Foose has also installed an office of accountability that is geared toward ensuring transparency and accountability within the school system and works with departments on applied research, testing, program evaluations, technology and auditing, school officials said.
In August, the school system named Grace Chesney, previously the executive director of research, accountability, assessment and data warehouse for Baltimore County's schools, as its chief accountability officer. Chesney worked with Foose in Baltimore and Montgomery counties.
The Howard County teachers union president also praised Foose for her communication skills, particularly involving the school system's application for a federal Race to the Top education grant. The winners of the grants would have to comply with federal guidelines to personalize education for each student, school officials said. Howard County could receive as much as $30 million from a Race to the Top grant, which is slated to be awarded in December, school officials said.
But at a school board meeting this month, Howard County Education Association President Paul Lemle asked the school system to consider withdrawing from Race to the Top because it has a provision for teacher evaluations to be based on student performance on state assessment tests. Lemle said standardized test scores should not be used in teacher evaluations and that he conveyed his concerns during a meeting with Foose.
"Our lines of communication are open," said Lemle of his contact with Foose. "The important thing for me is that she heard me out, and the result was that the discussion with the board happened like it was supposed to. I really like her supportive stance and comments about her employees. And going forward, I hope that the changes that she brings to our school system are as positive as they sound and as positive as the attitude she has about them."
When asked about Foose's first 100 days, board member Cynthia Vaillancourt said, "In that time Dr. Foose has struck a pretty impressive balance between bold moves and laying a foundation for future moves. Virtually every corner of the system is being reviewed with a fine-tooth comb. Time will tell how these initiatives and efforts will play out, but I am very optimistic that the future holds marvelous things for our students, our employees and our community."
firstname.lastname@example.org Text NEWS to 70701 to get Baltimore Sun local news text alerts