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April 24, 2012
Baltimore County school board president Lawrence Schmidt's assertion that "the board makes no apology for the selection or the process utilized" to name S. Dallas Dance as our new superintendent ("Selection of Dance involved extensive public input," April 21) is just one more in the lengthening list of displays of arrogance by the leaders of our school system. True, the search agency provided a link to a survey on the school system's website. However, the primary input citizens were invited to give was to consider the agency's laundry list of descriptors and then select, from that list, a limited number of what we felt were the most important qualities the next superintendent should possess.
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NEWS
By Liz Bowie and By Liz Bowie | October 7, 2014
The head of the Baltimore County school administrators union said the majority of misconduct cases against administrators can "be resolved more expeditiously. " Speaking at the county school board meeting on Tuesday night, William Lawrence, executive director of the Council of Administrative and Supervisory Employees, suggested that the union and the county work together on resolving cases more quickly. Currently, administrators and teachers can spend weeks and months investigating a teacher for misconduct, sometimes while they sit in a warehouse.
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NEWS
By Michael Dresser, The Baltimore Sun | January 25, 2012
State Comptroller Peter Franchot plans to post an online petition on his agency's web site Thursday to help Baltimore County parents put pressure on the county school administration to take action to put air-conditioning into schools that now offer no relief to sweltering students. Franchot vowed to post the "Cool Schools" petition after hearing a presentation Wednesday  from the school administration on school construction priorities during the annual Board of Public Works ritual that Gov. Martin O'Malley calls the "Hope-a-Thon" but that virtually everyone else knows as the "Beg-a-Thon.
NEWS
By Ian Duncan and The Baltimore Sun | October 3, 2014
Two schools in Baltimore County went on alert for an hour Friday morning after police said a man was shot in a nearby block. Officers went to the first block of Eiffel Court in Essex to investigate the shooting at 10:45 a.m. Friday, Baltimore County Police said. They found a man who had been shot at least once, prompting Deep Creek Middle School and Deep Creek Elementary School to issue an alert, meaning they restricted access to their campuses and had staff monitoring entrances and exits.
NEWS
By Liz Bowie, The Baltimore Sun | October 14, 2011
Baltimore County schools Superintendent Joe A. Hairston formally announced Friday that he will leave his post this June, saying he has a record of success. Speaking at a news conference, Hairston pointed to improved academic achievement of African-American students, a rise in test scores and the graduation rate, greater participation in Advanced Placement classes and more students going on to two- and four-year colleges. Hairston also talked about feeling embattled by critics.
NEWS
By Liz Bowie | July 16, 2012
The Baltimore Sun received a tip recently that high-ranking school administrators had gotten contracts from Superintendent Joe A. Hairston before he retired on July 1. The newspaper filed a public information act request in the last days of Hairston's tenure asking for contracts of Phyllis Reese, the chief communications officer, and Donald Peccia, the assistant superintendent for human resources. The contracts, while not specifying a salary figure, say that Reese and Peccia will be paid their full salary and benefits after July 1 if the superintendent wants to fire them.
NEWS
By Liz Bowie, The Baltimore Sun | April 19, 2012
Class size increases have been a significant issue for Baltimore County's high schools this year. Nearly 200 teaching positions were cut from the high schools, even as administrative positions were left nearly untouched. So when The Baltimore Sun learned that principals had been told last month what their staffing levels would be next year, a reporter asked the school system for the specifics. The Sun wanted to know how many positions each high school would gain or lose next year.
NEWS
By Liz Bowie, The Baltimore Sun | February 8, 2014
From sprawling Los Angeles to tiny Talbot County on Maryland's Eastern Shore, educators are experimenting with the next wave of technology in schools: a tablet or laptop in every student's hand. The results have drawn national attention - for both their embarrassing failures and their successes. Now Baltimore County is moving ahead with a five-year, $150 million rollout that will make it the first large school system in the state to plunge into the ambitious and potentially risky initiative.
NEWS
By Liz Bowie, The Baltimore Sun | October 19, 2011
State Comptroller Peter Franchot criticized Baltimore County leaders Wednesday for failing to use $7 million in school construction funds to air-condition schools. Franchot, who welcomed a group of Middleborough Elementary children and their parents to Annapolis to testify before the Board of Public Works, asked the board to force the county to spend at least half of the money, which has come from the state alcohol tax, on air-conditioning. But Gov. Martin O'Malley and Treasurer Nancy K. Kopp, the other board members, said that while they were sympathetic to the pleas from children and parents, they would not interfere with local decisions on school construction spending.
NEWS
By Alison Knezevich, The Baltimore Sun | October 5, 2012
Students who commit serious acts of violence at school rarely do so suddenly or impulsively, experts said Friday during an annual safety conference for Baltimore County educators, held just weeks after two gun incidents unnerved the school community. People usually know about attacks ahead of time — and most students who commit violence raise red flags for their teachers and others to see, said Detective Steve Jackson of the county Police Department. "They've been on somebody's radar," Jackson told a group of teachers, administrators and counselors.
