ANNAPOLIS – The search is on for a new state superintendent and Maryland is looking for the public’s help. The state hired an outside firm that will be holding open forums at seven different spots around Maryland throughout the month of November to find out what Maryland public schools are doing well, what they need to work on and what qualities people are looking for in a new superintendent.
This search is Maryland’s first in twenty years. Former superintendent Nancy Grasmick retired in June after holding the title since 1991. David Burton, a member of the Maryland Council for Educator Effectiveness and principal of Long Reach High School in Howard County, hopes the new superintendent continues with the progress Grasmick made.
“[Nancy Grasmick] brought in everyone, got their opinions and then made that transparent so everybody knew was what was going on with all different groups,” said Burton. “I think going forward we need a kind of person that has those qualities that is able to bring everyone together, get their opinions [and] be forward thinking.”
Maryland public schools have been ranked number one in the country the past three years by Education Week, a leading education newspaper.
Clara Floyd, president of the Maryland State Education Association said she has no complaints about the rankings but worries the high marks won’t encourage educators to push even harder.
“We are going to be looking for someone with the vision to create a 21st century school system,” Floyd said. “We don’t want to go backwards, we want to continue moving forwards.”
The forums, the last of which will be held Nov. 10 at the Baltimore Polytechnic Institute in Baltimore City, were developed by representatives of Hazard, Young, Attea & Associates, the consulting firm selected by the State Board to help with the search process. The public is also encouraged to fill out an online survey with their thoughts for a new superintendent at www.ecragroup.com/mdss. The deadline for completing the survey is Nov. 18.