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Decentralization

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NEWS
By Will Englund | September 21, 1990
The public is going to get another chance to speak its mind about an experiment in school decentralization that is slated to begin next year in Baltimore.The program, which would give 20 public schools in the city a certain amount of autonomy from the central office, was designed jointly over the past year by top school administrators and the Baltimore Teachers Union.But several community groups complained that the plan, which was made public in late August, was being rushed through the school board before they had had a chance to weigh its merits and make any suggestions.
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NEWS
By Kyle Scott | March 27, 2014
What makes the tea party movement so effective at mobilizing voters and winning elections is the same thing that may limit its effectiveness in the future: its decentralized nature. The tea party movement is politics guerrilla-style. The first thing a non-tea partier must know is that there is no single tea party; there are multiple tea parties that maintain a loose connection with one another through informal contacts or more formalized caucuses. Most tea party groups are hyper-local and get by with the efforts of volunteers and a small group of donors.
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NEWS
By Will Englund | September 17, 1990
Parents and a wide assortment of community groups are, once again, angry at the Baltimore school system -- saying they have been ignored in the devising of a decentralization plan and then taken for granted as that plan was about to be pushed through the school board.What sets this controversy apart from previous, similar complaints, is that this time the school system went to some lengths to include others in the planning: the teachers union, the principals union and the church-based group called BUILD, all under the watchful eye of a keenly interested Mayor Kurt L. Schmoke.
NEWS
By Ruma Kumar and Ruma Kumar,SUN REPORTER | June 22, 2007
A year into his job, superintendent Kevin M. Maxwell is engineering a broad restructuring designed to make the Anne Arundel County school system "more personal" by creating six regional directors to supervise clusters of neighborhood schools. The reorganization was accompanied by a measure to do away with step increases, in favor of merit pay, for some of the school system's top administrators. School board members lauded both measures as increasing accountability at the higher echelons of the district's bureaucracy - and unanimously voted for the switch to pay-for-performance.
NEWS
By Will Englund | October 12, 1990
A plan to give more power to individual schools at the expense of the central bureaucracy was resurrected and approved by the Baltimore school board last night -- although board members then said the first step they must take is to rewrite the plan.Such a reworking could diminish the role of the Baltimore Teachers Union, which proposed the plan in the first place. But board members said their aim is to encourage experimentation by the schools, as broadly as possible."What we hope we have done is open the door," said Joseph L. Smith, the board president.
NEWS
By Jean Thompson and Jean Thompson,Sun Staff Writer | September 4, 1995
When it comes to improving schools, Mayor Kurt L. Schmoke and mayoral candidate Mary Pat Clarke want the same things for Baltimore's children: safer corridors and the kind of student achievement that a $647 million budget should produce.But they differ dramatically about how to get those results. It's a big-picture issue: How much power, how much money and what role in education should be assigned to the people who can deliver the goods to children -- principals, teachers and parents?Mr. Schmoke's school administration gives them a say in the spending of a fraction of the tax dollars earmarked for running schools.
NEWS
By Kyle Scott | March 27, 2014
What makes the tea party movement so effective at mobilizing voters and winning elections is the same thing that may limit its effectiveness in the future: its decentralized nature. The tea party movement is politics guerrilla-style. The first thing a non-tea partier must know is that there is no single tea party; there are multiple tea parties that maintain a loose connection with one another through informal contacts or more formalized caucuses. Most tea party groups are hyper-local and get by with the efforts of volunteers and a small group of donors.
NEWS
October 13, 1990
Mayor Kurt L. Schmoke has shown again that he ultimately runs the city school system. Through a couple of telephone calls he gave orders about the long-awaited decentralization experiment. Predictably, the school board did exactly what hizzoner wanted: it approved the experiment, set a deadline but sent the actual plan back to the staff for reworking.This is the outcome we prefer. The alternative would have been passage of a vague and contradictory decentralization plan. Instead of a definitive plan of four permitted decentralization models, the road now seems clear for the selection of 20 schools which can propose whatever type of "school-based management" they want.
NEWS
October 10, 1990
When it meets Thursday night, the city school board should reaffirm its commitment to school autonomy, set a deadline on beginning decentralization at 20 Baltimore schools but send the current proposal back to the drawing board. Doing otherwise would be a disservice to the cause of education in Baltimore City.As it is written, the decentralization plan is too vague and contradictory to succeed. Moreover, it was developed without adequate public participation. As recent comments from community groups have shown, the plan lacks broad support of parents and education activists.
NEWS
By Will Englund | September 11, 1990
Baltimore's plan to shift control of education away from the central headquarters and back to individual public schools was criticized last night as too vague and too timid.The decentralization proposal, which was put together at the instigation of the Baltimore Teachers Union, would begin as a pilot program at 20 schools next year. The city school board, which plans to act on the proposal Sept. 20, is holding a series of hearings this week to gauge public opinion.Last night's hearing, in the auditorium of the Baltimore Polytechnic Institute, attracted just two speakers.