NEWS
By Frederick N. Rasmussen, The Baltimore Sun | August 22, 2014
Merreen E. Kelly, a former Baltimore County administrative officer who earlier had been an associate superintendent of Baltimore County public schools, died Sunday at the University of Maryland St. Joseph Medical Center of lung cancer. He was 79. The son of Earl Linwood Kelly, a Koppers Co. foundry man, and Helen Marie Wilhem Kelly, a homemaker, Merreen Earl Kelly was born in Baltimore and raised in Arbutus. A 1953 graduate of Towson High School, he earned a bachelor's degree in 1957 in education from what is now Towson University.
NEWS
By Timothy B. Wheeler, The Baltimore Sun | August 22, 2014
A grievance filed by Baltimore County teachers last fall over having to work extra-long hours because of new education initiatives has been resolved, school and teacher's union officials announced Friday. The grievance, filed in November on behalf of the county's 8,700 teachers, complained that their workload had ballooned, in large part because lesson plans had not been provided until just weeks before they were to be taught. Abby Beytin, president of the Teachers Association of Baltimore County, said that county school Superintendent Dallas Dance addressed teachers' concerns by giving them more notice of changes this academic year in curriculum and other educational initiatives.
NEWS
By Liz Bowie, The Baltimore Sun | August 21, 2014
State Del. Pat McDonough has asked the Maryland State Prosecutor's Office to investigate whether the Baltimore County school board acted properly when it gave the superintendent an increase in his pay and benefits package of $27,000. McDonough believes Superintendent Dallas Dance's contract prohibits the board from giving the superintendent an increase in compensation that is larger than the teachers'. The board gave Dance a $5,000 raise as well as a $18,200 reimbursement for his contribution into the Maryland state retirement system and a larger payout for unused vacation days.
NEWS
August 19, 2014
It is unfortunate that the people who are living in Mays Chapel North did not investigate what was going to be built on the empty lot across from the community ( "Mays Chapel seniors dread opening day of school," Aug. 14). Baltimore County schools had this site for many years. When my son was in elementary school, I thought he would finish elementary school at the new school. He is now 30 years old. Perhaps the people who built Mays Chapel North did not disclose the future of the site to people buying there.
NEWS
By Danae King, The Baltimore Sun | August 18, 2014
On Friday morning, in the auditorium of Loch Raven High School, more than 300 school administrators closed their eyes for 30 seconds. Baltimore County schools Superintendent Dallas Dance had asked them to think about what could make schools "opportunity rich" for all students. "Those are the types of conversations we're going to have over the course of this year," Dance said in the school system's administrative and supervisory meeting to kick off the school year, which begins Aug. 25. The meeting for administrators and principals focused on equity, opportunity, engagement and relationships in county schools.
NEWS
By Liz Bowie, The Baltimore Sun | June 12, 2014
The Baltimore County school board ethics panel has ruled that Superintendent Dallas Dance violated rules when he took a consulting job with a professional development company that does business with the school system. School board President Lawrence Schmidt said Thursday that in light of the ruling, the board and Dance have agreed that he will not take any other consulting jobs as long as he works for the school system. Dance also said in a statement that he would be more careful to avoid conflicts.
NEWS
Erica L. Green | November 7, 2012
Beginning this week, the Baltimore County school system will begin live-streaming its bi-weekly school board meetings on its website, in part for the public's convenience but also to continue fulfilling a pledge to be more transparent, officials said.  The meetings, normally held the second and fourth Tuesdays of each month, can be watched here.  The first meeting of the month starts at 7:00 p.m. The second meeting each month, typically a...
NEWS
By Danae King, The Baltimore Sun | August 18, 2014
On Friday morning, in the auditorium of Loch Raven High School, more than 300 school administrators closed their eyes for 30 seconds. Baltimore County schools Superintendent Dallas Dance had asked them to think about what could make schools "opportunity rich" for all students. "Those are the types of conversations we're going to have over the course of this year," Dance said in the school system's administrative and supervisory meeting to kick off the school year, which begins Aug. 25. The meeting for administrators and principals focused on equity, opportunity, engagement and relationships in county schools.
NEWS
Liz Bowie, The Baltimore Sun | April 28, 2014
Union officials and lawmakers seized on Baltimore County's bungled rollout of a Common Core curriculum to renew calls to give teachers and school districts more time to implement the new rigorous education standards. The county school system paid $2.1 million last year to edCount LLC, the company it hired to write new language-arts course plans, even though it described the work as unsatisfactory in email exchanges obtained by The Baltimore Sun. The district severed ties with the company in June and had a team of county teachers and administrators take up the work.
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