Tag Archives: Common core

Maryland Senate expected to vote on allowing parents to opt out of Common Core tests.

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Maryland Governor Larry Hogan

A Maryland senator is proposing an amendment to the state’s fiscal 2016 budget that would allow parents to opt their children out of Common Core tests with impunity to the students and the schools — and the Senate is expected to vote on it as early as Thursday.

Sen. Justin Ready, a Republican, is placing the amendment on the Senate floor, according to his chief of staff, Aaron Jones, to make it easier for parents to choose whether their children can take the PARCC Common Core test next year.  There is now no way for parents to opt out, and schools are deciding for themselves how to handle such requests, with some insisting that children take the tests and others allowing students to leave school with parents or sit somewhere in the school with no assigned schoolwork, Jones said.

Maryland schools have been implementing the Common Core State Standards for several years, and the state is a member of the Partnership for the Assessment of the Readiness for College and Career, one of two multistate consortia created to design new assessments aligned to the Common Core with some $360 million in federal funds. Students have been taking the PARCC in Maryland, as well as in a number of other states, amid a growing protest movement across the country against high-stakes standardized testing. Thousands of parents are opting out their children from taking Common Core exams and a small but growing number of teachers, principals and superintendents are publicly protesting the exams as being detrimental to effective teaching and learning.

[Related: Some parents across the country are revolting against standardized testing]

The Maryland Department of Education said it could not immediately comment on the issue.

>>> Read more

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Busch hears from teachers about salary, workload, Common Core

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MICHAEL ERIN BUSCH, Speaker of House of Delegates
Democrat, District 30, Anne Arundel County

From workload woes to complaints about salaries, House Speaker Michael E. Busch heard it all.

The Annapolis Democrat, a former teacher in county public and private schools, spoke to members of the Teachers Association of Anne Arundel County on Saturday at Union Jack’s, three days after the start of the 2014 legislative session.

The General Assembly, Busch said, pumps $6.2 billion into Maryland schools, making the state’s education system one of the best funded in the country.

“We have two constitutional mandates — to balance the budget and adequately fund education,” Busch said, pointing out that Maryland’s state government is one of the few that contributes money toward school construction.

“You either fund education, or you don’t. It’s not a complex issue,” he said.

Some county teachers, though, told Busch funding still lags in some areas.

One, who said she had been teaching for 24 years, said Anne Arundel teachers can go to neighboring counties and earn far more. She said one teacher she knows recently left for a job in Calvert County, getting a raise of $11,000 per year.

“We are behind,” she said, as other teachers applauded.

Interim schools Superintendent Mamie J. Perkins’ fiscal 2015 budget proposal includes a 2 percent raise for all employees.

Last June, the Anne Arundel County Board of Education voted 8-1 to give employees raises that vary depending on the worker’s position and union representation.

In fall 2012, according to the state Department of Education, the average teacher in Anne Arundel County earned $61,643 per year. Statewide, the average salary was $64,248.

The salary concerns, coupled with growing stress over workload, have many teachers wanting to flee the profession, several educators said.

Teachers aired similar concerns Thursday night at a hearing in Annapolis on the school budget.

Retired teacher Lois Nicoletti told Busch she spent so much time documenting student progress and collecting data she felt she had no time for actual instruction.

“When was I supposed to teach?” Nicoletti said.

Another teacher, a 42-year veteran of the profession, said he has never seen it as tough as it is right now, particularly with this year’s implementation of the Common Core State Standards for curriculum.

Richard Benfer, TAAAC’s president, told Busch that before the meeting he asked one teacher how she was doing. She got so emotional she had to walk away, Benfer said.

A teacher in the audience began to sniffle.

“It’s kind of ridiculously crazy,” Benfer said.

After the gathering, Busch said he expects state lawmakers to look at Common Core and figure out its strengths and weaknesses. The Anne Arundel County delegation is scheduled to hold a meeting on Common Core on Jan. 28 in Annapolis.

“To tell you the truth, I don’t even know how we adopted Common Core,” Busch said. “But I think it’s always good to review.”

