Transforming Education Across Maryland
Transforming Education Across Maryland

Expert Review Team

The Maryland State Department of Education is launching a comprehensive school review process to support the implementation of the Blueprint for Maryland’s Future at schools and districts across the state. The Expert Review Team will support the implementation of the Blueprint through collaboration with districts to ensure all schools are on a path towards improving student outcomes.

The Expert Review Team will conduct school visits to support school and district leaders in assessing the effectiveness of curriculum, instruction, interventions, and behavioral health services designed to improve student learning and well-being. Effective practices and areas of growth will be identified and shared with other schools and support will be provided for improvement.

The pilot Expert Review Team process began in 2022, enabling refinement of the school review process through stakeholder engagement. School reviews are conducted by an Expert Review team consisting of experienced educators, leaders, and other experts with in-depth knowledge of effective school improvement practices and services that enhance the student’s ability to be successful.

What is the process?

The team of expert educators will visit schools to observe classrooms, conduct interviews and focus groups, and use additional data to analyze the extent to which the Blueprint for Maryland’s Future initiatives are being carried out and to identify instructional best practices.

Reviewers will collaborate with school-based faculty and local education agency staff to develop recommendations, measures, and strategies to address growth areas identified by the Expert Review Team.

Did you know?

The Maryland State Department of Education is continuously looking for more teachers, school leaders and education experts to join the Expert Review Team. The application window was recently closed but will reopen in the near future. Find out more information on candidate requirements.

View the ERT Team Flyer


Important Resources

Shield icon
Classroom Review

Classroom reviews are conducted to capture a holistic view of teaching and learning within the school. This approach allows for the review of instructional strategies and interventions used to support student growth. 

Shield icon
Interviews and Focus Groups

In-depth conversations through focus groups and interviews are essential components of the review process. They provide the opportunity for stakeholders to share their ideas and experiences in the school regarding the support provided to foster student achievement and social and emotional well-being. 

Shield icon
Impact on Schools

The Expert Review Team program provides opportunities for educational experts to assist schools to improve the implementation of Blueprint initiatives with a focus on student outcomes and developing recommendations to enhance student success.

Shield icon
Classroom Review

Classroom reviews are conducted to capture a holistic view of teaching and learning within the school. This approach allows for the review of instructional strategies and interventions used to support student growth. 

Shield icon
Interviews and Focus Groups

In-depth conversations through focus groups and interviews are essential components of the review process. They provide the opportunity for stakeholders to share their ideas and experiences in the school regarding the support provided to foster student achievement and social-emotional well-being. 

Shield icon
Impact on Schools

The Expert Review Team program provides opportunities for educational experts to assist schools to improve the implementation of Blueprint initiatives with a focus on student outcomes and developing recommendations to enhance student success.

Shield icon
Classroom Review

Classroom reviews are conducted to capture a holistic view of teaching and learning within the school. This approach allows for the review of instructional strategies and interventions used to support student growth. 

Shield icon
Interviews and Focus Groups

In-depth conversations through focus groups and interviews are essential components of the review process. They provide the opportunity for stakeholders to share their ideas and experiences in the school regarding the support provided to foster student achievement and social-emotional well-being. 

Shield icon
Impact on Schools

The Expert Review Team program provides opportunities for educational experts to assist schools to improve the implementation of Blueprint initiatives with a focus on student outcomes and developing recommendations to enhance student success.

Did you know?

The Maryland State Department of Education is reviewing applications of teachers, school leaders and education experts that applied to join the Expert Review Team. The application window was recently closed but may reopen in the near future. Find out more information on candidate requirements.

View the ERT Team Flyer


Important Resources

Schools and School Systems FAQs

Six members of the Expert Review Team will come out to the schools to conduct classroom visits and conduct focus groups. Focus groups will be conducted with school leaders, teachers, students, and parents/guardians. Interviews with school leaders will also occur to get a better understanding of the school. At the conclusion of the visit, the team will calibrate their findings and will provide the school with a brief synopsis of their findings and recommendations for improvement. The school and the local education agency will later receive a report on the findings, recommendations, and resources.

Prior to a site review, Maryland State Department of Education (MSDE) will contact the school system of the school to be reviewed. MSDE will supply the school system with a document requesting data and logistical information from the school. MSDE will collaborate with the school system to ensure that the Expert Review Team has all of the needed information prior to conducting the site visit.

Delivering feedback to schools begins after the collection of evidence during a site review. The review team meets to calibrate findings and develop a preliminary list of effective practices and areas of growth. This report is submitted to the school, and the school will deliver any factual corrections. The Maryland State Department of Education (MSDE) will revise the report and will submit a final report to the school. All reports will contain areas of promise, opportunities for growth, and recommendations for improvement.

Each review team consists of the following members:

  • Teachers with experience in the grade band, content areas, or type of school being reviewed. Teachers must have experience in improving student outcomes for the identified grade band or content area.
  • School leaders or central office staff with experience in the grade band or type of school being reviewed and experience in improving school performance.
  • Representatives from organizations with expertise and experience in improving school performance.
  • Expert Review Team members reflect the diversity of Maryland public school students and have demonstrated experience in improving student outcomes.

Schools are selected based on requirements established by federal or state law or funding requirements. Superintendents and chief executive officers will be notified in writing of schools selected to participate in the review process at least thirty days prior to the start of school reviews. School system leadership must confirm selection of schools within two weeks of initial notification. School system leadership and Maryland State Department of Education will collaboratively select dates to facilitate reviews.

Expert Review Team Members FAQs

Expert Review Teams will consist of teachers, school leaders, and other education experts. Essential qualifications for participation on an Expert Review Team vary depending upon the role of the applicant.

Learn more

  • Adhering to the code of conduct.
  • Participating in required training and pre-visit meetings.
  • Reviewing the site visit protocol in its entirety, including the classroom review capture sheet, focus group questions, and school information.
  • Completing reviews according to protocol.
  • Collecting evidence and providing all necessary data to the MSDE team.
  • Engaging in debriefs with school teams prior to ending the school review session.
  • Developing draft reports using established templates by the timeline established by the MSDE.

Expert Review Team members will receive at least a $5000 stipend for full participation on a review team. Any Expert Review Team member who performs more than the required 4 site visits will receive an additional stipend per site visit. A detailed breakdown of payment is included in the reviewer’s contract. Expert Review Team members who are employed in the Maryland Public School System will also be eligible for Continuing Professional Development credits.

A national search is facilitated by the Maryland State Department of Education to identify review team members. Applications and resumes are reviewed by a team of MSDE staff using a rubric to determine eligibility for interviews. Applicants that sufficiently demonstrate essential qualifications are selected to participate in a virtual interview. The selection of review team members is based on qualifications, experience in improving student outcomes, and interview outcomes. All review team members are required to pass a background check, adhere to MSDE’s Code of Conduct, and adhere to local school system policies for visitors in school buildings.