Faculty report faults Johns Hopkins University response to 2019 student protests

A Johns Hopkins University faculty group has released a report highly critical of the university’s handling of a 35-day student sit-in that began quietly last spring and ended with city police officers forcibly entering the occupied building and arresting seven people. The university failed to agree to meet with students early in the protest without conditions, even as the protest movement grew to include a larger percentage of the student body — some 300 to 500 students — than was expected. (Balt Sun)

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Publish article Reducing class size a top priority in Alban's proposed budget

Reducing class size and offering competitive pay are two funding priorities that Superintendent Terry Alban outlined when she released her recommended fiscal 2021 operating budget for Frederick County Public Schools on Monday night. (News-Post)

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School board unanimously supports renewing MCPS superintendent’s contract

All eight members of the Montgomery County Board of Education say they support renewing Superintendent Jack Smith’s contract. In December, Smith sent a message to some MCPS staff members saying he intends to ask the school board for another four-year contract leading the state’s largest school district when his current contract expires in June. (Bethesda)

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Sweeping Maryland education plan seeks equity, improvement

At the heart of a sweeping plan to improve education in Maryland with billions in added funding is the goal of addressing inequities in schools that serve high numbers of children in poverty — a problem experts in education say is a fundamental one in the United States. A state commission that has spent three years studying how to make Maryland schools competitive with the world’s best found a common problem: the state invests more in schools serving affluent communities than it does on schools in areas with high poverty. (Times-News)

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Residents appeal MCPS boundary changes, challenge legality of diversity focus

A group of Montgomery County residents is turning to the state Board of Education to overturn the county school board’s decision to redistrict students in Clarksburg and Germantown. In November, the school board voted 7-1 to reassign approximately 2,000 students in the Clarksburg, Seneca Valley and Northwest high school clusters to ease severe crowding at Clarksburg and Northwest. Rebecca Smondrowski was the only board member who voted against the plan. (Bethesda)

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Baltimore County school board chairman fight about more than who will lead meetings

A symbolic fight over who will lead the Baltimore County school board has paralyzed the leadership of the nation’s 25th largest school district just as the district attempts to turn around declining academic performance and forge a clear plan for moving forward. Last month, the school board spent more than five hours behind closed doors trying to elect a new chair and vice chair until finally emerging to say members were deadlocked. The board’s attorney said the status quo stands because currently no member can get the seven votes needed to declare victory. (Balt. Sun)

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As public hearings start on Anne Arundel schools budget, 73 new special education positions stand out

A Broadneck Elementary School special education teacher of nearly 25 years, has seen an increasing need in supporting students with disabilities. Lisa Manzi, a special educator and others who work in special education in Anne Arundel County have seen growth as enrollment overall increases. The number of special education students increased from 8,670 students in October 2017 to 9,590 students, according to Anne Arundel County Public Schools. (Balt. Sun)

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Hundreds of students debate, compromise at Model U.N. Conference

More than 250 students discussed, debated and compromised on topics such as artificial intelligence and internet privacy at the Model United Nations Conference on Saturday at Hood College. At the Model U.N., students emulate a real United Nations committee or assembly, with each student representing a different country. The program is an opportunity for students to practice their public speaking and research skills, said County Coordinator Devon Ketrow. (News-Post)

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