Educators Lead and Win on Testing and Privatization

It’s a giant win for students, parents, educators, schools, and communities. The General Assembly’s passage of the Protect Our Schools andu2026

It’s a giant win for students, parents, educators, schools, and communities. The General Assembly’s passage of the Protect Our Schools and the More Learning, Less Testing acts point once again to Maryland and educators leading the way for improving schools and helping all students. No other state can claim similar success in fighting the Betsy DeVos privatization agenda and the crisis of over-testing as Maryland can thanks to these bills.

Soon after the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) replaced No Child Left Behind, MSEA created an educator workgroup to develop goals for the new state accountability system that ESSA required. Those goals focused on reducing the impact of standardized tests, closing achievement and opportunity gaps, bringing educators to the table to help improve struggling schools, and protecting against the privatization agenda favored by Governor Hogan, Secretary DeVos, and President Trump.

House Speaker Mike Busch, Betty Weller, legislators, and POSA supporters at MSEA’s press conference, April 6.

That early work — presenting MSEA’s school accountability proposal to the state board, educating legislators in every county, building a strong coalition of education advocates, and mobilizing MSEA members — paid off. The Protect Our Schools Act (POSA) positions Maryland to have the smartest and most transparent accountability system in the nation.

We’re now leading the way by reducing the years of singular focus on test scores and adding important measures that every educator knows make a difference, like student attendance, school safety and discipline, and teacher quality.

POSA also prohibits the state from converting low-performing public schools into charter schools, issuing taxpayer-funded private school vouchers, or hiring for-profit management companies to take over public schools — all goals that Gov. Hogan and his State Board wanted to enact through ESSA.

Bipartisan support from legislators also passed the More Learning, Less Testing Act, which limits mandated testing to 2.2% of the school year (2.3% for eighth grade). With students in some grades facing 50+ hours of testing annually, this legislation will restore hundreds of hours of instructional time across the state. The legislation also ensures that educators will be at the table to consider which district-mandated tests to keep, shorten, or eliminate.

“We’ve made great progress,” said MSEA President Betty Weller, “but the fight isn’t over. We’ll need to be vigilant to make sure that the Hogan-appointed State Board follows through on the legislature’s efforts to stop privatization and over-testing as they implement the state’s new accountability system. Let’s be proud of what we accomplished together — and get ready for what’s next.”