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By Lynne Agress | September 22, 2014
Now that the school year has begun, we have many questions: Is the new Core Curriculum good or bad? What about "No Child Left Behind"? How many remedial courses should a college student be allowed to take? Letter grades versus pass/fail? The questions and ensuing discussions are endless. But what about reading? If every first grader learned to read - to read well - I believe we would see many more successful students - on all levels, as well as many more successful people as a whole.
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NEWS
By Elijah E. Cummings | September 21, 2014
Women are often the backbones of our families - deftly balancing the needs of the household with their personal goals and career ambitions. Over the past few decades that balance has become increasingly important. According to the Pew Research Center, last year 40 percent of all households with children under the age of 18 had mothers who were either the sole or primary source of income for their families. This is a drastic shift that matches the growth of the female workforce. Women now make up nearly half or the labor force, jumping from just over one-third in 1970.
NEWS
Robert L. Ehrlich Jr | September 21, 2014
The man-made catastrophe known as the "Affordable Care Act" and "Obamacare" still lurks. And nobody should interpret the absence of daily negative headlines as a sign the law's myriad problems have been rectified, or that there is substance to Harry Reid's claim of "untrue" horror stories following the law's implementation. So, how much damage has been inflicted now that gross ineptitude in foreign policy has replaced gross ineptitude in health care policy? Let me count the ways … and lies.
NEWS
By Leonard Pitts Jr and By Leonard Pitts Jr | September 21, 2014
My mother was a child abuser. I was, too. In fact, growing up, pretty much every parent I knew abused their kids. Or so many of Adrian Peterson's critics would have you believe. Mr. Peterson, a star of the Minnesota Vikings, was arrested recently for child abuse after hitting his 4-year-old son with a switch. A "switch," for those who don't know, is a long twig. I should know, having been on the receiving end of quite a few. When no switch was available, mom was also known to employ a section of the orange plastic track from my Hot Wheels.
NEWS
By Tim Kreider | September 19, 2014
Editor's note: This op-ed has been updated to reflect the correct spelling of Billie Holiday's name. The Sun regrets the error.  I traveled back to my hometown of Baltimore last weekend to reprise my role as that important historical figure, The Devil, in a rock opera about the Battle of Baltimore. This was the long-anticipated bicentennial performance of "1814!: The War of 1812 Rock Opera," a project some old friends of mine, Dave Israel and David Dudley, conceived in the bars of Fort Avenue back in 1992, before we had anything worse to do. They'd always envisioned mounting a spectacular, all-star production of the thing on the 200th anniversary of the bombardment of Fort McHenry, in the unimaginable science-fiction year of 2014.
NEWS
By Kaitlin Thomas | September 18, 2014
It sounds great on the surface that there would actually be a place in the world where opportunity and money abound, knowing no imaginable limits. Almost as though a new life, full of the freedoms, finances and prospects, is ripe for the picking from the American Dream tree. Such is the too-good-to-be-true nature of this centuries old image that has charmed foreigners to uproot their lives, families and futures to cross a border into an immense unknown: the glistening USA. But, as they say, all that glitters is not gold - something to keep in mind when considering crossing an arbitrary line in the hopes it could change one's life so radically and, more importantly, effortlessly.
NEWS
By Leonard Pitts Jr and By Leonard Pitts Jr | September 18, 2014
"I think they're going too far with Ray Rice. " So said a civil servant I know only in passing, making small talk the other day. No, it is not the majority opinion, but neither is the guy alone. Last week, USA Today quoted women fans who pointedly support Rice, the NFL star dropped by the Baltimore Ravens and indefinitely suspended by the league this month for a February incident in which he cold-cocked his then-fiancee (now wife) Janay Palmer. "I've met the guy," said one. "He's such a sweet guy. " "I'm supporting him all the way around," said another woman, herself a survivor of domestic abuse.
NEWS
By Frederic Hill and Sam Gardiner | September 18, 2014
Geopolitical analysts are especially fond of quoting Edmund Burke and George Santayana on the folly of ignoring the lessons of history and the dangers of repeating the original decisions. But what's even more imprudent, and potentially fatal, is to learn the wrong lessons from history — and by avoiding the previous mistakes, plow ahead without understanding the causes of their failure. President Barack Obama is now in danger of steering a perilous course in confronting the threat of Islamic State in the Middle East (also known as ISIS or ISIL)
FEATURES
By Kevin Rector, The Baltimore Sun | September 18, 2014
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention wants the American public to understand that HIV-positive people who receive treatment live longer and healthier lives compared to those who don't receive treatment, and has launched a new nationwide campaign to get the word out. The "HIV Treatment Works" campaign, announced Wednesday, is the CDC's "first communication campaign focused exclusively on encouraging treatment and care for people living with...
NEWS
By Bruce Hull and Maggie Cohen | September 18, 2014
The University of Maryland University College (UMUC) is in crisis with declining student numbers. The challenge has accelerated in the last few years, and enrollments are projected to drop another 6.5 percent this fall, greatly due to competition from "for-profit" universities and a loss of military students. Unfortunately, UMUC's long term response to this challenge has led the institution to weaken its educational standards and imitate for-profit rivals. This is seen in UMUC's 5-year campaign to make student work less costly and less difficult, reducing the distance learning term from 12 to eight weeks, jettisoning peer-reviewed textbooks in favor of a hodgepodge of Internet resources, abolishing proctored exams, allowing substantially more credits to be earned through demonstrated student "competencies," promoting classroom credit for student "life experiences," and replacing final exams with "class projects.
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