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Morgan is named chair of statewide reading task force

March 11, 2004|by SCOTT BUTKI

scottb@herald-mail.com

Elizabeth Morgan, superintendent of the Washington County Public Schools since 2001, has been named chairwoman of a statewide reading task force.

Nancy Grasmick, Maryland's state superintendent of schools, asked Morgan to be chairwoman of the Maryland Reading Course Revision Committee, a panel including school system and higher education reading experts.

The task force's creation comes in response to students standardized tests' reading scores being lower than was hoped for, Morgan said Wednesday.

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The task force's goal is to strengthen reading instruction throughout the state, said Morgan, a certified reading specialist.

"After all is said and done, it comes down to the quality of teachers, and you want to make sure the teachers have the right knowledge and the right bag of tools," Morgan said.

The committee's work is scheduled to occur in a series of meetings this spring.

Patricia Abernethy, the system's deputy superintendent for instruction, and Ellen Hayes, principal of Salem Avenue Elementary School, will serve on the task force.

"This state leadership role provides Washington County with input into the future of reading education courses in our state," Morgan said in a school system news release. "With the opening of the University System of Maryland in downtown Hagerstown and our strengthening of partnerships K-16, both locally and statewide, the recommendations of this committee will be pivotal."

Morgan, who serves on other groups, said she will be resigning her position on the PenMar Development Corp. Board at the end of March.

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