C. Fraser Smith: We’re not ‘there’ yet on race in America 

Attorney General Eric Holder says we need a national conversation about race. He wants to seize the moment provided by the death of Trayvon Martin and by the trial of George Zimmerman. As matters stand, it is widely reported, Holder’s department would have difficulty making a civil rights case. The Justice Department would have to prove Zimmerman intended to shoot Martin from the start. So the burden shifts to us — as it must. (Daily Record)

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Smith Stays

At Monday’s Anne Arundel County Council meeting, Councilman Pete Smith announced he will be keeping his seat for the time being, at least until court proceedings involving his predecessor, Daryl Jones, are resolved. It was the right decision. (Capital)

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Seafood and access to politicians still a draw at The J. Millard Tawes Crab & Clam Bake

It was a perfect day for The J. Millard Tawes Crab & Clam Bake: hot, humid and sunny. It was so crowded, it was virtually impossible to see everyone. With candidates and elected officials coming and going, it was difficult to catch up with all of them. You might have had the impression Marylanders would be voting in a few months, but no, the primary election is nearly a year away. (Daily Times)

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Science for all

STEM is the big buzzword these days in the world of education — science, technology, engineering and math. STEM courses and curricula are getting a lot of attention on college campuses, and high schools are working to upgrade their science, math and technology offerings. All this is being driven by the technological world we live in and by the global economy in which U.S. students who will compete for jobs must keep pace with their peers elsewhere, such as in China, Southeast Asia and Europe. (News-Post)

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Jane Dimyan-Ehrenfeld: Teacher training programs need a reboot

When the National Council on Teacher Quality released last month its report on teacher training programs, I was not shocked to read that the vast majority of colleges and universities do a poor job of preparing their students to teach. I imagine that many other people who have gone through such programs were equally unsurprised. (Wash. Post)

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Military sexual assaults: reforms not dead yet

Efforts to address the epidemic of sexual assaults in the military got a boost this week from unexpected quarters — the tea party wing of the Republican Party. Sens. Rand Paul of Kentucky and Ted Cruz of Texas said they support legislation offered by New York Democratic Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand that would take prosecution of such cases outside the military's chain of command. (Balt. Sun)

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Dysfunction feeding decline

While the continuing slow pace of our recovery has not provided enough incentive for members of Congress to work together, perhaps the knowledge that more people in the U.S. and across the globe see China replacing us as the number one economic power will wake us up to how badly we are being hurt by our own political dysfunction. (Carroll Co. Times)

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July 18 // Governor's race takes shape

If you haven't been paying attention to Maryland's governor's race, now might be the time to start. TheJ. Millard Tawes Crab and Clam Bake in Crisfield marks a highlight of the early retail politicking phase before next June's party primaries — it was a rare opportunity to see all of the major candidates in the same place at the same time — but it also comes amid a number of more substantive developments in the contest to succeed Gov. Martin O'Malley. (Balt. Sun)

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