At Howard's entrepreneurial 'shark' competition, top ideas have bytes

On the reality TV program "Shark Tank," investors bicker, maneuver and generally steal the thunder from aspiring entrepreneurs who come before them to pitch ideas. At Howard Community College, the Center for Entrepreneurial and Business Excellence was founded a decade ago — six years before "Shark Tank" debuted in 2009. Still, Hollywood's approach was flipped 180 degrees last week at the Fall Entrepreneurial Celebration to showcase the students as they competed in a kinder, gentler version of the popular show, with a few tweaks. (Balt. Sun)

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Students test skills in local competition

This year's SkillsUSA competition at Frederick County's Career and Technology Center was interrupted by two snow days and a delayed start. Hundreds of high school students participated in the first round last week, testing their abilities in skilled trades, health care and other professions. (News-Post)

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Farm Bureau's classroom chicks program a big hit with students

Four years ago, Karen Zimmerman was asked to lead a committee that would bring the farm experience to city dwellers and people unfamiliar with farm life, and the Frederick County Farm Bureau’s Schoolhouse Chicks program began. Last year, volunteers with the program visited 92 local classrooms in 17 schools to teach students about the miracle of birth. Each class gets three visits involving a live chicken, talking about chickens, setting up an incubator and other brooder supplies in the classroom with eggs, looking through the eggs with a flashlight a week later, and seeing the chicks hatched. The chicks are taken back to the farm. (News-Post)

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Dec. 13 // Montgomery County schools chief proposes $2.28 billion budget, with spending increases

Montgomery County’s schools chief proposed a $2.28 billion budget for next fiscal year, adding 340 new positions and boosting spending in Maryland’s largest school district by $56.4 million. Superintendent Joshua P. Starr released his recommendations Thursday at a Board of Education meeting. He said his planned 2.5 percent budget increase would address a major surge in student enrollment, help narrow the achievement gap and prepare students for “the new” at a time of changes in curriculum and modern workplace expectations. (Wash. Post)

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Prince George’s schools chief proposes $1.75 billion budget

Prince George’s County Schools Chief Executive Officer Kevin M. Maxwell proposed a $1.75 billion budget that increases full-day pre-kindergarten in a few high poverty communities, expands art, foreign language and secondary school reform programs and restores some parent liaison positions to improve interaction between school administrators and parents. Maxwell, who became the schools chief in August, presented the budget plan to the county Board of Education on Thursday night. (Wash. Post)

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Parents, school employees make recommendations for Anne Arundel superintendent search

Sharon Moesel doesn’t see a reason for major change. Anne Arundel County Public Schools are on the right path, she said, because the previous superintendent strengthened the county’s magnet science and technology and performing arts programs. Moesel, a chemistry teacher at Annapolis High School, is the mother of twins who are in first grade. She urged the county school board to hire a superintendent who would build on former superintendent Kevin M. Maxwell’s work. (Capital)

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Montgomery school board elects new president

Montgomery County’s school board named a new president Thursday, giving the leadership role to Phil Kauffman, previously vice president. Kauffman, a resident of Olney, is a second-term board member who retired this year as deputy assistant general counsel with the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. He was elected Thursday to a one-year term in a 7 to 1 vote.  (Wash. Post)

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Home and hospital teachers want open negotiations

The group of teachers responsible for educating home- and hospital-bound students is asking the Board of Education and school system to open up negotiations to the public, following in the steps of other groups in Howard County. County Home and Hospital Teachers’ Association wants open negotiations, said Tony McGuffin, president of HCHHTA, because the current process of meet-and-confer with staff representing the board is "over-extended" and unfair. The group is calling for a more transparent process and increased communication between the group and the board. (Balt. Sun)

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