News Release, Maryland State Department of Education

BALTIMORE – Dr. Karen Salmon informed the State Board of Education today that she would not seek another term as the Maryland State Superintendent of Schools. 

The terms of her contract require notification to be provided now, however, she will complete her term through June 30, 2020. 

This culminates in a distinguished career of over 40 years of work in public school education.

In her role as the Maryland State Superintendent, Dr. Salmon has focused on providing equity and excellence to define the educational experiences for children in Maryland.  Her effective leadership is evident in the many accomplishments during her tenure, including the following:

  • Two years of work on Maryland’s Every Student Succeeds Plan resulted in the publication of the Maryland Accountability Report Card. The Report Card is groundbreaking in offering parents and stakeholders the most information and data about individual schools in State history.
  • Transitioned from the PARCC tests to the Maryland Comprehensive Assessment Program which is aligned to Maryland standards, will integrate computer adaptive testing, and shorten testing times.
  • Developed a new Educational Equity regulation that defines equity, accountability, and other factors necessary for the State to provide optimal opportunity for all of its students. An Equity implementation guidebook has been provided to assist local school systems in achieving the mandates of this regulation.
  • Prioritized Early Childhood Initiatives through the development of a new digital curriculum for 4 year-olds linked to the early learning standards along with the University of Maryland. Expanded KRA Census testing to 18 Local School Systems and received a $10.6 million Birth Through Age Five federal grant to explore early childhood needs throughout the State.
  • Established an Office of Compliance and Monitoring to ensure that local school systems are conforming to State and Federal laws, regulations, and practices related to graduation rate validation, as well as ensure that State Board’s policies are administered properly and effectively.
  • Established an Office of Research to provide educators and leaders with better educational data and analysis, which has been used to strengthen instructional practices in schools and classrooms.
  • Established a curriculum vetting process for English language arts and mathematics with dedicated personnel to certify that students in all local school systems are provided with a curriculum that is aligned with the Maryland College and Career Ready Standards.
  • Expanded Career Technology programs across the State and revamped Maryland’s State Plan for the Federal Perkins Act.
  • Completed Kirwan-related legislative mandates from 2018 and 2019 Sessions. Hundreds of grant programs were initiated and funds allocated to local school systems in a timely fashion.  In addition, major efforts have been instituted related to teacher recruitment by a steering committee established by MSDE. Initiatives include the development of a Maryland teaching slogan, creation of a Maryland teacher website, and a pilot recruitment summit for future educators.
  • Initiated a Graduation Task Force that proposed recommendations for the State Board’s consideration to update graduation requirements and standards that had been in place for over 50 years.
  • Guided the Lead Higher Program which in its third year has resulted in an additional 1,714 underrepresented students enrolling in Advanced Placement and/or International Baccalaureate courses.
  • Focused on the improvement of low performing schools through root cause analysis, professional development, and analysis of data to identify and target areas of need in each Comprehensive School Improvement school.
  • Highlighted the importance of mental health issues that students face, resulting in the development of tools that systems can use to strengthen mental health education in their schools.
  • Obtained over $100 million in grants to secure funding for Charter Schools, Gifted Education, and Literacy programs.
  • Chaired the School Safety Subcabinet where $10.6 million in grants were distributed to all 24 local school systems annually and implemented an anonymous reporting tip line.
  • Chaired the Interagency Commission on School Construction and approved $866 million for 1,887 local school construction projects in the past two fiscal years.

“I am honored to have had the opportunity to lead education for Maryland.  Together, with many stakeholders and the State Board of Education, we have accomplished much,” said Dr. Salmon.  “Outstanding new staff in key positions and important restructuring has positioned MSDE to not only impact student outcomes in the short term, but also provide sustainability for the future.  My focus for the remainder of my term will be to continue to provide quality education to our students, and to prepare a strong foundation on which the next State Superintendent can build.”

“Dr. Salmon informed the State Board of her decision to not pursue a second term as Maryland’s State Superintendent.  While the Maryland State Board is saddened by her decision, it is also grateful for her exceptional leadership,” said Brigadier General Warner Sumpter (Ret.), President of the State Board.  “Dr. Salmon brought many years of executive experience to her position and her passion for equity and excellence has benefited all of Maryland’s students.  It is her leadership that has placed Maryland education on solid footing for future achievements.  Dr. Salmon is greatly respected nationally and by many education partners throughout the State.  She will be greatly missed.  We wish Karen well in her future endeavors and offer our sincere appreciation for her tireless efforts for Maryland’s children.”

David M. Higgins II, Publisher/Editor

David M. Higgins was born in Baltimore and grew up in Southern Maryland. He has had a passion for journalism since high school. After spending many years in the Hospitality Industry he began working in...