On Friday, October 1, Governor Larry Hogan appointed seven members to oversee the Blueprint for Maryland’s Future education reform implementation, making the deadline.
Hogan had until October 1 to appoint seven members from a slate of nine nominees for consideration. He appointed the following education leaders to the Accountability and Implementation Board (AIB), as reported by Maryland Matters:
- Isiah “Ike” Leggett, former Montgomery County executive and currently a member of the University System of Maryland Board of Regents, who was appointed to the regents by Hogan.
- Mara Doss, the associate vice president for teaching, learning and student success at Prince George’s Community College.
- Fagan Harris, chief executive officer of Baltimore Corps, a nonprofit that recruits talented professionals and connects them to leadership opportunities.
- William “Brit” Kirwan, the chair of the Commission on Innovation and Excellence in Education, whose policy recommendations make up the foundation of the Blueprint for Maryland’s Future.
- Joseph Manko, the education program officer for the Abell Foundation and previously an elementary school principal in Baltimore City Public Schools for 10 years.
- Laura Stapleton, the interim dean of the University of Maryland, College Park College of Education and a professor in human development and quantitative methodology.
- Jennifer Lynch, the director of educational partnerships for Baltimore County Executive John A. Olszewski Jr. (D) and previously an elementary school principal in Baltimore City Public Schools for five years.
Prior to the October 1 deadline, it was unclear if Hogan was going to meet it, as the nomination process was riddled with bipartisan concerns over the lack of geographic and demographic diversity offered by the nominating committee’s original slate of nominees for Hogan to consider. Notably, four of the nine nominees reside in Montgomery County, three in Baltimore City, one in Baltimore County, and one in Anne Arundel County.
Despite fielding requests and criticism from legislative and county leadership, as well as Governor Hogan, the nominating committee declined to revise nominations, instead pushing Hogan to meet the October 1 deadline to appoint the AIB membership.
The same day Hogan announced his appointment decisions, Senate President Bill Ferguson (D-Baltimore City) addressed concerns about diversity via a letter to Shanaysha Sauls, chair of the nominating committee, recommending that the AIB create “an advisory panel of sufficient size to incorporate all voices.” Sauls reportedly thinks Ferguson’s idea is a good plan.
The roles and responsibilities of the AIB are many and critical to the success of the Blueprint, as described in the Maryland Manual:
In February 2021, the Accountability and Implementation Board was created by the General Assembly as an independent unit of State government (Chapter 36, Acts of 2021).
First, the Accountability and Implementation Board is charged with developing a Comprehensive Implementation Plan for the Blueprint for Maryland’s Future. That blueprint consists of those policies and accountability requirements recommended by the Commission on Innovation and Excellence in Education. Further, every unit of government responsible for implementing any part of the Blueprint for Maryland’s Future, including each local school board, is required to submit its own implementation plan to the Accountability and Implementation Board for approval. The Board may withhold funding to any agency without an approved implementation plan.
The Board is to evaluate the data submitted to it, and assess how well the many components of the Blueprint for Maryland’s Future are working to achieve its desired outcome of equal access to a high-quality education. By January 1 of each year through 2031, the Board is to review the use of school-level expenditures, including poverty grants and special education funding, and monitor school system compliance with the requirements of the Blueprint for Maryland’s Future.
The AIB members now must be confirmed by the Senate. Hogan, Ferguson, and House Speaker Adrienne A. Jones (D-Baltimore County) will jointly appoint a chair of the panel. Stay tuned to the Conduit Street Blog for more coverage.
More background on the AIB may be found in previous Conduit Street coverage: