last year for which data is available). School intervention strategies that have been implemented include:

  • Positive Behavioral Interventions & Supports (all 24 school districts)
  • Olweus (Anne Arundel, Baltimore City, and Prince George’s)
  • Character Counts (Baltimore City, Talbot, Dorchester, and Wicomico)
  • Restorative Practices (St. Mary’s, Montgomery, Garrett, and Wicomico)
  • Text-2-Stop It (Queen Anne’s and Talbot)

For more information about the State Board’s recent meeting, contact Robin Clark at MACo.

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