Maryland Is Building aWorld-Class Education System


by Jennifer Craw

On Monday, Maryland lawmakers gathered for a joint committee hearing on legislation that aims to transform the state’s public education system into one of the best-performing in the world. Known as the “Blueprint for Maryland’s Future,” the proposed legislation is the result of recommendations produced by the Commission on Innovation and Excellence in Education, known as the Kirwan Commission after its chair William “Brit” Kirwan.

NCEE served as the Commission’s lead policy consultant over the last three years. With NCEE’s support, the Commission examined the policies and practices of top-performing education systems to understand how they attained high levels of achievement, equity and efficiency and how those policies and practices could be adapted to Maryland’s context. The legislation would:

  • Greatly expand access to high-quality full-day preschool to 3- and 4-year-olds;
  • Raise the status of the teaching profession by strengthening teacher education, raising teacher pay to be comparable to professions requiring similar levels of education and training, and creating an educator career ladder;
  • Set a new college and career readiness standard that students can meet as early as grade 10;
  • Provide substantial increases in funding for social services, before- and after-school and summer academic programs and school-based health services for students who need it the most; and
  • Create an Accountability and Implementation Board that has the authority to ensure that the Commission’s recommendations are successfully implemented and produce the desired results.

The proposed bill would be the second time Maryland legislators have acted on the Kirwan Commission’s recommendations. In May 2019, state lawmakers passed a bill providing a three-year down payment of $850 million to be spent on the commission’s recommendations. Read more about the hearings in The Washington Post and The Baltimore Sun.