“All these people here are dedicated, and they want to see the system work.”

Session 2013

Common Core generates bill to drop old tests in Md. public schools

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Sen. Nancy King, D-Montgomery, the sponsor of the Senate companion bill she will introduce shortly to scrap the test

Emergency legislation to stop Maryland from administering a federally mandated student assessment test was introduced Thursday in the House of Delegates with strong bipartisan sponsorship.

The Maryland Student Assessment test (MSA) is slated to be phased out after this year, when it will be administered once more this spring. But the test is considered outdated because it doesn’t test for what students are learning in classrooms this year under the state’s new Common Core education curriculum.Luedtke 2

Del. Eric Luedtke

“The MSA tests students on material they aren’t being taught, and takes away valuable teaching time to do it,” said Del. Eric Luedtke, D-Montgomery, the lead sponsor of the House bill. “It’s testing for the sake of testing, and we should not be giving it.”

The bill, which has 10 co-sponsors, including five Republicans, would require the state to request a waiver from the U.S. Department of Education  (DOE) to excuse Maryland from administering the MSA test this year. It costs the state $6 million to give the test.

The Maryland State Education Association (MSEA), a union which represents 71,000 public education employees across the state, asked the state education department to obtain such a waiver, but state officials said DOE offers no such waiver.

Read more:  http://marylandreporter.com/2014/01/09/common-core-generates-bill-to-drop-old-tests-in-md-public schools/#ixzz2q9ATbZw1 Under Creative Commons License: Attribution

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Dr. Lillian Lowery Embattled State Superintendent is currently presiding over deep-seated corruption in Maryland school system. She has demonstrated a culture of discrimination and racism while on the job.

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Standardized Tests Under Fire in Maryland

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ROCKVILLE, Md. — The Maryland School Assessments, a set of standardized tests for elementary and middle-school students, are under fire by some parents, teachers, lawmakers and school officials who say the tests are outdated and meaningless in the age of Common Core academic standards.

Two state lawmakers from Montgomery County say they’re drafting bills asking the state to seek a waiver this school year from a federal requirement to give standardized tests.

“I’m just not convinced that giving a test for the sake of giving a test is the right thing,” state Sen. Nancy King, D-Montgomery, told The Washington Post.

Maryland State Superintendent of Schools Lillian Lowery opposes the move.

“Absolutely not,” Lowery said. >>> Read More CBS News

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Read our previous coverage here concerning a Montgomery County Teacher Ms. Tiferet Ani who started a Petition to stop Maryland School Assessments (MSA) this year.  As exhibited in her blog, the MSA tests are outdated and meaningless in the age of Common Core academic standards and a waste of Tax payer money. >>>Read More and sign up >>  Teacher of the Year.

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Call your elected officials now and the media. Demand investigations and initiation of changes within the Maryland State Board of Education. Where there’s smoke, there’s fire!

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In our opinion, We aver and therefore believe Maryland State Board of Education President Dr. Charlene Dukes shown here has demonstrated a culture of corrupt leadership style and continues “an integrated pattern of pay to play” and manipulation during her tenure. Both leaders need to resign to create room for new leadership.

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Dr. Lillian Lowery Embattled State Superintendent is currently presiding over deep-seated corruption in Maryland school system. She has demonstrated a culture of discrimination and racism while on the job.

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MERRY CHRISTMAS and HAPPY HOLIDAYS

Read more about the homeless youth population on the rise in Maryland as their leaders above squander their money. >>Homeless Youth 

MSDE Forum in PG County 10/1/2013

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On October 1, 2013, Dr. Lillian Lowery Maryland State Superintendent and her company will be touring our beautiful county to answer questions related to common core.  After a firestorm of charges from parents in other parts of the state that questions from the attendees were screened and reworded at the Common Core meeting in Baltimore County on Sept. 19, the MSDE will repeat the same format at the Prince George’s County forum during the meeting at Springdale.

Bill Reinhardt, Public Information Officer for MSDE, said, “We tried it with open mic the first time [in Talbot County] and we got about half the questions answered.”

The Prince George’s County meeting will be the final of four Common Core meetings in the state.

