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John Huber


What to expect in Maryland’s Public K-12 Schools in 2022

Here is a brief overview of the upcoming hot topics in Maryland K-12 Education in 2022.

Schools are currently planning to open as planned in 2022 regardless of the record number of COVID cases. So far, most of the schools seem to be steadfast on their desire to open for in person learning.  This continues to be divisive issue since many parents and families are upset at their insistence to open in person.  The issue for schools is what happens if they decide not to open in person and go all virtual.  At this late date (2 days left), massive confusion would likely result.  They are in the opposite position they were in when they first closed down and faced angry parents who wanted schools to open.  Both sides accuse the school system of not caring about the safety of the children.  Simply put, there is no right answer; however, it will most likely be staffing issues and CDC guidelines that will determine their decision.  Stay tuned.

School systems have not administered any meaningful standardized tests since the spring of 2019.  In Late February 2021, The Maryland State School Board voted to require schools to administer the MCAP in the spring of 2021.  This was while most systems had just recently returned or were in the process of returning to in person learning.  The very next week the board reconsidered and delayed testing to the fall of 2021.  The delayed tests would be shorter diagnostic tests to gauge any potential gaps in learning due to the pandemic and use the data to move forward post pandemic.  The results were not pretty.  Now with the spring of 2022 just around the corner, schools will be administering the tests for the first time in 3 years.  The need to administer these tests in the traditional manner to get reliable and actionable results associated with the poor results of the previous spring is weighing heavily on decisions to keep students in the classrooms. Stay tuned.
School Safety

The school shooting in Michigan was a devastating blow for all K-12 systems in the country.  While unfortunately school shootings are nothing new, this one was different.  What was different was that the would-be shooter was identified and reported to the school.  He was taken to the office and questioned along with his parents by a counselor and a “Dean of Students.”  The counselor told the parents that they should take the student home with them, and they flat out refused.  The counselor told them that they had 48 hours to get emergency counseling, or they would be reported to social services.  The student was sent back to class.  Later that day, he started shooting.  Four were killed and 12 injured.  Apparently, during the investigation and interview with the counselor, the student was not searched, and some suggest that the weapon was in his backpack the whole time.  The situation was not reported to the administration prior to the shooting.
This has all systems in the country scrambling to revisit their protocols regarding threat assessments.  What are the proper actions in this case and who is required to be notified?  Can schools exclude a student in such a case when the parents won’t take him home?  These are just a few of the many questions that are driving the investigation in Oxford, Michigan.  They also have all other school systems revisiting their own protocols.  Stay Tuned.

On February 15, 2022, the Accountability and Implementation Board (AIB) will be presenting its implementation plan.  It will detail how the newly founded board will implement the Blueprint for Maryland’s Future legislation.  This is the resulting legislation from the Kirwan Commission’s recommendations.  This is a massive piece of legislation that will have major restructuring impact on Maryland’s K-12 schools.  Stay Tuned.

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The MEN was founded by John Huber in the fall of 2020. It was founded to provide a platform for expert opinion and commentary on current issues that directly or indirectly affect education. All opinions are valued and accepted providing they are expressed in a professional manner. The Maryland Education Network consists of Blogs, Videos, and other interaction among the K-12 community.