MarylandCAN News Roundup: Top 10 Education News Stories of the Week

MarylandCAN's top 10 education news stories of the week


1. ACT finds most students still not ready for college

August 22, 2012 | Caralee J. Adams, Education Week

Student performance on the ACT essentially held steady this year, with slight improvement shown in the math and science parts of the college-entrance exam.

Still, 60 percent of the class of 2012 that took the test failed to meet benchmarks in two of the four subjects tested, putting them in jeopardy of failing in their pursuit of a college degree and careers.

Read more here

2. Some Frederick teachers to get graded in pilot program

August 23, 2012 | Margarita Raycheva, The Gazette

They will not be getting A’s or F’s just yet, but some Frederick County teachers this year are about to see a change in the way their performance is evaluated.

As part of a state mandate, Frederick County is field-testing a new teacher-evaluation system, which, for the first time, will take student achievement into account when gauging the effectiveness of teachers.

Read more here

3. Duncan addresses Baltimore County teachers

August 22, 2012 | Liz Bowie, The Baltimore Sun

In remarks that elicited applause from 800 Baltimore County English teachers, U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan said Wednesday that teachers should earn more and there should be more focus on educating the whole child.

Duncan addressed the group at a time when teachers are returning to classrooms to carry out difficult changes that have filtered down from Washington. His stop at a teachers meeting at Perry Hall High School was an attempt to boost morale and signal that he is sympathetic to their problems.

Read more here

4. To stay a high-performing school district, MCPS must support its mathletes

August 22, 2012 | Joseph Hawkins, Bethesda Patch

I’m firmly on the record saying that the Montgomery County Public Schools is a very good public school district.

To wit, this blog post.

I’m also on the record saying MCPS has not closed its academic achievement gaps. For example, poor students in MCPS still lag way behind affluent students in MCPS.

Reality check: Yes, you can have both a very good public school district—high performing—and have substantial populations of students lagging behind academically. Unfortunately, in our nation, our state, our region, and our county, such extremes are just the way things are.

Read more here

5. Starr appears on WTOP’s ‘Ask the Superintendent’

August 22, 2012 | Greg Cohen, Bethesda Patch


It was quite the crowd Tuesday morning as officials from five Washington, DC-area school districts joined WTOP to discuss teacher shortage, citizenship and homework as part of the radio station's "Ask the Superintendent" show.

Among the officials was Montgomery County Public Schools Superintendent Dr. Joshua Starr, who was joined by Fairfax County School Superintendent Jack Dale, D.C. School Chancellor Kaya Henderson and Prince George's County School Board Chair Verjeana Jacobs, according to the report. Alexandria City School Superintendent Morton Sherman joined the discussion via telephone.

Read more here

6. Washington County Teacher of the Year is a finalist for Maryland Teacher of the Year

August 22, 2012 | Staff Report, Herald-Mail


Christina Hammer-Atkins, Washington County’s 2012-13 Teacher of the Year, has been named a finalist for Maryland Teacher of the Year, the Maryland State Department of Education announced Wednesday.

Hammer-Atkins is a second-grade magnet teacher at Boonsboro Elementary School, which is a magnet school for global awareness and world languages.

Read more here

7. Baltimore City’s School Readiness’ plan features tweaks to transportation, dozens of managing school leaders

August 21, 2012 | Erica L. Green, The Baltimore Sun

Baltimore city school officials rolled out last week, the system's annual school readiness plan that includes a vast reduction in the number of bell schedules to alleviate pressure on its transportation system, as well as a sharp uptick in 'managing' school leaders.

The update--the PowerPoint can be found here--also included 14 facility renovation projects all due to be completed by Monday when schools open to students; and a new, multilingual communications campaign that will distribute the system's literature in English and Spanish.

Read more here

8. Education aid emerging as a campaign issue

August 20, 2012 | Alyson Klein, Education Week


U.S. Rep. Paul Ryan's selection as the Republican vice-presidential candidate could spark a national debate about the future of education spending, an issue that's gotten short shrift in the presidential campaign so far.

As the two national party conventions approach, Democrats are already charging that the Wisconsin lawmaker's controversial budget blueprint, which presumptive GOP nominee Mitt Romney has largely endorsed, would scale back college financial aid and slash other funding for education.

Read more here

9. One more time: Education is the long-term solution for fighting poverty

August 20, 2012 | RiShawn Biddle, Dropout Nation


Last week, Dropout Nation contributor Matt Barnum noted the penchant of education traditionalists to advance the Poverty Myth of Education through faulty statistics and exaggerated claims that school reformers don’t offer thoughtful ideas on how to help families emerge from being economically poor. These two issues have come up once again, this time, in a “dialogue” between Education Week columnist Anthony Cody and Chris Williams of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation on systemic reform.

Read more here

10. D.C. official to lead Pr. Georges schools on a temporary basis

August 17, 2012 | Ovetta Wiggins, The Washington Post

A veteran educator who has worked in Virginia and the District has been selected to run the Washington region’s third-largest school system on a temporary basis.

Alvin Crawley, deputy chief of programming in the Office of Special Education for D.C. Public Schools, will take the reins of the Prince George’s County school system Sept. 4.

Read more here

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.


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