Board of Education Discusses Assessment Strategy and Fiscal Year 2017 Operating Budget Interests

July 16, 2015

The Montgomery County Board of Education met on Tuesday, July 14, 2015, at the Carver Educational Services Center, 850 Hungerford Drive in Rockville. Among other items, the Board discussed MCPS’ districtwide assessment strategy, discussed its Fiscal Year 2017 Operating Budget Interests, and made administrative appointments. The agenda for the meeting, with links to related materials, can be viewed on the Board of Education website. You also can watch the video of the meeting by clicking here.

Districtwide Assessment Strategy
The Board of Education heard a presentation from MCPS staff and held a wide-ranging discussion on the district’s assessment program. Over the past six months, MCPS staff and the Board’s Strategic Planning Committee have been reviewing the district’s current K–12 assessments and options for modifications to the assessment program. The Board and MCPS leadership are responding to concerns expressed by students, staff, parents, and community members regarding the number of state and local tests given in MCPS and the amount of instructional time lost due to test preparation and administration.

MCPS staff developed four options for consideration and received feedback on the options from a wide array of stakeholders through a questionnaire given to administrators and teachers, focus groups, and a form posted on the MCPS website. On Tuesday, Interim Superintendent Larry A. Bowers presented his plan for changes to the MCPS assessment program.

Under that plan, centrally developed end-of-semester exams in middle school courses would be eliminated in the coming school year (2015–2016). Further discussion will be held on Mr. Bowers’ plan for high school exams, which would eliminate end-of-semester exams in the second semester of next school year in subjects for which there are already Maryland state end-of-course tests—Algebra 1, English 10, Biology, and Government. Mr. Bowers’ plan would eliminate all end-of-semester exams in high schools the following year (2016–2017) and would instead use in-class assessments that are given throughout the school year, including unit tests, essays, projects, document-based questions, and more.

The Board endorsed Mr. Bowers plan to eliminate all MCPS-developed final exams in middle school courses this coming year. The Board also asked its Policy Management Committee to review the impact that eliminating final exams in high school would have on Board policies and district regulations. The committee will bring a recommendation to the Board in October.

Read the Board memo

Read the press release

Operating Budget Interests for Fiscal Year 2017

The Board began a discussion with Interim Superintendent Larry A. Bowers about its operating budget interests for Fiscal Year (FY) 2017. This is the fifth year that the Board has shared its budgetary interests as the interim superintendent begins the process of developing an operating budget recommendation for next fiscal year. The Board will continue this discussion at a future Board meeting. Mr. Bowers will present his FY 2017 Operating Budget recommendation to the Board in December.

Read the memo

Appointment to Board Committee
The Board passed a resolution appointing Eric Guerci, the new Student Member of the Board, as a member of the Board of Education’s Policy Management Committee. He will serve on the Committee until the expiration of his term of office on June 30, 2016.

Read the Board item

Board Appointments

The Board of Education approved the following administrative appointments:

Philip A. Lynch, currently acting director, Department of Special Education Services, as director, Department of Special Education Services

Natasha Bolden, currently principal intern, Mill Creek Towne Elementary School, as principal, Mill Creek Towne Elementary School

Karen E. Caroscio, currently principal intern, Chevy Chase Elementary School, as principal, Bradley Hills Elementary School


The Board approved the following resolution:

-A resolution recognizing the Montgomery County Public Schools Educational Foundation, Inc. Scholarship recipients

Future Meetings
The Board will hold its next regular business meeting on Monday, July 27, 2015. Please check the Board of Education meeting calendar for further information

About the Board of Education
The Montgomery County Board of Education is the official educational policymaking body in the county. The Board is responsible for the direction and operation of the public school system. The Board consists of seven county residents elected by voters for a four-year term and a student elected by secondary school students for a one-year term. Board members are elected countywide but run at-large or from the Board district in which they reside.

Montgomery County Board of Education: Mrs. Patricia O’Neill, president; Mr. Michael Durso, vice president. Members: Mr. Christopher Barclay, Dr. Judy Docca, Mr. Philip Kauffman, Ms. Jill Ortman-Fouse, Mrs. Rebecca Smondrowski, and Mr. Eric Guerci, student member. Mr. Larry A. Bowers, interim superintendent and secretary-treasurer. Office of the Board: 301-279-3617.

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