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NEWS
November 18, 2010
The article "Plan to revamp schools" (Nov. 17) provided a profile of not only the poor performance of many city schools but also insights into why some of the problems exist — namely, the plans to provide special programs for the "growing international population" and to strengthen English for Speakers of Other Languages programs. One of the poor performing schools cited, Patterson High, happens to be my alma mater. In the '60s when I attended, the community had its fair share of immigrants who did not arrive in the U.S. fluent in the English language.
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NEWS
By Frederick N. Rasmussen, The Baltimore Sun | July 11, 2014
Ollie M.J. Ray, whose career teaching in city public schools spanned nearly four decades, died Tuesday of heart failure at Northwest Hospital. She was 82. "They say teachers are born, and Ollie had not only the native ability to be a teacher but also the desire," said Hayyte Jackson, who was a college friend and later a colleague in Baltimore public schools. "She had a great love for children and young people, and wanted to see them receive their appropriate secular and Christian education," said Mrs. Jackson, who retired in 1993 from Windsor Hills Elementary School, where she had been principal.
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NEWS
March 5, 2013
I recently had the privilege of speaking to an enthusiastic and hopeful crowd gathered in Annapolis to urge lawmakers to pass a bill allowing the state of Maryland to renovate or rebuild Baltimore City's school buildings over the next 10 years through an innovative financing arrangement ("Thousands rally for city schools construction plan," Feb. 26). We are not asking for additional funds but a simply a long-term commitment of funds already allocated by the state so that the city's school buildings can be brought on a par with those in the counties and with charter schools.
NEWS
By Justin Fenton, The Baltimore Sun | July 7, 2014
A Baltimore City schools police officer pleaded guilty Monday to drug conspiracy charges in U.S. District Court, and faces no less than five years in prison. Napoleon McLain Jr., 31, a four-year veteran whose father was a longtime Baltimore Police homicide detective, pleaded guilty to conspiring to distribute crack cocaine and drug possession with intent to distribute cocaine base. According to his plea agreement, McLain sold cocaine to a confidential source, who was working with authorities, on four occasions between December 2012 and August 2013.
NEWS
May 28, 2013
Kudos to Erica Green for keeping on top of the Baltimore school finances ("Audit faults schools over federal funds," May 23). Many of the problems outlined in the most recent report can be traced to poor accounting procedures - including no documentation for time worked and inappropriate spending. There are systemic problems that have persisted over time and need to be addressed. The schools should be getting financial advice from the network of advisers set up to guide schools on business matters.
NEWS
Erica L. Green | March 16, 2012
City schools released the following congratulations this week: Ten Baltimore City public schools have been recognized by the Maryland State Department of Education (MSDE) for the academic performance of their students, according to a release sent from city school system.  The schools were recognized by the state for either their performance on the 2011 Maryland School Assessment (MSA)--they had to have made Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP)-- or the High School Assessment (HSA)
NEWS
February 14, 2013
The latest statistics from the Maryland State Department of Education show Baltimore City making steady progress toward increasing the number of students who finish high school. Last year city schools awarded 149 more diplomas than in 2011, and the city's 3.3 percentage point decline in dropouts was the largest in the region. That's great news for all the teachers, principals and school staff who have worked so hard to get the city's schools back on track. Since his arrival in Baltimore six years ago, schools CEO Andrés Alonso has made boosting high school graduation rates a priority of his reform effort, and during that period the schools' dropout rate has declined by more than half.
NEWS
November 8, 2012
The most recent data on high school graduation and dropout rates from the Maryland State Department of Education suggest that while Baltimore City still lags behind other jurisdictions, it is making solid progress in its school reform effort. Graduation rates have risen and dropout rates have fallen. Baltimore isn't out of the woods yet, but the numbers suggest that the reforms put into place by city schools CEO Andrés Alonso starting in 2007 are beginning to show results. The latest data are the first produced under the state's new method of calculating graduation and dropout rates, which tracks the academic progress of individual students in greater detail than ever before.
NEWS
December 16, 2010
While everyone is busy congratulating themselves on the passage of our groundbreaking new teachers' contract, one that allows for teachers' pay rates to be tied to their students' performance for the first time, it is important to realize just how little this innovation will impact the real problems in our school system. After all, it is not like most teachers have been holding back their teaching efforts in the hope of winning a pay raise. While we probably have the best urban school commissioner in the country and he has things moving in the right direction for the first time in anyone's memory, what is really holding our system (and city)
NEWS
Erica L. Green and Erica L. Green | August 21, 2013
Baltimore city schools' academic chief will leave the district next month, city school officials confirmed Wednesday, the second key departure in a critical year that will see a transition into the most high-stakes academic climate the district has seen in decades. Sonja Santelises, who former city schools CEO Andres Alonso brought in from Boston in 2010, will head to the Washington D.C. policy group Education Trust.  Santelises, credited by many for preparing the district for a radical curriculum shift to the new Common Core standards, will join Education Trust as its vice president of K-12 Policy, Practice and Research, the district said.
