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

MarylandCAN Top 10 Education News Stories of the week


1. Prince George’s school board forum highlights candidates’ visions

September 26, 2012 | Ovetta Wiggins, The Washington Post

One of the most closely watched races in the Prince George’s Board of Education election offered the most spirited exchange Tuesday night during a candidates’ forum at Prince George’s County Community College.

Incumbent Verjeana M. Jacobs (District 5), the board’s chairman, took the first shot by questioning her teenage challenger’s experience and ability to handle the job.

Read more here

2. County SAT scores decline, still higher than state, national averages

September 26, 2012 | Sara Toth, The Baltimore Sun

Despite declines, Howard County's most recent graduates still outperformed others in the state and nationally on the SAT.

According to data released this week by the College Board, the school system's class of 2012 scored, on average, 1,632 out of 2,400 on the SAT — down from 1,646 a year ago.

"We are looking at the results and trying to identify factors that may have contributed to the results," said schools spokeswoman Rebecca Amani-Dove.

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3. Baltimore County Schools improve test scores

September 25, 2012 | Staff Report, ABC 2 News

Baltimore County Public Schools saw strong gains in both its overall SAT test results for 2012 as well as passing and participation rates for 2012 Advanced Placement (AP) exams.

Preliminary data for the school system showed that the combined countywide SAT mean score increased by 17 points, from 1,459 points in 2011 to 1,476 in 2012.  This came while the  Maryland state SAT mean score fell five points on the 2,400-point scale (1,492 to 1,487)  and the national SAT score fell two points (1,500 to 1,498) during the same period.

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4. How schools (even great ones) fail kids with ADHD

September 24, 2012 | Valerie Strauss, The Washington Post

There’s a group of students struggling through school rd to navigate that gets little attention in the media or in the debate about how to fix schools: Children with ADHD.

ADHD, or Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, is a brain
condition that makes it especially hard for children to focus and concentrate in school and has a number of other symptoms. It is too often misunderstood by teachers, parents and even the students themselves. According to the Centers for Disease Control, about 9.5% or 5.4 million children 4-17 years of age, had been diagnosed with ADHD, as of 2007. Many others who have the disorder haven’t had the benefit of a diagnosis.

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5. Md. students see improvement on AP testing, drop in SAT results

September 24, 2012 | Joe Burris, The Baltimore Sun


Maryland high school students posted lower marks last year on the SATs but saw increases in Advanced Placement college exam participation and results, according to data released on Monday by the College Board.

The state's test takers during the 2011-2012 academic year registered a 5-point drop in average SAT scores (1,487 on the 2,400-point scale) from the previous year, said the College Board, which administers the college readiness exams.

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6. Maryland is No. 1 in education spending and centralization — not in results

September 24, 2012 | George Liebmann, The Baltimore Sun

Gov. Martin O'Malley has taken on the road to Charlotte, N.C., and to Iowa his claim that Maryland's schools are "Number One." The annual ratings by Education Week are held to justify the hundreds of millions in additional Thornton Commission spending that are at the root of state and local budget problems. These funds have been squandered on the rapidly escalating costs of "Cadillac" health insurance policies for teachers and on lockstep seniority increases not accorded other public and private work forces — while the state maintains certification requirements of 30 credit hours of mind-numbing education courses that exclude about 95 percent of its college graduates from the public teaching force.

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7. Common Core reaches into science classes, survey finds

September 24, 2012 | Erik Robelen, Education Week

The Common Core State Standards aren't just changing instruction in math and English language/arts, a new survey data suggest. They're also finding their way into a lot of science classrooms.

A majority of science teachers surveyed see some benefit coming out of this intersection, even as some worry that pressure from administrators to infuse science lessons with math and literacy takes time away from the core content of their disciplines.

Read more here

8. Public television takes role in curbing dropout rates

September 23, 2012 | Elizabeth Jensen, The New York Times


More than 100 public television stations reaching two-thirds of the nation’s viewers turned over their air on Saturday to an unusual seven-hour telethon broadcast live from WNET-TV’s Lincoln Center studio in New York.

A parade of media stars, including NBC’s Brian Williams, CNBC’s Maria Bartiromo, CBS’s Rebecca Jarvis and public media’s Maria Hinojosa and Ray Suarez, exhorted viewers to “call the number on your screen,” but they were not seeking membership pledges. Instead, they asked viewers to sign up to be “American Graduate Day Champions,” and connect with community organizations working on the nation’s high school dropout crisis.

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9. Report: School districts lack critical data on early education

September 21, 2012 | Julie Rasicot, Education Week


School districts and communities across the nation are doing a poor job of keeping track of how many kids attend publicly-funded preschool and kindergarten programs, leading to an inability to analyze those programs to make sure they are meeting students' needs, according to a new report released this week.

The issue brief from the New America Foundation's Early Education Initiative, "Counting Kids and Tracking Funds in Pre-K and Kindergarten," makes the case that even in this data-conscious age in public education, "the American education system suffers from an acute lack of some of the most basic information about publicly funded programs for young children."

Read more here

10. Group files charter school application in Dorchester

September 21, 2012 | Gail Dean, My Eastern Shore MD

An application to create the Dorchester Preparatory Public Charter School here was submitted Sept. 4 to the Dorchester County Board of Education by the Maryland Eastern Shore Charter School Alliance.

MESCSA founder William Akridge said the county school board is expected to make a decision on the application at its Dec. 20 meeting, with interviews before the board expected during the interim.

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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