Michael E. Hickey

WHATEVER HAPPENED TO ... ?

January 27, 2007|By Jacques Kelly

Life moved on quickly for one-time Howard County schools Superintendent Michael E. Hickey. He retired from his county position June 30, 2000, and joined the faculty of Towson University the next day. After 16 years at school headquarters in Ellicott City, he is now teaching and advising about 120 educators -- administrators and classroom teachers -- in the advanced courses he leads.

Hickey, who started teaching in 1964, says the past 15 years have been his most exciting time in the profession. He's a fan of the federal No Child Left Behind legislation and what he calls Maryland's "cutting-edge school improvement program."

"One of the things we needed was a commitment to a standards-driven approach to education and the requirement to be accountable for every student meeting those standards," he said.

He holds weeklong leadership institutes in the summer and travels throughout the state and to school districts in Chicago, Ohio, Texas and Pennsylvania.

The most troubled schools, he says, are in the cities. "We are losing the battle there," he said, noting frequent turnover in school chief executives, principals and faculty.

What is he trying to do? His goal is to help teachers "understand how teaching and learning have to change under this standards-driven approach."

He has a new title, too. He holds the Naomi Price Hentz distinguished professorship and is director of the Center for Leadership in Education at Towson University.

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