Renee Foose won’t be working for the Maryland State Department of Education, after all.
Howard County Public Schools’ ousted superintendent has a new gig with the state board of education.
The 11 members of Baltimore County’s school board have promoted a top administrator in the school system to fill Dallas Dance’s shoes for at least the next year.
In the same breath yesterday, Howard County’s school board announced the departure of its superintendent of five years and picked a new one who most recently led West Virginia’s public education system.
Yesterday, the Maryland State Board of Education announced its selection of Dr. Karen Salmon as the next state superintendent of Maryland schools.
Joe Hairston, superintendent of Baltimore County schools for over a decade, announced this week that he’s leaving. Are you interested in his job?
The pros: while teachers in the County have some of the lowest salaries in the state, the superintendent’s salary last year was the highest in Maryland. (Last year, Hairston made $303,000, thanks to his long tenure.) And Baltimore County schools consistently rank near the top of statewide assessments of test scores and graduation rates.
Not so fast, though: The job is tough, and getting tougher. Here are a few of the challenges the next superintendent will have to face:
- Pockets of wealth — and pockets of poverty. Being charged with a district that draws from such a diverse economic pool means that the next superintendent needs to be sensitive to issues of equity.
- The recession. According to Hank Gmitro, whose firm helped several Maryland counties search for new superintendents, districts like Baltimore Country are looking for “candidates who want to make a difference and understand the issues around equity: ‘How do you get everyone the resources they need?’ And it has become more difficult in hard financial times.”
- Drop-outs. Last year, Baltimore County schools had more drop-outs than public schools in the City (although they also have a higher enrollment). And while the City (and Maryland in general) has seen graduation rates rise in recent years, Baltimore County’s graduation rate dropped by 3 percent last year, while its dropout rate increased by half a percentage point.
- English language proficiency. Much of the total population gain in the County over the past decade was due to immigration; the county has the second-largest number of Russian speakers in the state. Addressing the needs of an increasingly foreign-born population will be crucial for the next superintendent.