Welcome to the home page of
Laura Hutton
Associate Professor of Teacher Education at
Harford Community College

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This page contains links to a variety of information related to the education of children.


Education Laws


No Child Left Behind

President Bush's 2001 reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, entitled No Child Left Behind (NCLB), is the most highly publicized education law of the past decade.  This law attempts to reform the nation's schools by providing stronger accountability, more freedom for state and local school systems to make decisions, recommendations to use proven education methods, and more choices for parents.  Understanding this far reaching law is important for all educators.  This is the federal government's website describing No Child Left Behind.

No Child Left Behind

A Blueprint for Reform

The Obama administration is in the process of reauthorizing the Elementary and Secondary Education Act.  They propose significant changes to NCLB.  This is a PowerPoint from the federal government comparing the Blueprint for Reform with NCLB.

A Blueprint for Reform

Individuals with Disabilities Education Act

The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, or IDEA, was first passed in 1975 as the Education of All Handicapped Children Act or PL94-142.  This is the law which governs special education and related services for children with disabilities.  IDEA was reauthorized December 2004 with important changes which went into effect July 2005.  These changes aligned the act more closely with No Child Left Behind.

The Maryland Disability Law Center is a private, nonprofit organization.  They produce the booklet "Special Education Rights" which explains IDEA in reader friendly terms. 

Special Education Rights: A handbook for Maryland families and professionals

IDEA promotes the inclusion of children with disabilities within the general education environment.  The Maryland Coalition for Inclusive Education is a nonprofit organization which furthers the inclusion of children with disabilities in their neighborhood schools.  They maintain a library and have a number of useful publications which can be downloaded online.

Maryland Coalition for Inclusive Education

Americans with Disabilities Act

The Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, or ADA, is an extension of Section 504 of the Vocational Rehabilitation Act of 1973.  It is not an education law but it impacts schools, including private schools and daycare facilities, because it guarantees equal access to individuals with disabilities.  This law states that reasonable accommodations must be made for individuals with disabilities.  Below are two publications which explain the impact this law has on daycare facilities.  The first is written primarily for parents while the second is written primarily for providers.

ADA and Childcare

Commonly Asked Questions about Childcare Centers and the ADA


Local Schools and Daycare Facilities


Maryland State Curriculum

In Maryland, all public schools follow the Maryland State Curriculum; this is a curricular framework and does not include specific unit and lesson plans.  Some private schools also follow this curriculum.  This curriculum covers eight core subjects: mathematics, reading/English language arts, science, social studies, arts, foreign language, health & PE, and English language proficiency.  The curriculum says what children should know and do in each core subject at each grade pre-K through 8. 

Maryland State Curriculum

Curriculum Guidance for Younger Children

The Maryland Model for School Readiness is an assessment and instructional system designed for children who are not yet school aged.  The goal of this program is to have all children exhibit necessary readiness skills when they enter kindergarten.

Maryland Model for School Readiness

This goal is also shared by Maryland's Ready at Five Initiative.

Ready at Five

Maryland has created a curriculum framework for children birth through 36 months.  Adherence to this curriculum is not required for licensure in Maryland, but it is a useful resource for teachers of the very young.

Maryland Guidelines for Healthy Child Development and Care for Young Children

Lastly, Maryland has issued a list of state approved curricula for use in child development centers including both daycare and preschool facilities.

Approved Infant and Toddler Curricula

Approved Preschool Curricula

Maryland Assessments

In compliance with No Child Left Behind, Maryland administers assessments to children in grades 3-8.  These assessments are called the Maryland School Assessments, or MSA's.  The MSA's test students' skills in reading, mathematics, and science. 


Beginning with the graduating class of 2009, high schools students must earn a satisfactory score on the High School Assessments, or HSA's, in order to graduate from high school.  The HSA's test students' proficiency in algebra/data analysis, biology, English 10, and government.


Local Public School Systems

Harford County Public Schools has a website which contains information about each public school in the county, employment openings, and other announcements. 

Harford County Public Schools

MSA and HSA results and other statistics about each public school can be viewed on the website for the Maryland Report Card.

Maryland Report Card

Locating Daycare

This list of licensed daycare facilities can help you find childcare in your area.

Daycare listings

Finding Childcare for Children with Special Needs

Updated 1/11 by Laura Hutton