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Arundel school board gives superintendent new contract

The Anne Arundel County Board of Education voted unanimously Wednesday to approve a new four-year contract for Superintendent Kevin M. Maxwell, keeping the leader of the state's fifth largest school system in place four more years.

Maxwell's new contact pays the superintendent $257,000 annually and calls for the board to contribute $20,000 each year to a retirement fund, an increase over his current $238,703 annual salary. The contact doesn't contain automatic salary increases, but gives the board the option of awarding a pay increase or bonus based upon performance.

Maxwell, who became superintendent in Anne Arundel in 2006, is the first Anne Arundel superintendent to have his contract renewed since 1998.

Board President Edward P. "Ned" Carey said Maxwell has improved the school system. During his tenure, the number of students scoring advanced or proficient on the Maryland School Assessment has increased 5.9 percentage points in math and 7.5 percentage points in reading. In 2009, the percentage of students scoring advanced exceeded the state average by 8.9 points in math and 6.6 points in reading.

Maxwell has overseen the implementation of magnet programs during his tenure. The number of students taking AP exams rose from 3,233 in 2006 to 4,718 last year, an increase of 46 percent.

"We are a better school system today than we were four years ago," Carey said. "And that is a tribute to the way Dr. Maxwell and his staff have worked tirelessly and collaboratively with parents, community and business groups, this board, and others to build the momentum for improvement."

The board voted unanimously in February to reappoint Maxwell to a second term. Maxwell's contract, which also contains a benefits package and vehicle allowance, runs from July 1 through June 30, 2014.

"I am very proud of the work we have done over the last four years, but I am the first to say that there is much more work to be done," Maxwell said in a statement. "We must, first and foremost, continue to find ways to close the achievement gap at a faster rate than we have been. We must also continue to create more partnerships with individuals, groups, and agencies that are so crucial to the success of our students."

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