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Love your job? Hate it? TELL Gov. O'Malley

The governor today announced the creation of the TELL Maryland survey (that's short for Teaching, Empowering, Leading and Learning). Between now and mid-March, all teachers, principals and other certified personnel in the state's public schools will get a login and password for a Web-based survey. The point is to gather information about school conditions, teacher satisfaction and areas for improvement. Surveys will be confidential and take about 30 minutes to complete. (Yes, I know, teachers in the city already have to do another school climate survey.) The TELL project is costing the state about $100,000.

O'Malley made the survey announcement at Germantown Elementary in Annapolis, where kids holding giant "Maryland Public Schools #1" foam gloves patiently waited for him for more than an hour on the gymnasium floor. It was kind of funny listening to the governor and other distinguished guests (Nancy Grasmick, Clara Floyd of MSTA, Anne Arundel Superintendent Kevin Maxwell) addressing the students in teacher-like voices while trying to weave in facts about the survey for the media there.

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"Can you learn if you don't listen to your teachers?" O'Malley asked.

"NO!" the kids yelled.

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"We can't learn if we don't listen to your teachers," the governor replied.

I lost count of how many times Maryland's No. 1 ranking by Education Week was mentioned during the event. Suffice it to say, it was a lot.

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