Number of seniors meeting service requirement up

September 27, 1996|By Marego Athans and Mary Maushard | Marego Athans and Mary Maushard,SUN STAFF

Maryland's high school seniors are doing much better on fulfilling their community service requirement for graduation.

Fifty-nine percent of the state's public school students had completed the requirement, 75 hours of volunteer service, by July, up from 34 percent in February, according to the state Board of Education.

Area districts where the smallest proportion of students had met the requirement were Baltimore (20 percent) and Baltimore County (37 percent). Anne Arundel had a 97 percent completion rate; Harford, 95 percent; Carroll, 64 percent; and Howard, 62 percent.

Maryland is the only state to require "service learning" credits of its graduates, and the Class of 1997 is the first required to perform civic and social projects to get a diploma.

State education officials expect data due in October to show more improvements.

But with only eight months to go before graduation, and with visions of a last-minute crush to meet the requirement, officials .. plan to monitor the progress monthly.

In other action, the board began to evaluate its 11-year-old program for assessing candidates for principal and assistant principal throughout the state.

"We need to look at the whole issue of how one becomes a principal," Christopher T. Cross, the board president, said after a lengthy discussion of the current system, which three superintendents called costly and time-consuming.

Cross directed state Superintendent Nancy S. Grasmick to form a committee of administrators, teachers, parents and business leaders to look at the system and prepare a schedule for implementing changes.

Pub Date: 9/27/96

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