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

MarylandCAN Top 10 News Stories of the Week


1. State, Baltimore County new school superintendents begin 1st day on job

June 2, 2012 | Editorial Board, WBALTV11

Dr. Lillian Lowery began her tenure as Maryland's new state school superintendent. In addition, Dr. Dallas Dance took over the helm at Baltimore County Schools.

11 News reporter Tim Tooten said both leaders realize they're taking over the reins at a time when public education is a very hot topic.

Read more here

2. Prince George’s faces superintendent search

July 4, 2012 | Ovetta Wiggins, The Washington Post

The Prince George’s County Board of Education began a six-week summer break on Monday. But when it returns, the board will face the crucial task of finding a temporary replacement for outgoing School Superintendent William R. Hite Jr.

Hite, who was entering the final year of a four-year contract, announced last week that he was leaving to become the schools chief in Philadelphia.

Read more here

3. ACT to roll out career and college readiness tests for 3rd-10th grades

July 2, 2012 | Caralee Adams, Education Week

ACT Inc. announced today that it is developing a new series of assessments for every grade level, from 3rd through 10th, to measure skills needed in college and careers.

The tests, which would be administered digitally and provide instant feedback to teachers, will be piloted in states this fall and scheduled to be launched in 2014, says Jon Erickson, the president of education for ACT, the Iowa City, Iowa-based nonprofit testing company.

Read more here

4. If the Dream Act wins, all Marylanders win

July 2, 2012 | Anthony G. Brown, The Washington Post

Last month, President Obama announced that the United States will no longer deport law-abiding undocumented young people who were brought to this country before the age of 16, have lived here for five consecutive years and are pursuing higher education or military service. Instead, they will be eligible for temporary work permits, helping them to come out of the shadows of our society and participate more fully in our economy.

I applaud the president for his leadership. Although he knew he would face opposition from some on both sides of the aisle, allowing these hardworking young people an opportunity to make a difference in their communities was the right thing to do for our country, morally and economically.

Read more here

5. Why U.S. can’t get back to head of the class (because it was never there)

July 2, 2012 | David E. Drew, The Washington Post


Policy makers and politicians like to talk about “restoring America’s leadership” in education. Our high school students rank low when tested in math and science compared with their counterparts in other countries, but, they say, we can move our students back into the top ranks with effective reforms.

Education Secretary Arne Duncan frequently gives speech about restoring America’s leadership in education. Not to be outdone, the subtitle of the Romney education policy statement is “Mitt Romney’s plan for restoring the promise of American education.”

Read more here

6. Foose takes over as Howard superintendent

July 1, 2012 | Joe Burris, The Baltimore Sun


Renee Foose's call to education came around the 10th grade, when she says she "fell in love" with biology class. From there, she began a circuitous route to her career, and sometimes she was literally behind the wheel.

Among the jobs Foose took to pay for her schooling: ice cream truck driver, bus driver and Maryland state trooper.

Read more here

7. Dance seeks out disengaged students

June 30, 2012 | Liz Bowie, The Baltimore Sun

Although dozens are vying for Dallas Dance's attention in his first days as Baltimore County school superintendent, he plans to seek out disengaged students and parents of private school students, two groups that he hopes respectively to keep and to attract back into the fold.

On Monday, Dance takes on the job of leading the 105,000-student system, which has grown far more racially diverse and economically stratified in the past decade. The 31-year-old Virginia native seems intent on asking those who are unhappy with the system what he must change to support students on the verge of dropping out and to challenge students whose families have the means to go elsewhere.

Read more here

8. Joshua Starr’s first year as Montgomery schools chief reflects shift in educational eras

June 30, 2012 | Michael Alison Chandler, The Washington Post


By the time former superintendent Jerry Weast finished his first year at the head of Montgomery County public schools, he had issued a “Call to Action” plan to close the racial academic achievement gap, hired three dozen new administrators and pushed one of the biggest budgets in memory through the County Council to launch a laundry list of programs.

Twelve years later, his successor, Joshua Starr, is winding down his inaugural year with an intentionally short list of changes. He restructured the central office, built on the close relationships Weast had forged with employee unions by brokering a controversial and generous pay raise during a tight budget cycle, and began to articulate a vision for a school system dedicated to graduating not just good students, but good people.

Read more here

9. Maryland leads nation in reading and math improvement

June 29, 2012 | Sherrie Johnson, ABC2News


ATLANTA - Maryland significantly improved public education by several key measures in the last decade.  This is according to a new report from the Southern Regional Education Board.  It covers 16 states including Maryland.

SREB states led the nation in gains since 2002 in areas such as student reading, math achievement and high school graduation rates.  Maryland served more than twice as many children in public pre-k as it has children living in poverty in 2010.

Read more here

10. Philadelphia school system hires Hite, leader of suburban DC district, as new superintendent

June 29, 2012 | Associated Press, The Washington Post

PHILADELPHIA — Education officials on Friday chose a Maryland superintendent as the new head of Philadelphia’s struggling district, calling him a “transformative leader” who will ensure safe, high-quality schools for all students.

William Hite Jr. has led the public schools in the Washington suburbs of Prince George’s County since 2009. In a statement, Hite said he’s excited for the opportunity to come to Philadelphia, which serves more than 200,000 students in district and charter schools.

Read more here

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