Common Core survey results released, but show discrepancy

Last week, the State Board of Education was shown the results of a survey about Common Core curriculum standards which found “Many Md. teachers, principals unprepared for Common Core,” as reported here. Other than a black-and-white copy given to a reporter of the color-coded PowerPoint presentation, the results of the survey were not available online or in color and still are not. However, MarylandReporter.com has obtained the full-color version of the report available here. The report offers an informative view as to how prepared educators felt last fall when they were expected to begin the full implementation of  Common Core. (Md. Reporter)

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April 3 // Bills to address Common Core problems passed

The Maryland General Assembly has approved measures to address concerns with the education program known as Common Core. The Senate gave final approval on Wednesday to three bills. One measure ensures state test scores won't be used in teacher and principal evaluations for at least the next two years. (WMAR-TV/AP)

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Dance promotes new initiatives in county schools

Baltimore County schools will embark on a number of new initiatives next year, including expanding pre-kindergarten for its poorest students and those with special needs, a Spanish blended-learning program in 10 schools, and more opportunities for middle and high students to advance their studies. The initiatives, along with the county's successes and struggles, were laid out Wednesday by Superintendent Dallas Dance during his second annual "State of the Schools" address. (Balt. Sun)

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Md. approves wage bill for school construction

A measure to expand Maryland's prevailing wage law has been passed by the Maryland General Assembly. The state Senate passed the bill 32-15 on Wednesday, sending the measure to Gov. Martin O'Malley. The bill lowers the share of total school construction project costs paid by the state from 50 percent to 25 percent for the prevailing wage law to apply. (AP)

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Average Maryland teacher sees drop in salary

The average salary for Maryland teachers has decreased since 2009, despite an intensified workload from the hastily implemented Common Core State Standards. Since the 2009-2010 school year, which ended with the adoption of Common Core, the average Maryland teacher has seen nearly a 6 percent decrease in their salary, after adjusting for inflation, according to calculations from data supplied by the state Department of Education. (CNS/WTOP)

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Arts education advocates see promise in Thornton

Last year, Elm Creative Arts School in Milwaukee failed to live up to its name. A gallery for student artwork had become a storage area and meeting space. The performance space, dubbed the "great room" with theater-style seating, was used as an alternative route to cut down on hallway traffic. The only arts class students regularly attended was dance. The school's divergence from its mission reflected a time that Milwaukee Superintendent Gregory Thornton says students across Milwaukee's public schools were being "starved" of an educational staple. Thornton, who will become Baltimore's schools chief in July, sought to replenish the arts menu not only at Elm Creative but throughout the district over the last three years of his tenure there. (Balt. Sun)

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McDaniel penalizes fraternity, sorority for 'CMT vs. BET' party

McDaniel College placed a fraternity and a sorority accused of throwing a "CMT vs. BET"-themed house party in January on "deferred suspension," the school announced Tuesday. Phi Delta Theta fraternity and Phi Sigma Sigma sorority may not host social events until Dec. 31, while they undergo a review to demonstrate their ability to abide by community standards, McDaniel spokeswoman Cheryl Knauer said. The January party, which parodied the Country Music Television and Black Entertainment Television channels, "promoted negative stereotypes and was insensitive and offensive," Knauer said. (Balt. Sun)

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Arundel schools receive three-day inclement weather waiver from state

The Anne Arundel County school system will need to make up two school days missed this year to inclement weather after receiving a waiver from the state Department of Education on Wednesday. The school system had built four inclement weather days into its state-mandated 180-day school calendar, but used five additional days during an unseasonably cold and protracted winter. It was among several counties statewide that requested waivers from the state from the mandated calendar. (Balt. Sun)

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