A Statement from Marc Tucker

The Blueprint for Maryland’s Future, Will Transform the State’s Education System—Strengthening its Schools and Economy and Increasing Equity—If the General Assembly Takes Action

Washington, DC – With Governor Hogan’s veto of The Blueprint for Maryland’s Future, the groundbreaking education legislation based on the recommendations of the state’s Commission on Innovation and Excellence in Education, Maryland’s General Assembly can confirm its embrace of the Blueprint by overriding the Governor’s veto when it reconvenes.

The Commission, known as the Kirwan Commission, after its chairman, William ‘Brit’ Kirwan, was charged with revising Maryland’s school finance formulas and recommending policies that would make the state’s education system competitive with the best education systems in the world. The Commission’s recommendations aim to build a public education system that provides broadly shared prosperity for its citizens, one of the world’s most competent workforces for its employers and rewarding careers for its students.  The group of legislators, stakeholders, advocates and officials carefully examined the strategies used by the countries with the highest student performance and most equitable outcomes and used what they learned to design a new high-performance education system for the state. The result was an ambitious plan designed to take the state from the middle of the state rankings in the United States to the upper reaches of the global rankings.

The Blueprint for Maryland’s Future is not an unaffordable cost; it is an essential investment

Marc Tucker, president emeritus and senior fellow of the National Center on Education and the Economy (NCEE), which served as the lead policy consultant to the Commission, released the following statement:

“The Maryland General Assembly has the opportunity to fully implement the single most ambitious effort by any state in our country in recent history to thoroughly redesign its entire education system. Once implemented, The Blueprint for Maryland’s Future will provide the state with a public education system, from early childhood, through college and career preparation, unlike any in the United States. Today, Maryland’s high school graduates leave high school barely ready for what in the top-performing countries, would be a high school education. This redesign will enable Maryland’s students to leave high school, on average, with the equivalent of at least three more years of education than they leave high school with now, at levels comparable to the performance of high school graduates in the countries with the best and most equitable education systems in the world. Maryland’s economy and social fabric will be made stronger, more resilient and future-ready as a result.”

“Over the last few years, globalization and advancing intelligent technologies have been gobbling up low-skilled and semi-skilled jobs, the only kind of jobs available to a large fraction of Maryland graduates. If the skills of future graduates are not significantly increased, the state will be increasingly unattractive to the kind of high-tech firms it needs to have a successful economy and will have to pay more and more to support adults who are unable to contribute to the growth of the state economy or take care of their own families. The COVID-19 public health emergency has raised the stakes by creating a situation in which a large fraction of our student body will begin school next year even farther behind than they would have been if the schools had not closed. The high-quality, equitable and efficient education system envisioned by the Blueprint will be even more important for the thousands of students who begin months behind. The Blueprint for Maryland’s Future is not an unaffordable cost; it is an essential investment.”

To assist the Commission, NCEE prepared a “gap analysis” that showed how Maryland’s system compared with those of the top-performing systems on a set of policies NCEE has identified as the “9 Building Blocks for a World-Class Education System.” Based on that gap analysis, the Commission developed legislative and policy proposals across five areas: high-quality early childhood education and care for all 3- and 4-year-olds; highly qualified and diverse teachers and school leaders; college and career ready (CCR) students as early as grade 10 with multiple pathways, including modernized CTE options, after CCR is reached; supports for students early and often; and governance and accountability to ensure funds are used effectively.

Members of the press interested in speaking with Marc Tucker may contact NCEE Communications Officer Julia Banks at jbanks@ncee.org.