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Blueprint board reviews staffing, could hire additional personnel this year

The Blueprint for Maryland’s Future Accountability and Implementation Board receive staffing updates Sept. 21 from the board’s Executive Director Rachel Hise, top left. Screenshot.

The Blueprint for Maryland’s Future Accountability and Implementation Board could have most of its staff filled this year, according to an update Thursday from the board’s executive director.

Rachel Hise said, during an online session, that staff received at least 175 applications for five education policy analyst positions.

“We have a very strong possibility of having all of them on board hopefully well before the end of the calendar year,” she said.

State law permits the accountability board to staff up to 15 full-time positions. It currently has a staff of six, including Hise, Lisa Armstrong, a management associate, and Emma Pellerin, an implementation plan director.

Three other positions the board needs to hire are a research/data analyst, an outreach and communications director and a research and accountability director. Hise said each position will be staggered with no exact timeframe on when a position would be filled.

The 15th person was slated to be an assistant attorney general, but Hise said that position will be shared with the Interagency Commission on School Construction. Current board counsel Heidi Dudderar also provides legal advice for the commission with salary and benefits split at 50% each between the accountability board and interagency commission.

It remains unclear what that 15th and final full-time position will be.

Mara Doss, a Blueprint board member and former associate vice president for teaching, learning and student success at Prince George’s Community College, asked about diversity goals in hiring for the positions.

The board, an independent body created to assess the state’s 10-year education reform plan, did approve a diversity, equity and inclusion statement as part of its hiring process.

“We are seeking to hire the most diverse workforce that we can, based on the applicants and who fits the requirements the best,” Hise said. “But it is absolutely a very high part of the process in determining who is hired.”

People interested in applying for the positions can send an email to [email protected].

Besides receiving technical assistance and guidance from the state Department of Education, the accountability and implementation board also receives advice from four advisory committees categorized to address the Blueprint’s main priorities: early childhood education, high-quality and diverse teachers and leaders, college and career readiness and additional resources for students.

But there are vacancies on each of the committees, which are comprised of teachers, college professors, business leaders and high school students.

A student is needed to fill a vacancy in the early childhood group.

A student and an additional member are needed to fill two seats in the teachers and leaders group.

One seat must be filled in each of two groups that focus on college and career readiness and on student resources.

“Hopefully we’ll have people that are interested and get…a really diverse, qualified and energetic group of participants,” said Joseph Manko, an accountability board member and education program director at the Abell Foundation.

Those interested can apply here by 11:59 p.m. Oct. 4.

Meanwhile, all 24 school systems’ Blueprint plans soon will be translated into Spanish. In July, the board approved the first submission of those plans which summarized work already completed, work currently underway and priorities that will be implemented through the 2023-24 school years.

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Blueprint board reviews staffing, could hire additional personnel this year