Maryland gets waiver extension for teacher evaluations

Maryland can put off using test scores to evaluate teachers through the next school year under a waiver to federal law.

The U.S. Department of Education granted Maryland a one-year extension that will allow it to put off using annual test scores, given in grades three through eight, as part of a teacher's evaluation. The extension was expected, and Maryland legislators had already passed a law prohibiting the use of test scores until the 2016-2017 school year. 

Across the nation, national education groups and state leaders are backing away from the requirement until school districts have adjusted to the new Common Core curriculum and the PARCC tests that will be given for the first time next spring.

Teachers have argued that two years of testing is needed before a teacher can be judged on test scores.

A new teacher evaluation system took effect in Maryland this past school year.

"This is only a one-year agreement to live through the on-boarding of the new assessment," said Maryland State School Superintendent Lillian Lowery.

She said Maryland will have to apply again next year to get another extension.

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