Franchot says state will find some money to aid Severna Park High project

Calling Severna Park High School "one of the highest performing, worse facilities I've ever seen in this state," Maryland Comptroller Peter Franchot said Monday the state will come up with money to help Anne Arundel County Public Schools replace the aging facility — but not the $25 million the county wants this year. Franchot toured the 55-year-old high school with school officials and County Executive Laura Neuman, and said he came away convinced calls for a replacement are not unfounded. (Balt. Sun)

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$300,000 earmarked for Towson High site improvements

When students arrive back at Towson High in August for another year of classes, they'll arrive at a fresh and improved parking lot off the school's Cedar Avenue entrance. Pete Dixit, executive director of physical facilities for BCPS, said that $300,000 was earmarked from the fiscal year 2013 budget for site improvements at Towson High, an issue community members have long sought to have addressed. (Patuxent)

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Dyer files for Howard school board run

Allen Dyer, the former Howard County Board of Education member who was ousted during the 2012 primaries in the midst of impeachment proceedings, has filed to run for the board. Dyer was first elected to the board in 2008 on his fourth run for a seat. But after repeatedly butting heads with the board majority — before his election and during his term, Dyer was involved in several suits against the board — the board in June 2011 voted to ask the State Board of Education to remove Dyer from his seat, alleging instances of bullying and misconduct. (Patuxent)

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Common Core criticized at Howard forum

A forum on the Common Core State Standards Initiative Sunday in Howard County drew a moderate crowd who listened to a panel of national experts — most of whom were critical of the controversial education reform. Over the course of three hours, the panelists discussed the Common Core, a set of academic standards adopted by 45 states and Washington, D.C. The initiative was developed by the National Governors Association and Council of Chief State School Officers. (Balt. Sun) 

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Are math textbooks ready for Common Core?

The most visible symbols of the nation’s long-criticized, mile-wide, inch-deep traditional math standards are the 15-pound textbooks that students have been hauling back and forth from school for years. New Common Core standards are designed to turn things around by presenting fewer math standards in greater depth — a streamlined, more rigorous approach that is used in higher performing countries. So, how are these textbooks adapting to the new standards? Not well, according to a pair of researchers who are studying the new textbooks. (Wash. Post)

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Columbia native, mother of Sandy Hook victim, advocates for safer schools

After the success of last year's fundraiser in memory of her daughter, Josephine "Joey" Gay, who died in the Sandy Hook Elementary School shootings, Michele Gay wants to continue the momentum with a second fundraiser to fuel a safe schools initiative. The Columbia native was in the area last week to meet with volunteers to work on Joey's Second Annual Purple Ball and visit the offices of Vice President Joe Biden and Connecticut Sen. Richard Blumenthal on behalf of Safe and Sound: A Sandy Hook Initiative — the pending nonprofit formed by six Sandy Hook mothers that has grown into a national advocate for school safety and security. (Balt. Sun)

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Paint Branch Elementary expands Chinese program

Not only are Paint Branch Elementary students learning about condensation and evaporation this quarter, they’re learning about it in Chinese. Paint Branch’s Chinese STEM Program is in its second year and expanded in September to include second-graders at the College Park elementary school. The College Park City Council approved a $6,000 grant on Feb. 11 that will help expand the school’s Chinese program further by funding special cultural field trips and performances. (Gazette)

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Classical school trustees aim for greater community unity

Frederick Classical Charter School’s board of trustees addressed concerns over a perceived disconnect between parents and the board at a “State of the School” meeting Monday night. While many parents praised the teachers and board for their work so far this year, others commented on communication problems in the school’s first year. (News-Post)

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