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MARYLAND BUSINESS ROUNDTABLE FOR EDUCATION PRESENTS INITIATIVES FOR 1993

 BALTIMORE, Jan. 5 /PRNewswire/ -- Stressing the importance of a strategic alliance among state government, educators and business leaders, Norman R. Augustine, chairman and chief executive officer of Martin Marietta, today urged the chief executives of Maryland's largest corporations to seek legislative support for school accountability, expanded classes for disadvantaged four-year-olds, and a coordinated delivery of educational, health and social services for Maryland's children.
 Speaking at the annual meeting of the Maryland Business Roundtable for Education (MBRT), Augustine, who chairs the organization, told the chief executive officers in attendance that strategic alliances for systemic education reform are essential to fundamentally improve student performance in Maryland public schools.
 Over the past year, the Business Roundtable has secured a 10-year commitment from Maryland's 57 largest companies to work with educators and government officials to assist in improvement of the state's educational system.
 The company chief executive officers have conducted a series of school visits and held discussions with teachers, principals and administrators throughout the state to get a better sense of the wide range of problems facing Maryland's schools.
 For the year ahead, the MBRT companies will lobby at the federal, state and local levels for support of Schools for Success, Maryland's public school reform initiative.
 Specifically, the CEOs will push for a legislative agenda that supports the Maryland School Performance Program, a structured, five- point program that sets clear, measurable criteria for school excellence and provides guidance and intervention assistance to those schools which do not measure up.
 "Accountability has been the touchstone of successful business ventures," stated Donald P. Hutchinson, president of the Maryland Business Council and founding member of the MBRT. "It is a concept that Maryland's educators and business leaders have identified, adopted and endorsed as an absolute prerequisite to instructional reform."
 Hutchinson also urged expansion of a four-year-old program for disadvantaged children initiated by the state of Maryland. "If we have learned one thing from Dr. Nancy Grasmick, state superintendent of schools, it is that those at-risk children who start behind will stay behind unless we can intervene in some positive fashion," he stated.
 "The business community embraces and supports Governor Schaefer's commitment to educational reform," Hutchinson concluded.
 The Business Roundtable currently is planning to implement strategies developed over the past year for assisting 35 of Maryland's lowest performing schools.
 "Through the Maryland Partnership, we have targeted eight low- performing schools where teams of business representatives, higher education officials, and non-profit agency representatives will work to identify barriers to student performance and to implement programs to overcome these barriers," June Streckfus, executive director of the MBRT, explained.
 In addition, MBRT companies will participate with one-site teams to conduct needs assessments, to evaluate school improvement plans, and to formulate staff development programs for school-based staff at 27 of the state's lowest performing schools ("Challenge Schools").
 The Maryland Business Roundtable for Education, an affiliate of the Maryland Business Council, is the only statewide business-education partnership committed to a 10-year effort to improve student performance in Maryland public schools through systemic education reform.
 -0- 1/5/93
 /CONTACT: Ray Weiss of the Maryland Business Roundtable for Education, 410-727-6855/


CO: Maryland Business Roundtable for Education ST: Maryland IN: SU

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Date:Jan 5, 1993
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