Ransom: Now is the time to think about your Health Insurance

This is the season for Health Insurance Open enrollment. Many employers are having employees make decisions and general open enrollment to buy, change, or renew a qualified health plan for 2020 began Friday, November 1 and runs to Sunday, December 15 for healthcare starting on January 1, 2020.  MedChi, The Maryland State Medical Society, encourages all individuals to sign up for health insurance for themselves and their families.

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Post-Conference Reading: Two families — one black, one white — shared a harrowing history. Then they met.

The King family stepped carefully up the concrete steps, through the narrow doorway and into a two-story log cabin with a painful past. Inside, they examined every inch. The low ceiling. The peeling chestnut walls. Then, the second floor, a tiny space under a pitched cedar-shake roof, where sunlight slips through small windows onto uneven oak floorboards. John B. King Jr., education secretary for President Barack Obama, climbed up the wobbly ladder for a depressing glance at the sleeping quarters. But he quickly came down and crossed his arms, wondering about the people who lived in this cramped space more than 150 years earlier: His enslaved ancestors. Lydia King. Charles King. Anne King. So many Kings once lived here, on this Maryland farm, still owned by direct descendants of the slaveholder, Thomas Griffith. (Wash. Post)

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Post Conference Reading: Professor Rucker Johnson on why school integration works

Brown v. Board of Education was hailed as a landmark decision for civil rights. But decades later, many consider school integration a failure. UC Berkeley professor Rucker C. Johnson’s new book Children of the Dream: Why School Integration Works shows the exact opposite is true. The book looks at decades of studies to show that students of all races who attended integrated schools fared better than those who did not. In this interview with Goldman School of Public Policy Dean Henry E. Brady, which took place on Jan. 9, 2019, Johnson explains how he and his team analyzed the impact of not just integration, but school funding policies and the Head Start program. (Berkeley News)

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Post-Conference Reading: Region’s elected officials urge their governments to commit to affordable-housing targets

Washington-area elected officials voted Wednesday to push their local governments to address the region’s affordable-housing shortage by setting individual targets to increase production of low- and medium-cost housing by 2030. The Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments (COG) said the region needs to add 320,000 housing units between 2020 and 2030 — 75,000 more units than forecast. Of those, at least three-quarters should be affordable to low- and middle-income households, according to a resolution approved unanimously by the COG board, which means they should cost $2,500 a month or less. (Wash. Post)

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Post-Conference Reading: To Shrink Achievement Gap, Integrate School Districts

Does segregation still matter? When it comes to educating our nation’s school children, the answer is yes, according to research published last week by the Stanford University Center for Education Policy Analysis. But the problem isn’t race, the study finds. It is poverty. Decades after the end of legalized segregation, and the funding disparities that accompanied it, minority students remain disproportionately concentrated in high-poverty areas. Academically, they trail students in more affluent areas, and they fall increasingly behind as the years pass. The result is an achievement gap that limits the educational and career opportunities of nonwhite children. But the gap narrows, according to the research, when school districts are integrated, exposing poor minority students to the same opportunities as their richer peers. (WSJ)

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Post Conference Reading: Can Maryland follow a Massachusetts model on education funding?

As a Maryland public school parent and as an educator, I know firsthand the difference that public schools can make for students. They made all the difference for me (literally saving my life). I also know that the future is in great hands because students, including my daughters, are leading the way to build a better tomorrow, thanks, in large part, to public schools. (Wash. Post)

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Ted Venetoulis - Welcome to Baltimore, Mr. President

It appears our president is coming to our city, home of some of his most recent verbal vitriol.

Welcome Mr. President. We suggest you be careful. There's a new infestation of crabs coming into our city. They pour in every day. We actually eat them. Perhaps another infestation you can knock. After all, you are a first class “knocker” — war heroes, hispanic judges, four star parents, immigrants, women who are not your type, long time global allies, members of congress.

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Post-Conference Reading: Officials set regional housing targets, call for collaboration to address production and affordability challenges

Today at the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments (COG) officials from the District of Columbia, Maryland, and Virginia adopted three regional targets on housing, agreeing to collaboratively address the area’s production and affordability challenges. This collective action, outlined in a resolution approved by the COG Board of Directors, is the culmination of a year-long effort by local planning and housing director staff and COG to determine 1) how much housing is needed to address the area’s current shortage and whether the region could produce more, 2) the ideal location for new housing to optimize and balance its proximity to jobs, and 3) the appropriate cost of new housing to ensure it is priced for those who need it. (MWCOG)

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