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

MarylandCAN Top 10 Education News Stories of the Week

1. MCPS, Montgomery College partner to support college readiness

September 17, 2012 | Whitney Teal, Silver Spring Patch

Hundreds of Montgomery County students from groups that are underrepresented in higher education—including African-American, Hispanic, low-income and students whose parents didn’t go to college—will receive extra attention next year to encourage college readiness.

Montgomery County Public Schools partnered with Montgomery College and the Universities at Shady Grove to create Achieving Collegiate Excellence and Success (ACES), a program that will launch at Montgomery Blair, Albert Einstein, Gaithersburg, John F. Kennedy, Northwood, Rockville, Watkins Mill and Wheaton High Schools the 2013-2014 school year.

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2. Bowie school recognized for educational excellence

September 20, 2012 | Alan J. McCombs, The Gazette

Whitehall Elementary School has received a national award for education excellence.

The Bowie school was designated a national Blue Ribbon school on Sept. 7 by U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan.

The recognition was welcomed by the school’s principal, Jerenze Campbell.

“I promised my students and staff that we would bring home a National Blue Ribbon Award this fall,” said Campbell in a statement. “We appreciate everyone’s support in helping us to achieve this honor."

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3. Plugging gaps in Montgomery school achievement

September 19, 2012 | Editorial, The Gazette

For years, Montgomery County Public Schools has been talking about narrowing the so-called achievement gap, and it appears, sadly, the school system will have to talk about it for years more.

To be sure, this is no easy issue to solve. But Montgomery County parents should be able to expect that their black and Hispanic children learn just as much as their white and Asian peers. Former schools Superintendent Jerry Weast made it an element in his middle school reform efforts. A year ago, incoming Superintendent Joshua P. Starr put closing the achievement gap near the top of his agenda.

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4. Baltimore receives grant to support third-grade reading

September 18, 2012 | Erica L. Green, The Baltimore Sun

Baltimore has been named among a recent group of cities that will receive $40,000 grants to target third-grade reading, a critical point in a child's literacy development that Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake has recently partnered with the city school system to target.

The grants were announced Monday by Cities of Service, a national, bi-partistan coalition of mayors, who said the funding would enable eight cities to recruit volunteers to implement what is called the Third-Grade Reads Blueprint--an initiative that will recruit well-trained tutors to help student in grades kindergarten to third grade in high-needs schools.

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5. D.C. schools set new achievement targets for students by race and income

September 18, 2012 | Emma Brown, The Washington Post


Every public school in the United States has aimed for the same goal over the past decade: that all students be proficient in math and reading by 2014.

But that noble ambition, educators and experts almost universally agree, was never realistic. Now, in the District and many states, goals over the next five years tend to be lower for black, Hispanic and poor children than they are for white and Asian students, and in the District, they tend to be higher at schools in affluent areas than in poor neighborhoods. It’s a policy shift that strikes some parents as a form of prejudice.

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6. Teachers end Chicago strike on second try

September 18, 2012 | Monica Davey and Steven Yaccino, The New York Times

The Chicago Teachers Union agreed on Tuesday to end its strike in the nation’s third-largest school system, allowing 350,000 children to return to classes on Wednesday and bringing to a close, at least for now, a tense standoff over issues like teacher evaluations and job security that had upended this city for more than a week.

In a private meeting on Tuesday afternoon, 800 union delegates voted overwhelmingly to suspend the strike after classes had been halted for seven school days, which left parents at loose ends and City Hall taking legal action. The delegates, who had chosen on Sunday to extend their strike rather than accept a deal reached by negotiators for the union and the Chicago Public Schools, this time decided to abandon their picket lines.

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7. Black-male grad rate still lags despite slight uptick

September 18, 2012 | Lesli A. Maxwell, Education Week

The four-year graduation rate for black males has steadily improved over the last decade, but remains dismally low compared to the rate for their white male peers, according to a study released this morning.

In its fifth biennial report on graduation rates for African-American males, the Schott Foundation for Public Education found that in 2009-10, 52 percent of black males graduated from high school with a regular diploma within four years. It’s the first time that more than half of the nation’s African-American boys did so, according to Schott’s report.

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8. Medfield Heights Elementary celebrates three years at No. 1

September 18, 2012 | Erica L. Green, The Baltimore Sun


The students of Medfield Heights don't have a National Blue Ribbon greeting them at the door or a name that has historically been synonymous with elementary school excellence. But this year, the North Baltimore school earned a distinguished title all its own: It's now the home of the "Three-Peat."

Joined by members of the community, as well as city school and political leaders, Medfield Heights celebrated its third year in a row ranked No. 1 among the city's 120 elementary and middle schools in overall performance on the Maryland School Assessments. And this past year, the school scored highest in both reading and math on the assessments, which are administered to students in grades three through eight.

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9. School board wants 2,000 interactive whiteboards for elementary students

September 17, 2012 | Whitney Teal, Silver Spring Patch


Chalkboards will soon join the ranks of record players, typewriters and paperback books, at least for elementary school students in Montgomery County Public Schools. The school board recently approved a request to put interactive whiteboards in every elementary classroom by start of the 2013-2014 school year, according to a statement from the district.

The whiteboards, which already are in use at dozens of schools throughout the county, are part of a $14.5 million technology reboot that also will provide building-wide wireless Internet for every school in the district that doesn’t already have it.

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10. Rockville schools have 40 National Merit Scholarship semifinalists

September 14, 2012 | Sean R. Sedam, Rockville Patch

Students from two Rockville schools accounted for 40 of the 137 students from Montgomery County Public Schools named National Merit Scholarship semifinalists, the school system announced this week.

The MCPS semifinalists come from 12 high schools and are competing nationally for scholarships, which are awarded in the spring.

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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