When Congress passed the Every Student Succeeds Act to replace
the failed No Child Left Behind, it gave states the power to overhaul how they
measure school success and practice school accountability. This is a once in a
decade opportunity for Maryland to reduce the culture of over-testing and
incentivize schools to focus more on things like school climate, class and
caseload size, and offering a broad, challenging curriculum including the arts.
The Maryland General Assembly has passed the Protect Our Schools
Act (HB 978), a bill that will make sure our state takes advantage of this
opportunity. But Gov. Hogan has vetoed this bill to protect the school
privatization agenda that he shares with Betsy DeVos. We need the legislature to
override his veto.
The bill will help us finally address achievement gaps and
improve opportunities for all kids. It will give Maryland the strongest
accountability system in the nation by more effectively utilizing test scores
and focusing on additional factors—like a supportive school climate—that
contribute to a high-quality, equitable education for all students.
And if a school is identified as low-performing, the teachers
and parents who know their kids best will finally be empowered to lead on
implementing research- and community-backed plans to improve their school.
But Gov. Hogan wants to use this opportunity to double down on
using test scores to identify public schools as failing so they can be converted
into charter schools or to send more funding to private school vouchers. This
bill stops this radical privatization agenda by preventing public schools from
being transferred to private and for-profit interests who look out for their
bottom lines first and our kids second.
Please fill out the form below to email your legislators and urge
them to override Gov. Hogan’s veto of HB 978, the Protect Our Schools Act of