State Board Of Education Swings A Grand Slam, According To Kalman Hettleman

According To Kalman Hettleman, State Board Of Education Swings A Grand Slam | Future Education Magazine


You haven’t been following the fortunes of the Maryland State Department of Education if you believe the Baltimore Orioles are the biggest turnaround surprise of the year.

The State Board of Education was praising the troubled state superintendent just four months ago, roughly. As I’ve already stated in these pages, implementation of the Blueprint for Maryland’s Future lagged throughout this time, and Maryland was still falling behind many other states in the most important aspect of educational reform: early literacy.

But as it turns out, Carey Wright has been named interim superintendent by the State Board of Education following the departure of the superintendent. She also has the most successful early literacy leadership track record in the country, in my opinion.

In June, I stated the following here: “In teaching children to read, Mississippi puts Maryland to shame.” Wright oversaw Mississippi’s “Mississippi miracle” in reading, which gained widespread recognition. I wrote in my last column that all Maryland students may learn to read if “we do it the Wright way.”

The educational revolution in Mississippi has been attacked by some. However, the good outcomes are substantial and paradigm-shifting (see here and here).

Wright’s new position won’t be simple, and that includes in literacy. Maryland needs to make up a lot of ground. The State Board of Education President Clarence Crawford stated on Wednesday that Wright could submit an application during the impending national search for a permanent superintendent, but she is merely interim until June 30, 2024.

Wright, however, ought to be able to get started straight away. Her management, educational, and interpersonal abilities are first-rate preparation. She also has a home-field advantage because she was a teacher and senior administrator in the school systems of Prince George’s, Howard, and Montgomery counties before to moving to Mississippi. She now resides in Baltimore County.

Contrary to popular opinion, large actions to make statewide jumps, especially in literacy, do not necessitate legislative action. This is an additional benefit. There are already many regulations that demand state requirements for fundamental education, interventions for learners who are having difficulty, and monitoring and evaluation. But when it comes to responsibility and follow-through, MSDE has failed.

This does not absolve Annapolis of all responsibility. The General Assembly and Governor Wes Moore (D) must increase funding and fortify support for MSDE despite political reaction from upholders of the status quo.

To that end, the Democratic majority in Annapolis might be reminded that Republicans have beaten Democrats to the punch in several states that have advanced well ahead of Maryland on literacy reform.

Thankfully, it seems like Governor Moore is prepared to take the reins. He receives an A+ for his recent State Board of Education appointments since the new members served as catalysts for the board’s activities.

We can be confident that with Wright on board, the State Board, MSDE, local education systems, and the Blueprint Accountability and Implementation Board will have much closer working connections. Early literacy has been cited by the AIB as the single greatest challenge to be faced.

So let’s give the entire State Board of Education a hearty applause. We especially salute Crawford and Vice President Joshua Michael for winning player of the year honours. And let’s begin supporting Carey Wright (and the Orioles) as fervently as we can.

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