December 1 // Rushern Baker: ‘Significant’ changes coming to county public schools

Prince George’s County Executive Rushern L. Baker III (D) said Thursday that “significant systemic changes are coming” to the suburb’s public school system as a result of a state-ordered audit, which found evidence of grade-tampering that resulted in an inflated number of high school graduates. Baker, who is seeking the Democratic nomination for governor in 2018, was awarded partial control of the troubled school system in 2012 and has touted improved test scores and graduation rates as one of his significant accomplishments. (Wash. Post)

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University of Maryland Medical System breaks ground on new Largo hospital

The University of Maryland Medical System broke ground Thursday on a $543 million teaching hospital at Largo Town Center. The ceremonial first shovel signified a major step in the lengthy effort to replace the long-struggling Prince George's Hospital Center in Cheverly. County officials say the new 205-bed hospital — named University of Maryland Capital Region Medical Center — will transform health care for residents and revitalize nearby businesses. (Balt. Bus. Journal)

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Grant helps Baltimore high school seniors

The Urban Alliance will receive $160,000 dollars to split between Chicago and Baltimore, supporting their financial education program. The grant will be dispersed in January 2018 from The Citi Foundation. They chose five organizations to award the grant to nationwide. "The program provides economically-disadvantaged high school seniors with paid, 10-month internships, professional development and life skills training, one-on-one mentoring, and intensive case management both during and after the program to prepare students for a life of economic self-sufficiency." (WMAR)

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'Reasons to celebrate,' but improvement needed on Harford test scores, school officials say

Harford County Public Schools students scores on the PARCC standardized math and reading exams dropped last year, as they did across the state, but in most cases still remained above the Maryland average. But an HCPS official said even though improvement is needed, results on the PARCC and other assessments given to Harford students, as well as the SAT, Advanced Placement and International Baccalaureate exams, are a reason to celebrate. “We have many reasons to celebrate achievement in our school system, as well as areas that we need to address that might need improvement,” Susan Brown, executive director of curriculum, instruction and assessment, told Board of Education members during a presentation on overall student achievement. (Aegis)

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Schools Prosecutors: No charges for Southern High student in 'Confederate Lives Matter' posts

Anne Arundel County prosecutors have decided not to pursue charges against a student who allegedly harassed and threatened a transgender boy at Southern High School on social media, Anne Arundel County police said. The State’s Attorney’s Office determined that graphic language and threats of physical violence posted by the student on a Snapchat story called “Confederate Lives Matter” in October did not constitute a crime. The posts included photos of the student wearing a hood made from paper towels that resembled a Klu Klux Klan garment. (Capital)

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Lineboro-Manchester Lions revive program offering free youth vision screening

After a hiatus of about a decade, the Lineboro-Manchester Lions Club is again offering free vision screenings for children between 6 months and 6 years old. The screening is set for Tuesday, Dec. 5 from 9 a.m. to noon in the North Carroll branch of the Carroll County Public Library, 2255 Hanover Pike, Hampstead. The program requires no registration and is first-come, first-served for testing services. If a problem is discovered with a child’s vision, the tester will write a referral for an eye doctor. (Carr. Co. Times)

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McDaniel student African Drumming ensemble hosts first performance

Dressed in black and white, the students of McDaniel College’s African Drumming ensemble made their way through campus Thursday night carrying their djembes through the cold for the group’s first public performance. Led by instructor Pape Demba “Paco” Samb, the group took audiences on a tour of the music of Senegal, sharing the rhythms and pieces of storytelling of the culture. Samb is a Senegalese griot, someone who passes down history and culture through music and performance. Samb was born from griot culture, and he performs in order to share his story to others, he said. (Carr. Co. Times)

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November 30 // Pre-K funding, calendar flexibility sought by schools officials at delegation meeting

When addressing the Anne Arundel County State House delegation Tuesday night, Board of Education President Julie Hummer listed expanding pre-kindergarten, maintaining construction funding, exempting substitute teachers from sick leave legislation and school calendar flexibility as priorities for the system during the 2018 legislative session in Annapolis. Hummer and schools Superintendent George Arlotto attended the delegation meeting Tuesday night, along with officials from the City of Annapolis, ARC of the Chesapeake and others, to lay out their legislative priorities. (Capital)

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