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

Top 10 education news stories of the week from MarylandCAN


1. No substitute for a quality education

August 1, 2012 | Marian Wright Edelman, The Washington Informer

On July 24, Ben Bernanke, chairman of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, gave a video keynote speech to 3,200 community and youth leaders attending the Children's Defense Fund's National Conference in Cincinnati. The speech wasn't on the details of national fiscal policy, but on the crucial importance of effective early childhood supports and public education to the success of our economy. His remarks were strongly reinforced by a very distinguished panel of leading scholars, educators and education activists who spoke about the national imperative of preparing all children for school and building a public education system that prepares all children and our nation for the future. Here is most of what Bernanke said:

"At the Federal Reserve, we spend a lot of time looking at economic data, such as production and employment. In doing so, we try never to forget that these seemingly sterile numbers are in fact reflections of the economic aspirations, opportunities, and well-being of millions of Americans. When individuals are denied opportunities to reach their maximum potential, it harms not only those individuals, of course, but also the larger economy, which depends vitally on having a skilled productive workforce. As a result, we all have a stake in the essential work that you are doing for our children.

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2. Poverty USA - Part 2, Maryland’s poor

August 1, 2012 | Dan Rodricks, WYPR 88.1 FM

What it means to be poor in Maryland, one of the nation's wealthiest states: With Elizabeth Kneebone, senior research associate and associate fellow, Brookings Institution Metropolitan Policy Program; Ralph Moore, director emeritus, St. Frances Community Center; Kelly Little, executive director, Druid Heights Community Development Corp; Al Passarella, research coordinator, Advocates for Children and Youth; Courtney Thomas, executive director, Allegany County Human Resources Development Commission; and Bita Dayhoff, executice director, Howard COunty Community Action Council.

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3. Young candidates receive support in school board race

August 1, 2012 | Jenni Pompi, Bowie Patch

The Prince George’s County School Board could look decidedly younger this fall after November’s upcoming election.

Bowie residents Raaheela Ahmed, 19, and David Murray, 20, are receiving support from the SavePGCPS campaign, according to a story in The Gazette. SavePGCPS was started by president of the Prince George’s County Young Democrats Larry Safford Jr. to bring changes to the school board this fall.

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4. Maryland, California taking action to improve dropout rates

August 1, 2012 | Susan Ferriss, iWatch News

From President Obama to Republican presidential hopeful Mitt Romney, politicians are habitually warning us that high dropout rates among some students are a civil rights issue, and a drag on U.S. global competitiveness.

On the East Coast, let’s see if the Maryland Board of Education’s recent decision to force reductions in school suspensions actually helps boost graduation rates in that state’s more troubled schools. A major board report on discipline policies notes that 54 percent of Maryland’s out-of-school suspensions are for non-violent infractions.


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5. Editorial: Right direction

July 31, 2012 | Editorial Board, The Baltimore Sun


Scores achieved by Harford County students in the latest round of testing designed to assess the performance of teachers and the school system mostly show continued incremental improvement, with many of the county's elementary schools finishing well above state and regional averages.

This is a positive development, and no doubt reflects a substantial effort on the part of teachers, administrators and other school staff members, as the new head of elementary education for the county noted last week.

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6. Latino educators named to top national ambassador positions by White House

July 31, 2012 | Nina Terrero, NBC Latino


Two Latino educators have been selected to serve as Teaching Ambassador Fellows for the upcoming 2012-2013 school year, U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan announced Tuesday.

Only 12 teachers were selected from a national pool of 625 applicants from traditional public, charter, alternative and private schools across a variety of academic disciplines and settings. The program is in its fifth year and allows outstanding teachers to contribute their expertise to critical areas of national educational policy issues. Approximately six of this year’s fellows will work full-time for the U.S. Department of Education headquarters in Washington, D.C.  Five of the remaining Teaching Ambassador Fellows will work part-time as Classroom Fellows, while a sixth will work full-time in the department’s Seattle regional office.

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7. New Hoyer principal brings education experience while making Montessori history

July 31, 2012 | Natalie McGill, Gaette.Net

Tracey Spivey White of Upper Marlboro will make history this fall by being Prince George’s County Public School’s first black certified Montessori school principal, according to the school system.

Spivey White of Upper Marlboro will take over as principal of Judith P. Hoyer Montessori school, which moved this summer from its Cheverly location to the former Oakcrest Elementary School in Landover. Spivey White replaces Lynnette Whitt, who retired at the end of the 2011-12 school year after more than a decade at Hoyer.

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8. Schools in Calif., Maryland team up to offer online college courses to immigrant youth

July 30, 2012 | The Associated Press, The Republic


As some states make it tougher for illegal immigrants to attend college, a new program is pledging to do the opposite.

A partnership between the University of California, Los Angeles Center for Labor Research and Education and the National Labor College on Monday announced a plan to offer online courses for college credit to young immigrant and labor rights activists.

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9. Time for more parent accountability in nation’s schools

July 30, 2012 | Alfonzo Porter, The Washington Post


Parents who have demanded better teacher quality and heightened scrutiny of schools over the past decade should start by looking in the mirror if they want improved outcomes for their children. Better test scores start at home. And parents may soon find themselves under the microscope for student performance if proponents of parental accountability standards get their way.

Although teachers and schools are held accountable for outcomes, many argue that it is time to hold parents responsible, too. The days of parents adopting a hands-off, “it’s the teacher’s job” approach to their child’s education are quickly coming to an end.

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10. Can school performance be measured fairly?

July 29, 2012 | The New York Times

The idea of summer learning loss — the implication being that it’s risky to give kids a three-month vacation from school because they’ll forget everything they were taught — has become the media’s favorite seasonally specific education topic. And that’s not just because they’re desperate for something to write about when school’s out. It’s a story we’re all predisposed to embrace because we’re already nervous about time off for children. It’s widely accepted, for example, that kids need to be doing some homework every night during the school year lest they find themselves gravitating to insufficiently constructive activities.

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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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