Common Core legislation advances in Maryland


SATBy Margaret Sessa-Hawkins,

Legislation designed to solve problems created by the implementation of the Common Core curriculum standards advanced in the Maryland House and Senate Thursday.

A bill to delay the use of testing on Common Core standards in teacher evaluations until 2016-2017 passed the Senate with only one dissenting vote, while the House version received a favorable report from the Ways and Means Committee, sending it to the House floor.

Two other bills dealing with the new Common Core standards, HB1001 and HB1164, also were approved by the Ways and Means Committee Thursday.

Both SB676, sponsored by Sen. Nancy King, D-Montgomery, and HB1167, sponsored by 46 delegates led by Ways & Means Chair Sheila Hixson, D-Montgomery, would require the state to delay using student performance data from standardized tests as an evaluation tool in personnel decisions until the 2016-17 school year.

Maryland is currently switching from the Maryland School Assessment (MSA) standardized tests to the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC) tests. The bills aim to give students and teachers time to adjust to the new models.

Legislation to eliminate the MSA tests this year was opposed by state education officials and the governor, and the tests were administered earlier this month, though there were some snow delays.