Baltimore County Digest


September 07, 2006

Second-graders to be tested for gifted class

Second-graders in Baltimore County public schools are scheduled to take a test next month that will aid in identifying children who qualify for a gifted-and-talented program.

The county Board of Education reviewed a proposal last night to fund the administration of the exam. The nonverbal test, which asks children to predict patterns of colored shapes, is designed to eliminate cultural biases and identify gifted and talented children.

Board members also heard an update on the curriculum at Woodlawn Middle School. Although it met state testing benchmarks last year, the school had not reached those benchmarks twice in the past five years.

Principals of Woodlawn's feeder schools have been meeting to discuss instructional improvements that will better prepare children for middle school.

A member of the Northeast Area Educational Advisory Council urged the board to take action to relieve overcrowding at Chapel Hill Elementary and two neighboring elementary schools. The organization would like the County Council to impose a moratorium on new home construction in the area for two years.

The board members also listened to a report on the condition of the school system at the beginning of this academic year, prompting member Warren C. Hayman to ask why 12 of the 25 schools with new leadership were located in the southwest area, one of the five regions in the school district.

Superintendent Joe A. Hairston said the leadership shake-up could not attributed to any one reason.

Julie Scharper


LNG task force chairs named

Sharon Beazley, a Dundalk community activist who is helping lead efforts to fight a liquefied natural gas terminal proposed for Sparrows Point, and Joel Baker, a University of Maryland professor specializing in environmental organic chemistry, have been chosen to co-chair the new state LNG task force.

The 14-member panel, chosen by state legislators and other government officials, also includes Baltimore County Fire Chief John J. Hohman and Brad Heavner, executive director of Environment Maryland, an advocacy group. The group is to prepare a study of the risks and hazards associated with LNG facilities for legislators by the end of the year.

Officials with AES Corp., which wants to build the LNG terminal at the former Bethlehem Steel shipyard, presented their proposal at the group's first meeting Tuesday.

The task force meets again Oct. 4 at Maryland Department of the Environment headquarters, 1800 Washington Blvd. The meeting is open to the public. Information:

Laura Barnhardt


State's attorney forum set for tonight

The Commission on Political and Social Action at Union Bethel African Methodist Episcopal Church is sponsoring a forum for candidates running for Baltimore County state's attorney at 7 p.m. today at the church, 8615 Church Lane, Randallstown.

The three candidates who have filed -- Republican Stephen L. Bailey and Democrats Stephen L. Miles and Scott D. Shellenberger -- have agreed to participate. The moderator will be attorney Harry S. Johnson.

Information: Del. Adrienne Jones, commission chairwoman, 410-206-5570.

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