Highlights of Board of Education Meeting, Feb. 11

February 12, 2003
The Board of Education met on Tuesday [February 11] and, among other items, reappointed Superintendent Weast for a second four-year term and approved a list of Academic Piorities for the next four years. The Board also discussed a draft of the school system’s Strategic Plan and engaged in a dialogue with Achieve, Inc., on curriculum standards. The Board also approved positions on items of legislation before the state General Assembly.

Reappointment of the Superintendent

The Board voted unanimously to approve the reappointment of Dr. Jerry D. Weast as superintendent of schools for a second four-year term, making him the first appointee from outside the school system to win a second four-year term as superintendent.

Academic Priorities

The Board approved a revised and refined list of six Academic Priorities for the next four years (2003- 2007) as an element of the guiding tenets for Montgomery County Public Schools.

Strategic Plan

The Board discussed the ongoing development and next steps for Our Call to Action: The Pursuit of Excellence, the Montgomery County Public Schools multiyear strategic plan. The document consolidates previously committed priorities, initiatives, and accountability measures into one document with references and connections to the state Bridge to Excellence in Public Schools Act goals and focus areas and the federal No Child Left Behind Act. This strategic plan was first developed in 1999 and has been updated regularly. The document is designed to drive continuous improvement and is the cornerstone of school improvement plans and student achievement.

A stakeholder involvement plan and timeline was presented to the Board and a final draft of the strategic plan will be submitted for Board approval in late May. It will then be presented to the County Council and county executive for their input before its required submission to the Maryland State Department of Education prior to October 1, 2003.

Dialogue with Achieve, Inc., on Curriculum Standards

The Board engaged in a dialogue with representatives of Achieve, Inc., on a review of the MCPS Curriculum Frameworks and the semester final examinations in English 9, Algebra 1, and Geometry. Achieve is an independent, bipartisan, non-profit organization that, among other initiatives, helps states benchmark academic standards and assessments against the best national and international examples. Their review was conducted to verify the rigor of the MCPS curriculum and to ensure that final examinations are aligned and in support of the Maryland High School Assessment program and exemplary state and national standards.

Items of Legislation

The Board voted its positions on items of legislation pending before the Maryland General Assembly.

Board of Education: Mrs. Patricia B. O’Neill, president; Ms. Sharon W. Cox, vice president. Members: Mr. Kermit V. Burnett, Mr. Reginald M. Felton, Dr. Charles Haughey, Mr. Walter N. Lange, Mr. Gabe Romero, and Mr. Mihyar Alnifaidy, student member. Dr. Jerry D. Weast, superintendent and secretary treasurer. Office of the Board: 301-279-3617.

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