School Improvement in Maryland

Professional Learning

Cecilia Roe is MSDE's Director of Instructional Assessment and Professional Learning. Her responsibilities as Director include the Educator Effectiveness Academies, Race to the Top professional development initiatives, Title IIA, and HSA Bridge Plan coordination. Cecilia formerly served as a specialist in MSDE's Secondary English Language Arts Office. She joined the MSDE family from Baltimore County Public Schools, where she served as the Coordinator of the Office of Secondary English Language Arts. Her responsibilities included development and implementation of county curriculum, assessments, and professional development. Prior to her tenure in the English Language Arts Office, Cecilia fulfilled 30 years as a secondary English teacher, department chairperson, and reading specialist. In addition, she has served as an adjunct instructor for Graduate Programs in the Education Division of Goucher College since 2008.

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Cecilia Roe“The transition to the Maryland College and Career Ready Standards places our state on a national stage of academic excellence. The role of high quality professional development for teachers and principals will ensure that Maryland students will be learning and achieving at the highest levels and will be well prepared to compete on a world stage in the 21st century.”
—Cecilia Roe, Director of Instructional Assessment & Professional Learning

Research, insights from practice, and common sense converge around the understanding that skilled teachers have a significant impact on student learning. Helping teachers develop the knowledge and skills they need begins with rigorous teacher training programs. Subsequently, effective professional development helps teachers continue enhancing their knowledge and skills throughout their careers.


Professional learning is most effective when there is consensus around clear expectations for what teachers should know and be able to do to help all students learn. These expectations are shared among all stakeholders and district and school leaders work to build understanding and consensus around them. The expectations are reflected in negotiated agreements, job descriptions and assignments, performance appraisal systems, systems of rewards and incentives for teachers, and in the design and content of teacher professional learning

Professional Learning Standards

College and Career Readiness Conferences

The Maryland College and Career Readiness Conferences were designed to ensure that educators in every public school in Maryland are supported in their professional learning needs for effectively implementing all aspects of the Maryland College and Career Ready Standards. The focus of these conferences was to build leadership capacity and examine differentiated instructional approaches to the implementation of the Maryland College and Career Ready Standards.

About the Conferences


Maryland's Educator Effectiveness Academies was a grassroots professional development initiative that is unique in the nation. The academies reach 6,000 educators in 1500 schools across the state and have been featured in Education Week and Principal Leadership Magazine.

MSDE conducted 11 regional Educator Effectiveness Academies during the summer 2011, and 10 additional academies during the summer of 2012. The focus of the 2011 academies was the development of a working knowledge of the Maryland Common Core State Curriculum (MD CCSC) for teachers and principals of every school across the state, in the areas of Reading/English Language Arts, Mathematics, and STEM. The 2012 academies focused on the instructional shifts in the implementation of the MD CCSC and delved deeper into educational practice in the classroom.

Overview • Academy Materials: MathematicsEnglish Language ArtsSTEM


As part of the Race to the Top initiative, Maryland will provide a comprehensive, high-quality induction program for new teachers in every school district. This project ensures that teachers new to Maryland are fully supported in their efforts to access the curriculum, assessment, and instructional tools to deliver effective instruction.