D.C. Area Schools Show off Reforms at Obama Administration Conference

February 21, 2011  |  

(Washington Post) — In debates over education reform, D.C. public schools and other troubled urban systems tend to dominate the scene. But a national conference hosted here by the Obama administration gave a rare platform for suburban schools from the Washington area and beyond to show off their projects or join the quest for innovation.

Among those shopping for ideas last week were teachers union and school leaders from Anne Arundel County, a Maryland suburb not generally considered in the vanguard of reform. Yet the delegation was musing openly about the contentious idea of paying teachers, at least in part, based on performance instead of just credentials and seniority.

“It’s absolutely worth talking about,” said Timothy M. Menutti, president of the Anne Arundel teachers association. “You can’t have anything off the table.”  Superintendent Kevin M. Maxwell said some Anne Arundel schools “need a lot of work” even though Annapolis High School is a recent turnaround success story and the 75,000-student system is in good shape overall.

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