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Maryland Bill Delaying Tests for Teacher Evaluation Headed to Gov. O'Malley

A bill to delay the integration of state test scores into teacher evaluations, strongly supported by Maryland's teachers' unions, won final approval from state lawmakers April 2. It's now awaiting Democratic Gov. Martin O'Malley's signature. 

The bill would prohibit such data from having consequences for teachers until the 2016-17 school year.

It's one of several bills relating to common-core implementation that cleared both chambers of the Maryland legislature; the two other pieces of legislation would create a work group of teachers and parents to improve implementation, and give lawmakers more say over its federal No Child Left Behind waiver. 

Increasingly, unions appear to be using the newness of the common-core-aligned tests to lobby for delays in implementing new teacher evaluations. Similar pitches have been made in New York and apparently now in Maine, too, where the state National Education Association affiliate said April 2 that it had "concerns about the development, implementation, developmental appropriateness, over use of assessment, and use of assessment scores in evaluation of students and teachers," according to the Bangor Daily News.

Supporters say this only makes sense, given that the tests are so new and have yet to operate at scale; critics fret that it's a way for unions to buy time from accountability, and that a "delay" could wind up lasting forever.

Meanwhile, for the current state of play across the states regarding common-core implementation, check out the fabulous bill tracker created by my colleague Andrew Ujifusa.

Follow along on Twitter at @Stephen_Sawchuk and @TeacherBeat.

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