NEWS
By Siobhan Gorman and Siobhan Gorman,SUN NATIONAL STAFF | July 10, 2005
WASHINGTON - When it comes to preventing attacks like the London bombings, the cop on the street has become as important as the CIA operative on the ground in Afghanistan. That is among the major lessons counterterrorism officials are learning as they try to reposition themselves to collect intelligence on an increasingly decentralized and localized terrorist enemy - the kind that experts suspect launched last week's attack. Terrorism experts believe that al-Qaida has effectively spun a web of local extremist sympathizers around the world who have been given express directives to launch their own, independent attacks against Western countries.
NEWS
December 2, 2003
UNTIL EVERY invoice and employee can be accounted for, the Baltimore City school system's nightmare will go on. That's the sobering reality behind the roster of 710 layoffs so far. Each is a personal tragedy for the pink-slip recipient, each one a stitch unraveled from the cloak that camouflaged the institution's financial disarray. More are anticipated by year's end - but how many, and from which ranks? No one knows. No one's sure even how many of the laid-off employees work in schools, a point illustrating one of the major structural weaknesses contributing to the school system's near-bankruptcy.
TOPIC
By Geoff Earle and Geoff Earle,SPECIAL TO THE SUN | December 29, 2002
HAMBURG, Germany -- Since Mohammad Atta and other terrorists hid out undetected in Hamburg for years before the Sept. 11 attacks, Americans have a strong interest in how Germany participates in the "war on terrorism." Germans, like Americans, have been reluctant to give up cherished social liberties in a society that severely restricts state power. In practice, that has led to such severe restriction on authorities that it leads some to question whether Germany will again become a potential haven for terrorist plots.
TOPIC
By Alec MacGillis and Alec MacGillis,SUN STAFF | March 31, 2002
TO UNDERSTAND the challenge faced by William E. Kirwan, the next chancellor of the state university system, consider Newt Gingrich's vision for America. That's right. The lanky and charming Kirwan, the former president of the University of Maryland, College Park, might not bear much resemblance to the stocky former Speaker. But the two men's paths to power share a telling likeness. Gingrich ascended to the speakership of the House of Representatives in 1994 on the crest of the Republican Revolution, which called for a drastic reduction in the role and size of the federal government.
BUSINESS
By Paul Adams and Paul Adams,SUN STAFF | August 24, 2001
Allfirst Financial Inc. is preparing to launch a decentralized business structure that will place control of its retail, small business and midsize business banking operations in the hands of nine regional managers who will have increased authority over local lending decisions. Currently, the three distinct business lines are managed separately, with each unit serving Allfirst's entire customer base. A customer might deal with one manager for his small business banking needs and another for personal banking needs.
NEWS
By Nancy A. Youssef and Nancy A. Youssef,SUN STAFF | September 5, 2000
Baltimore County police officials will restructure the department's two traffic units, dispersing 64 officers among eight precincts as part of a continuing effort to give more responsibility and resources to local commanders. Police Chief Terrence B. Sheridan has ordered the change, which is scheduled to take effect Jan. 1. He described the new setup as "community-based traffic enforcement." But the move has been criticized by an internal police department report that was commissioned by Sheridan and by the head of the police union.
NEWS
April 12, 1994
After three years as superintendent of the struggling Baltimore City school system, Walter G. Amprey has made his reorganization move. He has launched a sweeping decentralization effort with the goal of strengthening school-based management, shaking up and downsizing the bureaucratic administration on North Avenue and streamlining instructional programs. The first casualties of this upheaval: his two top deputies.By the time a new school year begins in September, more than 100 administrators and educators will have their positions or place of work changed.
NEWS
September 18, 1990
Ever since Chicago decentralized its 540 schools, educational "empowerment" of local communities has been in fashion. Yet the Baltimore City school board, having seen the administrative pendulum swing back and forth over two decades, chose to decentralize incrementally rather than opt for wholesale changes. It decided to select 20 pilot schools as testing grounds for local control as of next fall.This may seem like a timid approach but makes sense because so many things are in flux right now. Superintendent Richard C. Hunter's contract expires next year.
TOPIC
By George Liebmann | July 23, 2000
Is Mayor Martin O'Malley going to bring a new approach of neighborhood revival to Baltimore, or will he energetically continue to pursue the failed policies of past administrations? Will his administration be a trumpet blast for decentralization that puts power and responsibility in the hands of the taxpayers or the death rattle for bloated big-city government? The evidence is not yet clear. Thus far, the new regime stands only for its promised new approach to policing. The mayor's other initiatives -- the provision of small amounts of money to renew business districts and city sponsorship of neighborhood cleanup efforts -- are merely business as usual.
NEWS
By Howard Libit, and Howard Libit,,Sun Staff | August 2, 1999
Two years into Maryland's commitment to teach children to read better, state educators have taken steps to improve instruction but still have a long way to go to bring all children to grade level.Maryland's teachers are required to receive more training in how to teach reading. Many of the state's school systems have inserted a bigger dose of phonics into instruction. And all local school superintendents have declared reading their top priority.But gains in test scores for younger pupils have been minimal, and reading scores for middle school pupils have slipped.
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