Justice Department bids to trap poor, black children in ineffective schools

Nine of 10 Louisiana children who receive vouchers to attend private schools are black. All are poor and, if not for the state assistance, would be consigned to low-performing or failing schools with little chance of learning the skills they will need to succeed as adults. So it’s bewildering, if not downright perverse, for the Obama administration to use the banner of civil rights to bring a misguided suit that would block these disadvantaged students from getting the better educational opportunities they are due. (Wash. Post)

Read Full Article

Rick Hutzell: Union struggle comes home for Labor Day

Here’s a litmus test for Labor Day. Ask three people what they think of labor unions. I’ll bet you my day off on Monday that at least two say something negative. (Capital)

Read Full Article

Jake Topchik: First down and $1 billion to go

From the east, to the south, and across to the west coast, it is college football time again in America. Despite rising tuition, issues of faculty pay and other financial struggles, the millions of dollars that flow to athletic departments are, with few exceptions, used to enhance athletics, not academics. Coaches earn more than college presidents, and teams train in state-of-the-art facilities. (News-Post)

Read Full Article

August 30 // Maryland Sen. Rich Colburn needs to clean up his financial records

An investigation of Maryland Sen. Richard Colburn’s campaign finances — which is separate from his operating expenses as a state senator — revealed discrepancies and raised questions. The reporting came about as a result of a routine look through campaign financial reports that were filed as required by law. The fact that Colburn’s reimbursements and expenditures from the re-election fund were four times that of the amounts spent by the Lower Shore legislator closest to Colburn in total expenses — more than $40,000 according to the report, versus approximately $11,731 — was a red flag, as was the fact that most politicians only spend campaign funds while actively campaigning leading up to an election. (Daily Times)

Read Full Article

College pay-for-performance?

There is little doubt that an informed consumer makes better choices. That's why pharmaceuticals should include information about side effects and drug interactions, why food should carry nutrition labels and why potentially dangerous products carry warnings. Public education has gotten much better about informing taxpayers about its product, too. At the touch of a few buttons, Maryland parents can find out how their child's school performed in standardized tests this year and other years, how much their school system is spending on a per-pupil basis and how many are dropping out or graduating in any given year. Higher education has made strides as well. (Balt. Sun)

Read Full Article

Marty Conway: A Baltimore face for Baltimore's race

For the third straight year, the drivers in the Grand Prix of Baltimore will flip the ignition switch in their racecars, fire up those fuel-injected, high-performance engines and renew their quest for the fastest way through the streets of downtown Baltimore. It is also, once again, the time for the annual round of questions surrounding the event that seem to permeate Baltimore City and the local community, as the green flag is about to drop. Questions with regard to the economic impact, the road closures, local sponsors, and more. These are questions that deserve answers, to be sure, but one can also ask, "Are these questions ever going to have answers that resolve the seeming temporal status of the Grand Prix of Baltimore?" After a rocky beginning, new stewardship of the event has provided a solid foundation for the last 500 days or so. (Balt. Sun)

Read Full Article

Transparency needed in choice of next Anne Arundel superintendent

What will be 2014’s most important Anne Arundel County government personnel decision? Most would point to the election of the county executive in November. But many are more concerned with the selection of the next county school superintendent, which will have to be done before interim Superintendent Mamie J. Perkins’ contract expires at the end of June. Picking this extremely influential and well-paid official is the school board’s most important job. That’s why the board blundered by making its decision to hire Perkins behind closed doors. (Capital)

Read Full Article

C. Fraser Smith: Dwyer is a danger to all Maryland drivers 

Colleagues say Del. Don Dwyer should resign from the House of Delegates so he can reconsider the direction of his life.  He’d been convicted of operating his boat under the influence of alcohol in 2012. And 10 days ago, he was charged with driving his car under the influence. He’d become an embarrassment to the lawmakers. Oh yes, and a threat to public safety. Police said he was driving erratically at 70 mph. (Daily Record)

Read Full Article