Education in Maryland

Primary and secondary education
Public primary and secondary education in Maryland is overseen by the Maryland State Department of Education, which is headquartered in Baltimore. The highest educational official in the state is the State Superintendent of Schools, currently Dr. Nancy Grasmick, who is appointed by the State Board of Education to a four-year term of office. The Maryland General Assembly has given the Superintendent and State Board autonomy to make educationally related decisions, limiting its own influence on the day to day functions of public education. Each county and county-equivalent in Maryland has a local Board of Education charged with running the public schools in that particular jurisdiction.

The budget for education was $5.5 billion in 2009, representing about 40% of the state's general fund.

Maryland has a broad range of private primary and secondary schools. Many of these are affiliated with various religious sects, including parochial schools of the Catholic Church, Quaker schools, Seventh-day Adventist schools, and Jewish schools. In 2003, Maryland law was changed to allow for the creation of publicly funded charter schools, although the charter schools must be approved by their local Board of Education and are not exempt from state laws on education, including collective bargaining laws.

In 2008, the state led the entire country in the percentage of students passing Advanced Placement examinations. 23.4 percent of students earned passing grades on the AP tests given in May 2008. This marks the first year that Maryland earned this honor. Three Maryland high schools (in Montgomery County) were ranked among the top 100 in the country based on these test scores.

Colleges and universities
Maryland has several historic and renowned private colleges and universities, the most prominent of which is Johns Hopkins University, founded in 1876 with a grant from Baltimore entrepreneur Johns Hopkins.

The first public university in the state is the University of Maryland, Baltimore, which was founded in 1807 and contains the University of Maryland's only public academic health, human services, and law center. Seven professional and graduate schools train the majority of the state's physicians, nurses, dentists, lawyers, social workers, and pharmacists. The largest undergraduate institution in Maryland is the University of Maryland, College Park which was founded as the Maryland Agricultural College in 1856 and became a public land grant college in 1864. Towson University, founded in 1866, is the state's second largest university. Baltimore is home to the Maryland Institute College of Art. The majority of public universities in the state are affiliated with the University System of Maryland. Two state-funded institutions, Morgan State University and St. Mary's College of Maryland, as well as two federally funded institutions, the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences and the United States Naval Academy, are not affiliated with the University System of Maryland.

St. John's College in Annapolis, Maryland and Washington College in Chestertown, Maryland, both private institutions, are the two oldest colleges in the state, and are among the oldest in the country. Other private institutions include Mount St. Mary's University, McDaniel College (formerly known as Western Maryland College), Hood College, Stevenson University (formerly known as Villa Julie College), Loyola University Maryland, and Goucher College, among others.

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