Category Archives: Common core

Busch hears from teachers about salary, workload, Common Core


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

Nancy King

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: schools/#ixzz2q9ATbZw1 Under Creative Commons License: Attribution



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.


Carroll BOE asks for expanded timeline…

…on education reforms


Carroll County commissioners (from left to right) Dave Roush, Doug Howard, Haven  Shoemaker and Richard Rothschild listen to a presentation during the  commissioners forum on the Common Core State Standards Monday

The Carroll  County Board of Education is asking the state delegation to support an  expanded timeline for the implementation of state-mandated education reform  initiatives, including the Common Core State Standards, during the upcoming  General Assembly.

In a letter to State Sen. Joe Getty, the board reaffirmed its commitment to  implementing the reform initiatives, including the Common Core, PARCC  Assessments, and teacher and principal evaluations.

But the board also said there is waning public support to implement the  initiatives, due in part to “significant misinformation regarding the reform’s  scope and the extent of local control we have implementing the reform  efforts.”

To address the issue, the board has requested the delegation support a number  of positions during the upcoming legislative session, including:

• Ensure that full public awareness and participation is embedded into the  process prior to approving additional mandates for curricular changes.

• Expand the timeline for implementation of additional academic standards  connected to science and social studies include sufficient time and resources to  provide teachers with the professional development needed to learn best  practices for instruction.

Read more:,0,4425465.story#ixzz2npnKLegs



Teacher slams scripted Common Core lessons…

…that must be taught ‘word for word’


A public school teacher in Delaware wrote the following moving piece but asked not to be identified out of fear of retaliation. It explains what is happening to many teachers who are being given scripted lessons  aligned to the Common Core State Standards by their principals and district superintendents.  Note that this teacher is not opposed to standards. It’s an important point, as critics of the Common Core’s implementation in many school districts have been accused of being opposed to standards and wanting to keep the “status quo.”

Here is the teacher’s piece: >>> Read More Washington Post >>> See video  >>> Read the Blaze >> TheBlaze



Here in Prince George’s County Public Schools (PGCPS), Common Core lessons are being pushed down the throats of educators without proper consultations and preparations. Many teachers are actually saying– they are being asked to teach a curriculum that is incomplete, using materials that are not age or reading-level appropriate and are being “encouraged” to fill in the gaps—while they run a classroom.  It’s important to remember that, the teachers’ evaluations in 2014 will be based upon the MSA test scores from this coming March (2014). The MSA test does not match the new common core curriculum. It would be like studying history of France then having to take a test on the history of the US.

Rather than rush the process, Teachers need at least 2-3 years to adapt to the new standards, align new curricula with these standards, and then the state can give the new assessments that align with the Common Core standards. These rushed scenarios are wrong and completely inappropriate.

It’s important to note that,  when CEO Kevin Maxwell heard of a grievance having been filed in Baltimore County Public Schools by the union there, He quickly emailed the attached document to circumvent any possibility of unfair treatment of the PG County educators by the PGCPS Management; In our own considered opinion, we have reviewed the documentation submitted and we have detected numerous prima facie anomalies in the process contrary to laws of the land.

Rather than work with people, changes which we advocated for are not being done and problems are being covered up. Clearly, this is not the Prince George’s County which is in harmony with itself. Everyone in PGCPS District knows the unions are in bed with the management.  (Read more) So why did CEO Maxwell make it so obvious by summoning Mr. Kenneth Haines who is leaving at the end of his term in 2014 and is term limited? Below is the questionable letter.

The superintendent and head of PGCEA sent this to teachers on Monday:

TO: All Teachers

FROM: Kevin M Maxwell, Ph.D. Chief Executive Officer
November 25, 2013
Kevin M. Maxwell, Ph.D
Chief Executive Officer
Kenneth Haines, President
Prince George’s County Educators’ Association (PGCEA)

RE: Teacher Evaluations 

First, I would like to personally thank each one of you for the immeasurable effort you put into educating the children in our district each and every day; it is both appreciated and important. I would also like to thank PGCEA for their support and collaboration in creating the new teacher evaluation process. Thus Mr. Kenneth Haines, PGCEA President, joins me in sending out this memorandum. The purpose of this communication is to clarify the professional practice component of the new evaluation process and provide the new forms that will be used for teacher evaluations.

In our new teacher evaluation model a large portion of all teachers’ professional practice rating will be based on the formal Framework for Teaching observations. A smaller portion of the professional practice rating will be based on data from two other multiple measures:
· A student perception survey based on a teacher’s classroom environment
· Component 4E in Charlotte Danielson’s Framework for Teaching Evaluation Instrument on professional growth
The data provided from these sources will provide valuable information to support a teacher’s professional growth.
Attached to this document are copies of the new interim and final evaluation instruments. Please review these documents carefully. They will be utilized for interim evaluations for select teachers, and final evaluations for all on-cycle professional practice teachers being evaluated using student growth during the 2013-2014 school year.

It is important to note that both Ken and I recognize the enormous magnitude of this change not only for Prince George’s County but for the entire state. Our joint commitment between our organizations is to continue to review our work, each and every document and process, to ensure validity and reliability. If changes or adjustments need to be made along the way we will not hesitate to review those concerns mutually to ensure that we have developed the best possible model.

As a final note, we know you may have questions related to the new evaluation model and its implementation. Comprehensive information regarding evaluations is available in the new Teacher Evaluation Handbook which, along with other valuable information, is posted on the Staff and Educator Effectiveness Delivering Student Success (SEEDS) website at In addition, you can email questions directly to the Employee Performance and Evaluation Office at Again I would like to personally thank you for your dedication to our students, and your efforts on their behalf.

KMM: whr Attachments
cc: Monique Davis, Ed.D
Mr. Robert J. Gaskin
Mr. William H. Ryan Associate Superintendents Instructional Directors School-Based Administrators



Call your elected officials now and the media. Demand investigations and initiation of changes… There is no smoke without fire!!


Dr. Maxwell was appointed to right wrongs but very little appears done to fix issues.


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.


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.