Former Anne Arundel superintendent finalist for national honor

Former Anne Arundel County School Superintendent Kevin Maxwell — who is now directing Prince George's County Public Schools — is among four finalists for the 2014 National Superintendent of the Year, an award co-sponsored by the American Association of School Administrators. Before leaving in August to become CEO for the Prince George's County school system, Maxwell served for seven years in Anne Arundel, where he is credited with increasing the number of magnet programs across the district from two to eight. Over that period, the school system's enrollment in advanced placement courses rose 36 percent, and Maxwell guided the opening of the county's first performing and visual arts magnet program, at Bates Middle School in Annapolis. (Balt. Sun)

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Foose proposes $742 million operating budget for Howard schools

Howard County Superintendent Renee Foose Tuesday proposed a $742 million operating budget for fiscal year 2015, up $16.7 million and 2.3 percent from last year’s $725.3 million approved budget. This is the first year the school system has used a zero-based budgeting model, essentially starting from scratch and building the budget up from the ground. Doing so, Foose said, was a “major undertaking and a huge risk.” It’s also a huge step forward, she said. (Patuxent)

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MCPS teacher arrested, charged with second-degree assault

A Briggs Chaney Middle School teacher was arrested Wednesday morning and charged with three counts of second-degree assault, according to Montgomery County police. The assault charges stem from incidents of unwanted physical contact with three female coworkers at the Silver Spring school, police said. (Gazette)

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Racism may make black men age faster, UMCP study finds

Black men who experience "high levels" of racism and internalize it may age more quickly, according to a new University of Maryland, College Park study. Though it is well known that African-Americans suffer disproportionally from illness compared to other races, the university said the study is the first to link racism to accelerated aging and age-related disease. The study found that the more racial discrimination the men experienced and the more they reported a "stronger bias against their own racial group," the greater their signs of accelerated aging, according to the university. (Balt. Sun)

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Changes to summer literacy program considered in Washington County

Unhappy with results from last summer’s literacy program for primary school students struggling with reading, Washington County Public Schools is considering changes to the program for this summer. “I thought we could have done a better job with the entire program,” Schools Superintendent Clayton Wilcox said in a telephone interview after a Washington County Board of Education meeting Tuesday. Of 334 participating students who took pre- and post-assessment tests, 38 percent, or 126 students, lost ground during the summer, while 14 percent, or 46 students, did not lose or gain ground, according to a presentation to the school board. (Herald-Mail)

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Adelphi Elementary advances to Science Bowl semifinals

A team of Adelphi Elementary School students will compete to becomes semifinalists in their county’s historic science tournament after winning their first bout of competition by a hair — Medusa’s hair. The mythological character’s snaky locks were the key to the students’ success when they answered the final question about her hair correctly and eked out a 225 to 220 victory against Highland Park Elementary. The team will advance to play Bond Mill Elementary of Laurel in the semifinals on Feb. 25. (Gazette)

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Jan. 8 // Teachers colleges need to emphasize classroom management techniques, report finds

Ask first-year teachers what their greatest challenge is, and they are likely to say it has been managing squirming elementary students or keeping sleepy teenagers engaged. But too few universities that train the next generation of teachers are giving them a foundation in effective classroom management techniques, according to a new report by the National Council on Teacher Quality, a research advocacy group, which highlighted St. Mary's College of Maryland as one of the best in the nation. (Balt. Sun)

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Lowery says school districts need autonomy on start of school year

Maryland State Superintendent of Schools Lillian Lowery said Tuesday that school districts across the state should be allowed to determine for themselves when to start classes after summer break, whether it's before or after Labor Day. Lowery said districts now have the autonomy to start the school year when they see fit and she doesn't want a statewide initiative mandating a post-Labor Day start for all districts. (Balt. Sun)

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