NEWS
Erica L. Green and Erica L. Green | July 1, 2014
New Baltimore schools CEO Gregory Thornton kicked off his first day on the job Tuesday by visiting summer school sites around the city with new cabinet members and taking stock of some of the work he has in front of him over the next four years. As the new schools chief, who signed a $290,000 contract to lead the district until 2018, visited Mergenthaler Vocational-Technical Senior High School, he talked about expanding summer school programs and college-and-career readiness opportunities to more students.
NEWS
By Frederick N. Rasmussen, The Baltimore Sun | June 27, 2014
Edwin Cohen, a retired public school, university and religious school educator and administrator who was also executive director of Camps Airy and Louise in Western Maryland for nearly three decades, died June 21 of complications after surgery at Northwest Hospital in Randallstown. The longtime Pikesville resident was 87. "Ed was wonderful, cheerful and happy. He had a great sense of humor and an infectious smile," said Floyd L. Herman, rabbi emeritus at Har Sinai Congregation. "He really cared about all kinds of people and as a teacher, he wanted them to be able to do their best.
NEWS
By Colin Campbell, The Baltimore Sun | June 19, 2014
Art conservator Lori Trusheim leaned out of a second-story window and squinted through her camera at a 72-square-foot copper sculpture that has become a local landmark. The elements have taken a toll over the past three decades, and she wants it preserved. But the piece, which depicts eight billowing, blue-green clipper ship sails, isn't in a public square or at a museum. It's mounted to the side of Patterson High School. It was commissioned by the city to represent Patterson's nickname, the Clippers, and students and faculty say it has become a defining part of the school.
NEWS
By Tiffany Gueye | June 16, 2014
Last week, The Sun reported on Baltimore City Public School's (BCPS) efforts to increase academic promotion rates among middle school students by giving them the chance to attend BELL (Building Educated Leaders for Life) summer learning programs. The article cited a decline in promotion rates for BELL participants, particularly for 6th graders. While we are disappointed that not all students demonstrate the literacy and math skills they need to be promoted to the next grade, our nonprofit organization, which partners here and nationally with schools to expand learning time in the summer and after school, thinks that focusing on test scores alone obscures important outcomes and raises a key question: What role do summer learning programs have in a student's life?
NEWS
Erica L. Green and Erica L. Green | June 16, 2014
Baltimore City Council President Bernard "Jack" Young is requesting that school officials brief city leaders on the extent to which students are receiving a "complete education" in their schools. Young will introduce a resolution Monday that seeks information about offerings like arts and physical education. In a release, Young said a lack of arts and physical education, or what he calls an "incomplete curriculum," has been a disservice to city students. “A focus on basic education that leaves arts education and physical education aside ignores the competencies demanded by the complex, modern world in which Baltimore City Public Schools students are expected to thrive,” Young said in a statement.
NEWS
By Jacques Kelly, The Baltimore Sun | June 11, 2014
Robert L. Karwacki, a retired Maryland Court of Appeals judge who was president of the Baltimore City Board of School Commissioners during the troubled early 1970s, died of kidney failure Monday at his Chester home. The former Mount Vernon resident was 80. He was named head of the city's school board in 1970 and assisted in the appointment of Baltimore's first African-American schools superintendent. "Brown v. the Board was years earlier; Bob was a master in maintaining educational stability," said former Baltimore Mayor Thomas J. D'Alesandro III, who named him to the school post.
NEWS
By Erica L. Green, The Baltimore Sun | May 22, 2012
The Baltimore City school board voted Tuesday to pass the district's proposed $1.31 billion budget, which includes a decrease in the per-pupil funding for charter schools. As the amount spent on students in traditional schools increases, the system's 33 charter schools will see their per-pupil expenditures drop by $257 from 2012, for a total of $9,007. The overall amount for charters, however, has steadily increased as their populations grow. The charters are funded differently than traditional schools.
NEWS
April 17, 2014
Regarding The Sun's recent editorial on the Baltimore City Public Schools $31 million shortfall, budgetary issues under any domain are very serious matters ( "Seeing red over city schools budget," April 15). Whenever a group of decision makers without strong and practical fiscal skills are the ones being relied upon for providing oversight and control for making very difficult budgetary decisions, there will always be illogical responses. Why would any competent decision maker consider depleting their "rainy day fund" for resolving operational type issues, especially when that source of revenue is not adequately funded in the first place?
NEWS
By Yvonne Wenger, The Baltimore Sun | June 11, 2014
Changes to Baltimore's Head Start this fall will provide longer days and an extended school year for hundreds of children in its care, a move intended to help low-income parents free up time for work and boost the youngsters' development. Under a federal pilot initiative that gives the city more local control over the early education program, Head Start also will shift its focus to younger children by serving more of them, transferring many older children to pre-K programs in city schools.
NEWS
June 9, 2014
Football fans would be aghast at an umpire who moved the goal posts back while the game was still in play. So, it's no wonder city teachers are up in arms over a school system decision at the very end of the year raising the bar that determines whether they get a pay raise or not. The teachers union calls it a classic bait-and-switch and is demanding the issue be renegotiated. Given that the last-minute change could significantly reduce the chances that even very good teachers move up the salary scale, they are right to do so. If the goal of recruiting and retaining excellent teachers is to mean anything, the process for rewarding effectiveness in the classroom has got to be both transparent and fair.
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