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Washington, DC – The Maryland General Assembly’s override of 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, paves the way for Maryland to build a public education system that provides the foundation for broadly shared prosperity for its citizens, one of the world’s most skilled workforces for its employers, and rewarding careers for its students.

The Blueprint legislation is the first in the U.S. explicitly designed to enable a state’s students to match the performance of students in the countries that lead the world in performance, equity, and efficiency. It provides Maryland with a fairer funding system and an accountability system that will assure that the policies and practices used by the world’s top performers are put in place in the state’s schools. When fully implemented, it will vault Maryland from the middle of the state rankings in the United States to the upper reaches of state and global rankings.

The wide disparities in the performance of Maryland’s students have been greatly exacerbated by the coronavirus pandemic. The Blueprint provides extensive supports for the students who have suffered most from their lack of access to full-time in-school education. This is an essential feature of a reform program intended to set a new standard of performance for all Maryland students, while building in a wide range of strategies for making sure that students get the help they need to achieve those standards.

The National Center on Education the Economy (NCEE) is proud to have served as the lead policy consultant to the Commission.

Marc Tucker, President Emeritus and Distinguished Fellow, Said:

“The Maryland General Assembly has enacted what history will regard as a historic piece of legislation. The Blueprint for Maryland’s Future amounts to a comprehensive redesign of Maryland’s education system, the first in the United States to draw on the lessons learned by the countries that now far outpace both the United States and the State of Maryland in student performance. It is no exaggeration to say that the act of the General Assembly puts the state on a course that will enable Maryland’s businesses and citizens to compete with a full deck in a globally competitive environment that increasingly punishes the poorly educated and rewards the well-educated and highly skilled. Using the strategies described in this landmark legislation, Maryland will be able to provide a much brighter future to Maryland children growing up in poverty while at the same time greatly raising the standards for all Maryland students, including many now regarded as among the best in the state. None of this could have been done without the extraordinary leadership of Chairman Kirwan, the contribution of the legislative staff, and the patient commitment of the members of the Commission.”

Jason Dougal, Executive Vice President, Said:

“The deep inequities in our education system have only been exacerbated by the COVID-19 public health crisis. The stakes have never been higher for Maryland’s students and families. The Blueprint is uniquely suited to not just propel a needed academic recovery in the state, but also future economic prosperity, broadly shared, and equitably distributed.”

“The Blueprint will make education more equitable by expanding supports for families, increasing resources for learners who need them the most, and ensuring schools serve as community hubs for the services our students need. For the state’s educators, The Blueprint will provide them with the skills, support, and incentives to do their best work and aid their colleagues to do the same. And The Blueprint will provide rich new academic and career pathways, where future-ready learning is the standard and not just an aspiration.

“Critically, The Blueprint will create a governance and support mechanism that will ensure it delivers on its promise for the state’s students, educators and schools.”

The legislation was informed by research conducted by NCEE. NCEE compared the policies and practices of Maryland’s existing system with those of some of the world’s highest performing systems, and identified both areas of strength on which the state could build as well as large gaps between the state’s policies and practices and those of the leading states and countries. Based on that analysis, the Commission developed legislative and policy proposals across five areas: (1) early childhood development and education; (2) preparation of high-quality and diverse teachers and school leaders; (3) rigorous college and career pathways, benchmarked against those in the world’s best systems; (4) equitable funding to ensure that all students are successful; and (5) effective governance and accountability.

The process Maryland used provides a model for other states interested in building an education system that matches the best in the world on student achievement, equity and efficiency.

Members of the press interested in speaking with Marc Tucker or additional NCEE experts may contact NCEE’s Associate Director of Communications and Advocacy Julia Banks at jbanks@ncee.org.