Maryland education board president begins third term

Charlene M. Dukes, president of the Maryland State Board of Education, will lead the 12-member policy-making panel for a third one-year term.

Dukes, unanimously reelected by the board late last month, continues as board president at a time when the state is preparing to administer new standardized tests aligned with more rigorous Common Core-based standards and is working to implement a new educator evaluation system.

The state board has gained national attention in recent years for its efforts to take a more rehabilitative approach to student discipline in Maryland schools, seeking to reduce out-of-school suspensions for minor infractions and end racial disparities in student punishment. As part of that effort, the board recently approved new Code of Conduct guidelines.

Dukes, who has had a long career in education, is also president of Prince George’s Community College. From 2002 to 2006, she was a member of the Prince George’s County Board of Education.

The state board also reelected Mary Kay Finan as vice president. Finan, a former elementary school teacher, is a professor emeritus of education at Frostburg State University.

Donna St. George writes about education, with an emphasis on Montgomery County schools.

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