In 2019, the Maryland State Legislature passed Senate Bill 1030, components of which established principles of the Blueprint for Maryland’s future (statewide PreK- 12 education transformation) and the Teacher Collaborative Grant Program. The MSDE-funded Teacher Collaborative Grant Program aims to support collaborative projects between at least one IHE, LEA, and employee representative that focus on redesigning and implementing at least two of the following: 1) a practicum for teacher candidates; 2) a professional development program for practicing teachers; or 3) a peer assistance and review program for new and existing teachers. In fulfillment of these guidelines, our project – entitled the Maryland PDS 2025 Project - focuses on components of Maryland Professional Development Schools (PDS) to support the evolution of Maryland PDS to more vibrant hubs of professional learning for prospective, new, and experienced teachers. The Maryland PDS 2025 Project is a collaborative effort between Montgomery County Public Schools (MCPS), Prince George’s County Public Schools (PGCPS, Montgomery County Education Association (MCEA), and Prince George’s County Education Association (PGCEA). The Maryland PDS 2025 Project will be implemented at four ‘innovation site’ Professional Development Schools in MCPS and PGCPS (MCPS: Olney Elementary School Farquhar Middle School; PGCPS: Buck Lodge Middle School and High Point High School). The Maryland PDS Project is scheduled to span a three-year period beginning in June 2020.
The central component of the project is the development of a Teacher Career Ladder model designed to clearly articulate pathways for teacher career advancement in Maryland schools. The model will provide clear descriptions of professional responsibilities and advancement requirements at each step on the career ladder, including responsibilities and advancement for long term substitutes, paraeducators, and conditionally certified teachers. A second component of the project is clear articulation of a model of Professional Learning for Career Ladder Advancement that will prepare Maryland teachers for advancement through the proposed Teacher Career Ladder. This component will include designing and piloting a small number of Professional Learning Courses (including a Mentor Teacher Academy) and Instructional Improvement Projects directly focused on developing the skills, knowledge, and dispositions Maryland teachers need at specific levels of the career ladder. The Maryland PDS 2025 Project will also reimagine the teacher education internship model for Maryland teacher candidates, with a particular focus on developing a Teacher Residency that will better prepare teacher education candidates for the first level of the Teacher Career Ladder.