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

MarylandCAN's pick of the top 10 education news stories of the week.

1. About 93,000 young adults in Md. out of school and not working

December 3, 2012 | Yvonne Wenger, The Baltimore Sun

In Maryland, 93,000 teens and young adults are neither working nor in school, a trend that threatens future financial stability and predicts chronic joblessness, advocates said Monday.

And unemployment among those ages 16 to 24 is the highest in the country since World War II, a Kids Count policy report shows.

Patrick McCarthy, president of the Baltimore-based Annie E. Casey Foundation that compiles the Kids Count data, said young people, without education or experience, are the least likely to find jobs in a stagnant economy.

Read more here

2. Md. moves ahead with STEM initiatives

December 5, 2012 | Sophie Petit, Southern Maryland Online

Computer science students at Hammond High School aren’t just reading textbooks and taking notes these days, but are designing actual software, like interactive fossil fuel maps, for their fellow students to use in other classes.

Instead of working on some “make-believe project,” students address a current problem, in this case sustainable energy, said Hammond High computer science teacher Alan Kostrick.

Read more here

3. Prince George’s Board of Education chooses leadership

December 4, 2012 | Ovetta Wiggins, The Washington Post

Verjeana Jacobs, who narrowly won reelection for her District 5 seat, was selected to lead the Prince George’s County Board of Education Monday night.

The vote that gives Jacobs her second term in the chairmanship position was nearly unanimous.

Student board member Shabnam Ahmed, whose sister challenged Jacobs’ in the District 5 race, cast the dissenting vote.

After the vote, Ahmed said she looks forward to working with the board, but she hopes “in the future the student member will have more of a role and sit in on the executive sessions."

Read more here

4. A valid way to use ‘value added’ in teacher evaluation

December 4, 2012 | Douglas N. Harris, The Washington Post


Now that the election is over, the Obama administration and policymakers nationally can return to governing.  Of all the education-related decisions that have to be made, the future of teacher evaluation has to be front and center.

In particular, how should “value-added” measures be used in teacher evaluation? President Obama’s Race to the Top initiative expanded the use of these measures, which attempt to identify how much each teacher contributes to student test scores. In doing so, the initiative embraced and expanded the controversial reliance on standardized tests that started under President Bush’s No Child Left Behind.

Read more here

5. Seat Pleasant Elementary to receive Title 1 Award

December 4, 2012 | WI Web Staff, The Washington Informer

Seat Pleasant Elementary School in Maryland will be honored in a ceremony on Thursday, Dec. 6 as the recipient of a Title 1 Superlative Award. Maryland State Superintendent Dr. Lillian Lowery will be a participant in the event, which begins at 11:45 a.m. at the school, located at 6411 G St.

Several categories fall under recognition for Title I Reward Schools. Listed among them are Distinguished Highest Performing Reward Schools, Superlative Highest Performing Reward Schools and Highest Progress Reward Schools.

Read more here

6. Is big disruption good for urban school districts?

December 4, 2012 | Jay Mathews, The Washington Post

My colleague Emma Brown has been looking closely at Chancellor Kaya Henderson’s plans to close one of every six traditional D.C. public schools.

In one piece, she cited activists who raised the possibility that the education system of our nation’s capital might, as a consequence of the downsizing, be split in two: Charter schools would rule the low-income neighborhoods, while regular public schools would thrive only in the affluent areas where achievement rates remain high.

Read more here

7. AACPS magnet programs see 24% application bump

December 3, 2012 | Jonathan Moynihan, Anne Arundel Patch

Student applications for participation in magnet programs during the 2013-14 school year went up 24 percent from last year, according to an Anne Arundel County Public Schools (AACPS) press release.

Approximately 2,100 students applied for a seat in at least one of the county's magnet programs. Some students applied to more than one program, so the total number of submissions exceeded 2,700—a 28 percent bump from last year’s total application numbers, according to AACPS.

Read more here

8. American Federation of Teachers, BTU parent union, proposes new bar exam for teachers

December 3, 2012 | Erica L. Green, The Baltimore Sun

In the next five years, teachers entering the profession would first have to pass an comprehensive licensing exam--much like the bar exam for attorneys--as part of their certification, under a new proposal announced this week by the largest U.S. teachers union.

Randi Weingarten, president of the American Federation of Teachers, rolled out her vision for the exam Monday, which she said would better prepare educators not only in their content areas, but also address sociological and economic challenges in the classroom through clinical training.

Read more here

9. Maryland schools to show more tolerance

December 2, 2012 | Ellen Fishel, The Washington Times

A 12-year-old Montgomery County student was being sent to the hallway for being disruptive in class. On her way out the door, she brushed up against her teacher. The student was suspended for 10 days for attacking an employee.

A Prince George’s County teacher thought a ninth-grade student’s tone was disrespectful when asking questions about a form he had to sign. That student was suspended for five days for disrespect.

Read more here

10. Budget, Curriculum 2.0 implementation dominate parent concerns at Montgomery schools Town Hall

November 30, 2012 | Lynh Bui, The Washington Post

Active Montgomery County parents aired their concerns over next year’s schools budget and the implementation of Curriculum 2.0 at Superintendent Joshua P. Starr’s first Community Day Town Hall.

Parents expressed worries about everything from the lack of paraeducators and the reduced number of music teachers to how students can accelerate in math under the rollout of curriculum standards aimed at meeting Common Core State Standards.

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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