Maryland schools superintendent resigns under pressure

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Dr. Lillian M. Lowery Maryland State Superintendent of schools (Pictured above) who engaged in maladministration and criticized for showing very poor leadership skills in various ways including discriminatory conduct has announced her resignation. She received an F grade for Common Core meetings and other reform implementations in Maryland during her tenure.

Maryland State Superintendent of Education Lillian M. Lowery will step down in September to take a nonprofit education job in Ohio, state officials announced Friday.

Lowery will become the first chief executive and president of FutureReady Columbus, which will focus initially on early childhood education, public policy and community engagement.

Lowery, 60, was hired by the Maryland State Board of Education during the tenure of former Gov. Martin O’Malley, a Democrat, and leaves following the election last November of Republican Gov. Larry Hogan. State officials said Friday her departure is not the result of any political pressure.

“She made this decision on her own,” said John White, chief of staff for the Maryland State Department of Education. “It was the right time for her and the right opportunity.”

Hogan’s office released a statement calling Lowery a “dedicated public servant to the state of Maryland” and saying she has been devoted to “bettering public education and working to ensure our teachers and students have the tools they need for success.”

State officials said that Jack R. Smith, the deputy state superintendent for teaching and learning — and chief academic officer at the Maryland State Department of Education — will become interim state superintendent for the remainder of Lowery’s four-year contract, which ends June 30. Smith is the former superintendent of schools in Calvert County.

Lowery was traveling and not available for immediate comment. Her last day is Sept. 11, and she starts in Columbus on Sept. 14.

“We are losing an extraordinary leader, a talented State Superintendent of Schools,” Guffrie Smith, president of the state board, said in a written statement. “Dr. Lowery led Maryland through a time of tremendous transition and progress. She positioned our State as a national leader in preparing students to be college and career ready.”

State officials said that under Lowery’s leadership Maryland graduated more students than ever before. She has focused on the importance of science and technology (STEM) education, as well as career and technical skills.

In recent months, Hogan named two new members to the state board who support the Common Core State Standards and charter schools, tapping Chester E. Finn, Jr., president of the Thomas B. Fordham Institute, and Andy Smarick, partner at Bellwether Education Partners, to take the open seats on the 12-person board.

Earlier this year, Hogan pushed for major changes in the state’s charter laws and to provide tax credits to businesses that donate to private schools. Both measures, which critics saw as an attack on public education, were met with resistance. The General Assembly agreed to modest changes in the charter law and killed the tax credit bill.

via Washington Post

msde_store_frontMaryland State Department of Education (MSDE) HQ in Baltimore City is pictured above. During the tenure of Dr. Lowery, Lack of sunshine within (MSDE) damaged Maryland Schools in serious manner. Her departure is a welcome news for many education advocates in the state. MarylandMap2***

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