Others to go in his place

The Education Beat

Scholarship: John G. Schoenberger, a generous man, couldn't afford to attend college. So his family has established a scholarship in his name at the University of Maryland, College Park.

April 05, 2000|By Mike Bowler | Mike Bowler,SUN STAFF

BORN AND RAISED in Baltimore, John G. Schoenberger never had a chance to go to college.

So two years after his death at age 62, Schoenberger's family has established a scholarship fund for a Baltimore public high school graduate to attend the University of Maryland, College Park.

"My father was a generous man, though he wasn't a rich man, and we wanted to give something back in his name," said Schoenberger's son Todd M. Schoenberger.

The younger Schoenberger said the family will finance a $2,000 scholarship in each of the next four years, with any funds raised above the necessary $8,000 going to an endowment to support future awards.

His father graduated from Patterson High School, Schoenberger said, but his immigrant parents couldn't afford to send him to college.

Schoenberger Scholarship preference will be given to first-generation college students and those with limited funds. Awards are contingent upon acceptance to the university.

Towson U. president forced into retirement, paper says

Was Towson University President Hoke L. Smith forced into retirement? That's the version of events reported in the campus newspaper, the Towerlight.

In articles early this year and again last week, the newspaper said Smith paid a price for publicly criticizing the funding Towson receives from the University System of Maryland and declaring that his school might be better off independent of the system.

Smith, 68, announced in September that he would retire in two years.

One of the Towerlight's sources is a good one. William Donald Schaefer, former governor and now comptroller, told the paper that Smith "really got a raw deal" from the university system's Board of Regents.

Smith has declined to discuss the matter, and USM Chancellor Donald N. Langenberg will neither confirm nor deny the report.

A mini-Hrabowski cloned, paper reports April 1

This year's April Fool's Day award goes to the University of Maryland, Baltimore County student paper, the Retriever, renamed the Deceiver for its April 1 edition.

A front-page story reports the university's biology and computer science departments secretly cloned Freeman Hrabowski, the popular UMBC president and The Sun's 1999 "Marylander of the Year."

But a mathematical error produced a clone, known as "Mini-Free," a third the size of the president. Hrabowski, known and kidded for his unrelenting promotion of UMBC, is quoted: "It's a grand achievement that UMBC is the first school in the world to nearly perfect the art of cloning."

Illustrating the story is a hilarious color photograph showing Hrabowski patting Mini-Free on the head.

Edison Schools contract recalls the departed EAI

News that the state Education Department has turned three failing city schools over to the profit-making Edison Schools Inc. brings to mind the former Education Alternatives Inc., which operated nine city schools through the mid-1990s.

Now called TesseracT, the former EAI has been delisted by the Nasdaq stock exchange. It has laid off a quarter of its central office staff and closed three schools.

But there's hope. John Golle, the EAI founder last seen storming out of a Baltimore school board meeting at which his company's contract was canceled, has come out of retirement at age 56 to run TesseracT until a permanent chief executive officer can be found.

Golle pledged his management team "to create solutions that will benefit the more than 5,000 parents who entrust their students with us."

Edison is a new company with a different program. But the question that should have been put to EAI seven years ago should be asked of Edison:

How will you extend the school day and the school year, train teachers, give home computers to most pupils and make a profit, all the while being paid the average per-pupil cost of operating a city school?


Last week's column reported on a five-year study of Core Knowledge, a rich, knowledge- laden curriculum in place in a network of Maryland elementary and middle schools. But because the researchers from the Johns Hopkins University identified neither the schools in the study nor their district, the job of being specific was mine, based on my knowledge of the program.

In the Hopkins report, a principal of "School A" was criticized by a district associate superintendent for focusing "too much on content and not enough on process." I said the school is in Baltimore County.

It isn't. Sue Torr, former principal of Catonsville Elementary School, the only Core Knowledge school in Baltimore County, tells me county officials were supportive and enthusiastic. Moreover, Catonsville's scores in the Maryland School Performance Assessment Program have soared.

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