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

MarylandCAN's Top 10 News Stories of the Week

1. Education as an economic issue: MarylandCAN gets moving

May 29, 2012 | Sandy Alexander, Baltimore's Child

When Curtis Valentine speaks to state legislators as executive director of the new education reform advocacy organization MarylandCAN, he sees his role not only to represent the interests of students and parents but those of the entire state.| “Great schools change everything: health care, housing, employment rates, crime,” says Valentine, 33, adding that members of the community who don’t have children in school “are just as vested in education as parents.”

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2. County schools celebrate STEM excellence

May 31, 2012 | Lauren Gray, Annapolis Patch

Twenty-eight graduating seniors from across the county were recognized for their achievement in the subjects of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math at the STEM Awards Ceremony on May 23. Each public high school in Anne Arundel County (AACPS) nominated two students to be celebrated for their exceptional interest and passion in classes and activities related to STEM through their high school careers. This event also allowed each first-place winner to thank one educator as a STEM Teacher Fellow who helped discover and foster his or her passion for learning. (A complete list of first- and second-place finishers from each school, as well as the STEM teacher Fellows, is included at the end of this article).

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3. Preschool: The littlest job-readiness program?

May 31, 2012 | Chana R. Schoenberger, The Wall Street Journal

Can finger-painting, cup-stacking and learning to share set you up for a stellar career?

Research says yes, according to Dr. Celia Ayala, chief executive officer of Los Angeles Universal Preschool, a nonprofit that funds 325 schools in Los Angeles County, Calif., using money from tobacco taxes.

“When they enter kindergarten ready to thrive with all the social, emotional and cognitive skills, they perform at grade level or above,” she said. “When they don’t, that’s where that achievement gap starts.”

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4. City principals required to validate that graduates met requirements

May 31, 2012 | Erica Green, The Baltimore Sun

In an effort to quell doubts about the city school system's graduation rate, school officials said this week that the district has ordered principals to take an extra measure this year to validate that all graduating seniors have fulfilled state requirements to obtain a diploma.

"We are very, very conscious of making sure that everyone is abiding by [state regulation]," said Tisha Edwards, chief of staff for the school system. "So the high school validation process allows principals to be very, very specific about ensuring that seniors are meeting requirements.”

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5. Jeb Bush taking Florida education ideas nationwide

May 30, 2012 | John O'Connor, StateImpact


Indiana education superintendent Tony Bennett was new to office and looking to make dramatic changes to his state’s schools. The biggest? Require third graders pass a state reading test or get held back.

But the state lawmakers were hesitant.

So Bennett and Gov. Mitch Daniels, both Republican, called in some help: Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush. He pioneered the third grade reading requirement a decade ago.

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6. How to improve our failing education system

May 30, 2012 | Jeb Bush, The Miami Herald


It’s no secret that the next president will face major challenges, but none is more pressing than our nation’s need for educational reform.

In the United States, we measure our success by the opportunities we create for our children to pursue the American Dream. But unless we take action now, we risk raising a generation ill-equipped to compete in today’s global economy. Fortunately, in Mitt Romney we have a presidential candidate who not only recognizes the deficiencies in our education system, but has a realistic plan to address them.

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7. Common-core training for principals on increase

May 30, 2012 | Catherine Gewertz, Education Week

A year ago, top officials in the school leadership world were worried. It seemed to them that principals were being overlooked in national conversations about how to get educators ready for the Common Core State Standards.

But that is changing. The past six months have seen a surge of activity to acquaint principals with the new standards and teach them how to lead their staff members through the profound changes that are required to turn the new expectations into classroom instruction.

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8. No Child Left Behind law: 8 states get waiver from education-testing rules

May 29, 2012 | Joy Resmovits, The Huffington Post


Less than a week after presumptive Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney lambasted the Obama administration for not fighting inertia and special interests in America's public schools, the U.S. Education Department announced its latest attempt to free states from federal regulations decried for holding back education.

"Children cannot wait any longer, teachers cannot wait and America cannot wait, so we're moving forward," U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan said on a Tuesday call with reporters.

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9. Elected officials 'teach for a day'

May 26, 2012 | Laura L. Thornton, Germantown Patch


For those of us who aren't teachers—or who aren't related to teachers—it's easy to forget how hard teachers work.

Waking up before dawn, after a late night of lesson preparations, isn't for the faint of heart—and neither is the teaching itself.

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10. On education, Romney seeks distance from Obama -- and Bush

May 25, 2012 | Kayla Webley, TIME

In a speech at the Latino Coalition’s annual economic summit in Washington on Wednesday, May 23, Mitt Romney called the U.S. education system a failure. Every child deserves a quality education, he said, particularly minority students who are consistently underserved. Fixing the system, according to Romney, is the “civil rights issue of our era.”

That message — as well as the name of his plan, “A Chance for Every Child” — is reminiscent of George W. Bush’s legacy education-reform effort, No Child Left Behind (NCLB). But the substance of the presumptive Republican presidential nominee’s education plan is anything but. While Bush’s reforms instituted broad federal oversight and accountability, Romney says he would give more control to states and to parents.

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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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