Edward L. Silver Jr. offers something that's often sorely lacking at the Maryland State Department of Education: a view from education's front lines.
Yesterday, he became Maryland's first teacher-in-residence, receiving his appointment to the one-year position at the state school board's monthly meeting.
"I think I can help share the thoughts and beliefs of teachers who are in schools every day teaching children," said Silver, a veteran Kent County teacher who was the state's 1996 teacher of the year.
Silver will add the teacher's point of view to the array of initiatives, policies and programs from the state education department.
"We see the new resident teacher as someone who is able to put his finger on the pulse of education in Maryland," said state schools Superintendent Nancy S. Grasmick, who announced the appointment. "Ed Silver represents the best that Maryland has to offer in the classroom.
Grasmick proposed creating a teacher-in-residence program in July when she announced a package of initiatives to combat Maryland's growing shortage of teachers. The teacher -- picked from the state's top award winners -- is expected to serve as a spokesman for the teaching profession and an adviser on teacher recruitment, Grasmick said.
A graduate of Pennsylvania State University with a degree in community development, Silver earned a master's degree in elementary education from East Stroudsburg University and taught at a small mission school in the Republic of Palau, a group of more than 100 islands in the South Pacific.
He then spent three years at Millington Elementary in Kent County before teaching third grade for seven years at Rock Hall Elementary.
Silver will spend two days a week at the state education department's Baltimore headquarters and three days working in Kent County.
Also during the school board meeting yesterday, state educators announced that testing will begin this school year for Maryland's new high school exams. Some students will take the three-hour tests in January at high schools with four-period schedules, and others will be given in May.
Until January 2002, the testing is intended to help the state develop the exams and will not count toward students' grades or graduation requirements.
Pub Date: 9/23/99