Superintendent fights to drop 180-day calendar for Maryland schools

Anne Arundel County Superintendent Dr. Mark Bedell wants to do away with Maryland's calendar mandate of 180 days. 

"This has nothing to do with shortening the school year, this has more to do with the ability to be able to innovate," said Bedell to FOX 5. 

Bedell proposed ending the 180-day rule at a state Senate committee recently, calling the 180 days a "very rigid model." He argues an hour-based system, similar to the state of Missouri's current school requirements, allows for more agility and flexibility.

"The goal is to make sure that every one of our students meets the minimum number of hours, and what the innovation will in essence do is give you potentially more flexibility to look at how we can recover learning that has been interrupted as a result of Covid," said Bedell. 

The proposal wouldn't shorten the number of hours or days students are in school, according to Bedell.

"An opportunity to focus on hours instead of a certain number of days will now allow for us to take a look at potential trimester scheduling, it will allow us to take a different look at what the actual high school day looks like," said Bedell. "If these kids are on track, we should be offering them some innovative scheduling options that will allow them now to apply some of what they've learned in the workforce environment, and to do it during the actual school day."