around maryland

August 27, 2008

Special-ed students to be held to same test standard

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The Maryland State Board of Education voted yesterday to make the passing standard for a group of special-education students who take a modified high school test the same as it is for students without disabilities. The decision came after advocates for students with disabilities said those students should be held to the same standards as other students. State statistics showed, however, that only 9 percent or 10 percent of students who took a modified high school assessment last year passed. Passing the HSAs will be required for students to get a high school diploma, beginning with this year's seniors. Leslie Margolis, a lawyer with the Maryland Disabilities Law Center, said that lowering the passing standard set a double standard for students with disabilities. More students, she said, would get access to good instruction if the standards were the same. "You can move them forward or you can set them back decades," she said. A panel of experts also advised the board to make the standard the same. Most special-education students in the state take the High School Assessment with some kind of accommodations for their disability. Some students with learning disabilities are given a longer period to take the test. But the state created a slightly different test, called the modified HSA, for another 2 percent of the special-education population that has more significant, but not severe, disabilities. There are about 1,300 of those students per grade level in the state. The students will be expected to graduate with a high school diploma, but it may take them longer to learn the material at their grade level.

Liz Bowie

Baltimore County school reopens after vandalism

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A private school in Catonsville reopened its doors yesterday morning after vandalism postponed the scheduled start of classes Monday. Del Reiner, principal of Emmanuel Lutheran School, said the school was able to clean up glass from several broken windows in time for school to begin yesterday.

Liz F. Kay

Man shot in Middle River dies at Shock Trauma

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A 23-year-old man died early yesterday after he was shot late Monday in Middle River, Baltimore County police said. Officers responding to a call about gunshots in the first block of Maple Drive found Terrell Scott wounded a block from his home, police said. Scott was taken to Maryland Shock Trauma Center, where he was pronounced dead about 1 a.m., according to police, who said they have no suspects and know of no motive in the shooting.

Boat intruder known to occupant who killed him

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The Sparrows Point man who was fatally stabbed after he allegedly broke into the cabin of a 27-foot sailboat early Sunday knew the occupant of the boat who killed him, Baltimore County police said yesterday. Albert Edward Driscoll III, 39, of the 2100 block of Alma Ave., was killed by a 21-year-old man aboard the boat, which was anchored 200 feet off Sparrows Point in Jones Creek, said Cpl. Michael Hill, a police spokesman. The break-in was "absolutely a targeted crime against the person on the boat," Hill said. Words were exchanged between the two men before the stabbing, Hill said. The state's attorney's office will review the case and consider whether the boat's occupant - whose name was not released - was acting in self-defense, he said. That man and his 18-year-old girlfriend were asleep at the time of the break-in and called police to report the incident, Hill said. Neither the man nor the woman had been charged. Police said Driscoll was accompanied by two other men, one of whom has been taken into custody. His name was not released, Hill said, because he has not yet been charged. Hill said he could not say how Driscoll had gained access to the boat.

Kevin Rector

Baltimore County man, 85, reported missing

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An 85-year-old Baltimore County man has been missing from his home in the Catonsville area since Friday, police said yesterday. According to police, Edwin Jerome Kerbe left his home in the 900 block of Calwell Road about 5:30 a.m. Friday. Family members found the truck he was driving Sunday in Port Covington along the water. Kerbe is white, 5 feet 6 inches tall and 135 pounds. He is balding with gray hair and has blue eyes. He was last seen wearing khaki-colored clothing with a baseball cap, but might have been wearing dark-colored pants. Anyone with information is asked to call Baltimore County police at 410-307-2020.

'Ticket-by-mail' program for MARC riders to halt

The Maryland Transit Administration plans to discontinue the CSX "ticket-by-mail" program for MARC riders Nov. 1. Tickets purchased in October for monthly travel in November will be the last sold through the program. Officials suggested that commuters who use the program change their purchase method before the deadline. Other purchase options include ticket vending machines and staffed ticket offices at some stations, and the Commuter Direct service at www.commuterdirect.com.

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