State school board President Raymond V. "Buzz" Bartlett is resigning from the board, noting potential conflicts of interest with his new position as head of a national education reform group.
Bartlett's resignation is expected to be announced at today's state board meeting, and the remaining 11 members will need to elect new board leadership.
Bartlett - a board member since 1997 - retired recently as director of corporate affairs at Lockheed Martin and was elected president and chief executive officer of the Council for Basic Education, taking the paid position this month.
The nonprofit group, based in Washington, has consulting contracts with the State Department of Education and the Prince George's County schools, and it is pursuing a contract with the Montgomery County school system, Bartlett said yesterday.
"At first, I thought I could continue to serve on the board and recuse myself if issues came up," said Bartlett, 57, who lives in Howard County. "But as I thought about it, I realized that it would be too difficult to do that."
In his position as head of the council, Bartlett replaces Christopher T. Cross, who served as president of the Maryland school board from 1994 to 1997. The council did not begin pursuing contracts with the state or local Maryland systems until after Cross left the state board, Bartlett said.
State schools Superintendent Nancy S. Grasmick praised Bartlett's leadership and said he provided "a valuable perspective from the corporate community."
"He knows what the corporate world expects from our high school graduates and kept us focused on making sure the schools meet those expectations," she said.
Bartlett is expected to be replaced as president by the board's vice president, Marilyn D. Maultsby. A Baltimore resident in her second one-year term as vice president, Maultsby is executive director of the nonprofit Maryland Health Care Foundation. Maultsby did not return a phone call yesterday afternoon.
A replacement for Bartlett on the board will be selected by Gov. Parris N. Glendening.