Amid Baltimore's struggles, many see schools CEO Sonja Santelises as stabilizing force

Sonja Santelises may be the highest-ranking education official in Baltimore and oversee a billion dollar budget, but as the school year wrapped up she spent a morning in the trenches: a kindergarten lesson about Antarctica. Santelises immerses herself in the nitty-gritty of what’s taught in Baltimore public school classrooms, even amid budget deficits and infrastructure crises. During that kindergarten visit to Calvin M. Rodwell Elementary, she drilled down on whether 5-year-olds really grasped the definition of the word “thick” and understood how it described an iceberg. (Balt. Sun)

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Howard Board of Education unanimously approves administering internal audit of school system

The Howard County Board of Education last week unanimously approved conducting an internal audit of the school system. David Clark, the school system’s internal auditor, went over the proposed annual audit plan during the school board meeting June 27. The fiscal 2020 audit is divided into four areas: individual schools, school system subjects, management assistance and board assistance. For fiscal 2019, the school board unanimously approved a similar audit. (Balt. Sun)

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Got kids headed to college in Maryland? Here's where you'll get the biggest bang for your buck

Maryland students who attend Johns Hopkins University are getting the most value for their higher education investment, according to a new report. Personal finance site SmartAsset evaluated the value of earning a degree at various colleges and universities at the state and national levels, to help students and their families determine the potential costs and benefits of their higher education choices. Four of Maryland's best value colleges, including Hopkins, are in Baltimore. The school's in-state tuition rate is $50,410, and Hopkins students are awarded about $38,542 worth of grants and scholarships. (Balt. Bus. Journal)

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Johns Hopkins police plan protested as bill takes effect

Rallying against legislation allowing Johns Hopkins University to create an armed private police force – on the day the bill takes effect – about 150 activists gathered yesterday at Wyman Park, on the edge of the Homewood campus. Among the speakers was a Hopkins physician who attributed the University’s rebuff of criticism of its police force plan (and its contracts with ICE) to the prestigious institution’s self-image. “When we start thinking that what we’re doing is good because we’re doctors – evil lies that way,” said Zackary Berger, an associate professor at the School of Public Health. “You have to do good first.” (Brew)

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UM business school dean takes same job at Hopkins

Alexander Triantis will be the new dean of Johns Hopkins University’s Carey Business School, the university announced. He will join Johns Hopkins from the University of Maryland, College Park, where he was dean of the Robert H. Smith School of Business. “I’m thrilled to join the Johns Hopkins Carey Business School,” Triantis said in a statement. “The school is still relatively young and yet has shown significant growth. I’m excited to be a part of that growth and to be part of a great research university pursuing so many interesting and innovative initiatives.” (Daily Record)

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MCPS Releases Outline for Scope of Countywide School Boundary Analysis

A Montgomery County public school system document released this week is shining new light on a planned analysis of school boundaries to determine if they are effective. Maryland’s largest school system, grappling with crowding in some schools and empty seats at others, is asking consultants for proposals on the cost of a study into neighborhood school borders, the first comprehensive examination in decades. A possibility that some students would be forced to new schools has sparked wide-reaching controversy and debate about race and “de facto segregation” in county schools. (Bethesda)

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Why has the University of Maryland been placed on 'warning' by its accrediting agency?

The death of University of Maryland football player Jordan McNair generated a “crisis” that revealed the Board of Regents and the university’s administration “do not have a clearly articulated and transparent governance structure,” according to The Middle States Commission on Higher Education. The accrediting agency moved last week to place the state’s flagship university on “warning” status, meaning it found the school out of compliance with the commission’s standards. The decision puts the university’s accreditation in jeopardy, a potentially devastating action because without accreditation, students can’t benefit from the federal financial aid. The university will remain accredited while on warning. (Balt. Sun)

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Lead found in water at 32 Howard schools during first year of state testing

Thirty-two Howard schools had levels of lead in the water that exceed federal standards, the school system found as it began testing the county’s 77 schools this past year as part of a state-mandated review. Under a law passed last year, jurisdictions across Maryland are required to test for lead in public schools. In the 2018-19 school year, 59 of Howard’s 77 schools were tested for lead, with 32 buildings having samples that tested positive with elevated levels above 20 parts per billion — the federal threshold. The other 27 schools tested negative for high levels of lead. Howard’s remaining 18 schools will be tested for lead by the end of the 2019-2020 academic year. (Balt. Sun)

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