When questioned on how they would address the concerns of parents who said their questions were screened and reworded, he said, “Some of the cards went 4-5 paragraphs, so they were re-worded.”

So, instead of answering half the questions, the MSDE is opting for half-answering the questions.

Please call the office of MSDE Superintendent Lillian Lowery at 410-767-0462 and request that the format of the meeting be open mic instead of written questions.

The Common Core forum in Prince George’s County as indicated is tomorrow October 1 from 7-8:30pm at Charles Herbert Flowers High School in Springdale as indicated above.

Don’t be a cattle! Ask tough questions.

STAY INFORMED: Subscribe into our blog to receive free email notifications each time we post a new article.  Thanks for supporting reform Sasscer Movement for Prince George’s County in Maryland!

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Dr. Lillian M. Lowery Maryland State Superintendent  of schools has shown poor leadership skills and received an F grade for Common Core meetings so far. 

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Don’t Be a Cattle!” is a newly formed group that began after the arrest of Robert Small for asking a question out of turn at an MSDE forum on Common Core.  In just one week, the group has amassed a Facebook following of more than 3,500 members and growing.

“Many parents in attendance at the school board meeting on Sept. 19 were growing increasingly frustrated by the screening and rewording of the questions which were required to be submitted in writing.  At no time in the ‘forum’ were parents allowed to ask direct questions, follow-up, or clarifications,” said group founder Ann Miller, whose YouTube video of the incident garnered national attention and has received a million hits.

The MSDE adopted Common Core in June of 2010 in exchange for a quarter billion dollars in federal incentive funding through a Race To The Top grant which was conditioned upon adherence to Common Core.  In all that time, when the MSDE could have been asking for public input and educating parents on the standards, instead there was an information blackout.  The public is only just now, upon its implementation and after the expenditure of untold taxpayer dollars, even learning about the new overhaul to our education system.

Instead of putting out propaganda videos that avoid direct questions, “Don’t Be Cattle!” calls upon Superintendent Lilian Lowery to finally answer direct questions from parents, teachers and the public – openly and honestly without editing.

The list of questions below was compiled by parents who attended the meeting in Towson and feel their questions were never addressed.  They are only a few out of many unanswered questions.

The group is also requesting the protocol of the Question and Answer portion of the meeting be changed to open mic, rather than written questions.

The final MSDE Common Core forum is on Tuesday, Oct. 1 at 7pm at Charles Herbert Flowers High School in Prince George’s County.

A Sampling of Parents’ Unanswered Questions on Common Core

  1. All of the academics on the validation committee for Common Core refused to sign off on it.  What evidence do you have that Common Core will even be effective in improving education?
  2. How is selling out our local education system to national standards in the best interest of our children?
  3. Why are we going backwards in adopting a one-size-fits-all set of standards?  What about special needs and GT children?
  4. Why are we adopting Common Core when testing standards have not rolled out yet?
  5. What are the costs to the state of implementing Common Core?
  6. How will MSDE prevent data collection from being shared with outside entities in light of the NSA and IRS scandals?
  7. With nearly 35% of the States that adopted Common Core making motions toward rejecting the standards, is it wise to gamble with the future of Maryland’s children’s education by moving so swiftly to implement Common Core?
  8. If Maryland schools were ranked number one in the nation, why are we spending millions to abandon what was working?
  9. Can parents view what data is being collected on their children?  How can parents opt out?
  10. What is the policy when parents refuse to allow their children to be subject to Common Core testing as permitted by law?
  11. The push to align the SAT and other tests to Common Core standards will affect even private schools and home schoolers.  How does this contribute to school choice?
  12. What guarantees do parents have that the requirements for further grants will not become increasingly over-reaching each and every year?

It is time to remind the Maryland State Board of Education that the parents pay the school taxes and entitled to ask questions and God forbid the statement or question is longer than two (2) minutes..

Beginning next year, We are going to do the right thing and start putting people in office that will respect the law and stand up to power hungry unions and beaureaucrats, and their dictatorial ways. It’s time!

We must get our act together, for goodness sake!

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