Art of discovery takes MICA president to Guatemala

Who knew that a man renowned for his progressive-minded accomplishments in advancing an educational institution would prefer to spend his leisure exploring underdeveloped lands and ancient civilizations? That, in a nutshell, describes Maryland Institute College of Art President Fred Lazarus IV. (Balt. Sun)

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Feb. 17 // Maryland students avoid ‘double-testing’

About 25,000 elementary and middle school students in Maryland public schools, who will take the new Common Core exams for a test-drive next month, have been excused by federal officials from also having to take the Maryland School Assessment. This year, Maryland is among 45 states and the District of Columbia that are implementing the Common Core, new academic standards designed to ensure that students across the country have a common set of skills and knowledge at each level from kindergarten through 12th grade. (Wash. Post)

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$100K grant is fueling students at Mo. high school

Four years ago, a student request for a lab experiment has evolved into a program that could make Rockwood Summit a destination for students and teachers throughout the region who want to learn about biofuels. The program recently got a $100,000 boost with a Community Initiative grant from Monsanto, the Creve Coeur-based biotechnology giant. The money will help build a center for hands-on, project-based learning about sustainable sources of fuel. (Capital)

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Coppin making progress on overhaul plan, its president says

Coppin State University's president said Friday that the college has accomplished about half the goals in a plan conceived last year intended to boost its graduation rates and enrollment, strengthen its academic programs and improve the way it operates. President Mortimer H. Neufville said 23 goals on the 50-point plan have been put in place, with the rest expected to be complete by June. The changes include cutting about 35 staff positions, opening up a child care center for Coppin's large nontraditional student population, and starting mandatory "customer service" training for faculty and staff. (Balt. Sun)

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Chicago firm takes over Maryland Book Exchange project

A Chicago-based firm has acquired a prime development spot near the University of Maryland's College Park campus and will pick up on the prior owner's vision for a mixed-use project on the property by Route 1 and College Avenue. CA Student Living, an affiliate of CA Ventures, is planning to build about 283 residential units and up to 14,000 square feet of retail space on the former Maryland Book Exchange site, which sits at the southern Baltimore Avenue entrance to the university. (Wash. Bus. Journal)

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Carroll to research school closings, redistricting following facilities report

The Carroll County Board of Education voted unanimously Wednesday to have staff begin researching the feasibility of building a combined elementary and middle school, and redistricting students throughout the county. Based upon a comprehensive facilities study from Washington state based MGT of America, Superintendent Steve Guthrie introduced his recommendations on how the school system should move forward in finding the best way to utilize its facilities. (Patuxent)

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Olde Mill / Millersville: Sochi comes to South Shore - sort of

South Shore Elementary School recently held its own opening ceremonies to commemorate the 2014 Winter Olympics taking place in Sochi, Russia. Principal Rachel Amstutz thought of the idea in order to celebrate the Olympics and create interest in international awareness for her students. As a Primary Years Programme Candidate school, which is part of the International Baccalaureate Programme Organization that educates students in international cultural awareness, Amstutz felt the celebration was fitting. (Capital)

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Feb. 14 // Kramer bill puts reins on college memberships

An academic boycott of Israel by a U.S. academic association has Maryland lawmakers questioning how its colleges and universities spend public funds. The American Studies Association — a national organization devoted to the interdisciplinary study of American culture and history — voted in December to boycott Israeli academic institutions. The University of Maryland, Baltimore County remained a dues-paying member of the association even after the vote to boycott, so Del. Benjamin F. Kramer has introduced a bill that would restrict the ability of universities and its faculty to spend public money on participation in organizations that engage in such boycotts. (Gazette)

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