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By Lan Nguyen and Lan Nguyen,Sun Staff Writer | June 13, 1994
Mainstreaming special education students into classrooms remains a top concern for many teachers, according to a recent Howard County Education Association poll.The poll, taken of elementary, middle and high school teachers during this school year, also indicated that class size, curriculum overload, separate ninth-grade areas and four-period days worried teachers.But the overwhelming concern was the inclusion of special education students in regular classrooms. Teachers feel they have not gotten the staffing, training or planning necessary to effectively mainstream special education students.
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NEWS
By Adina Amith | May 5, 2014
When my daughter was a freshman in high school, she shared a particularly uplifting experience from history class one day. In the middle of a lesson, a senior barged into the classroom with tears in his eyes and handed the teacher a letter. A smile spread across the teacher's face as he read in silence. The teacher then turned to the class and announced that the student had just received a full scholarship to an excellent college. The teen pointed toward the window and whispered, to the teacher, "If it hadn't been for you and this school, I'd be out on those streets selling drugs.
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NEWS
By Susan Gvozdas and Susan Gvozdas,[Special to the Sun] | January 14, 2007
Kevin Jaros, a 15-year-old with multiple disabilities, needs an escort to find his way to the school bus. To teach him about the human digestive system, his teacher, Tammy Wolanin, created the stomach, intestines and other parts in colors and textures Kevin can recognize and then stick into place on a model. He has to repeat the task over and over again to pass the alternative Maryland State Assessment -- also known as the alt-MSA -- the state's version of standardized testing for special education students.
NEWS
By Joe Burris, The Baltimore Sun | February 9, 2014
Room 118 at Reservoir High School in Fulton is home to a city under glass — Plexiglas, that is. The plastic model of a downtown is complete with a city hall, fire station, mixed-use facilities and courthouse. For the more than 200 students from seven classes who designed the city, it's also a three-dimensional, creative, hands-on respite from other classes. The project is one of several that are the products of Reservoir's technology education program, which uses computer-aided design programs and a 3-D printer to help students create a tangible application of ideas learned in math and science.
NEWS
By Ellie Baublitz and Ellie Baublitz,SUN REPORTER | May 20, 2007
Amanda Walker rolled a strike and three spares at bowling. Shawna Tragesar rolled two strikes. Andrew Sweeney made a backward throw into a floor basketball net. The three youths were participating in the first Inclusion Field Day, hosted by Westminster High School for special education students from the county's high schools. The 40-plus teenagers, with a range of disabilities, participated in 10 physical education activities that had been set up around Westminster's main gym. Teachers and student-helpers assisted the youths with volleyball, a hockey shoot, a target throw, scooter handball, golf, a parachute wave, keep it up, and scoop and shoot.
NEWS
By Steven Kreytak and Steven Kreytak,NEWSDAY | July 22, 2000
This isn't your parents' gym class: Alexis Skelos, 35 feet above the ground, slowly edges across a cable suspended between two telephone poles. The 15-year-old's knees buckle, and the cable shakes as she clutches one of a series of ropes hanging six feet apart from a wire suspended above her. "Lean left, lean left," yells teacher Mike Davey. Alexis' classmates watch nervously as she creeps across the 25-foot-long wire. Back on the ground, she smiles, then exhales. "It's scary, but I finished," she said.
NEWS
By Lynn Anderson and Lynn Anderson,SUN STAFF | May 17, 2001
As a child, Christina Blackman spent summers riding ponies on a North Dakota farm not far from where her great-grandmother taught immigrant children how to read and write in a one-room schoolhouse. "In some ways, I feel I've inherited my teaching career," Blackman said yesterday in an emotional address to a roomful of educators who gathered to honor her as Baltimore County's Teacher of the Year 2001. Blackman, 33, has taught music to special education students at Battle Monument School in Dundalk for 11 years.
NEWS
By Liz Bowie and Liz Bowie,SUN STAFF | October 19, 1999
Acknowledging that many end up in special education because minor learning difficulties go untreated, Baltimore school officials are poised to begin a program to boost help to the city's struggling students.Under an agreement signed by the city and lawyers representing special education students, a team of professionals would be set up in each school to diagnose and treat a failing student's problem before he or she begins to fall behind.The school system hopes to reduce the city's huge special education population, among the highest in the nation.
NEWS
By SARA NEUFELD and SARA NEUFELD,SUN REPORTER | June 29, 2006
A federal judge called city and state school officials into court yesterday to express his concerns that Baltimore's special education students won't receive the services they need amid leadership changes in the school system. City schools Chief Executive Officer Bonnie S. Copeland is stepping down this week, and most top administrative positions overseeing special education are vacant or filled with interim replacements. School system and state officials told the judge they will work together to ensure that services are provided.
NEWS
November 11, 1994
For a while this year, there seemed to be some hope that the city schools' 18,000 special education students might begin to get the kinds of services they need -- services that taxpayers are already paying for. Once again, however, the bureaucratic morass at North Avenue seems defeated by simple demands, or perhaps oblivious to their importance.As a result, U.S. District Judge Marvin Garbis has declared Superintendent Walter G. Amprey in civil contempt of court, with the threat of making the order criminal.
NEWS
By Kalman R. Hettleman | December 5, 2013
The Baltimore Sun gets high marks for uncovering the shameful fact that Maryland ranks first nationally in improperly excluding students with disabilities from taking the leading national test of reading ability ( "Md. excluded large number of special-education students in national test," Nov. 16). These exclusions inflate the state's test scores. They also deflate Maryland's reputation as the No. 1 education state as ranked by Education Week. The exclusions help to reveal how certain practices ruin many, if not most, chances that students with disabilities have for academic success.
NEWS
February 13, 2013
There is still much we do not know about Dayvon Green, the University of Maryland, College Park student who police say fatally shot one of his roommates, Stephen Alex Rane, and seriously wounded another outside their off-campus apartment before taking his own life on Tuesday. Mr. Green, a promising graduate engineering student from the Baltimore area, reportedly was under treatment for mental illness, and though the precise nature of his condition has not been confirmed, investigators believe it may have been a factor in this horrible crime.
NEWS
By Mike McGrew | September 4, 2012
One dreary spring morning, I entered Robert Moton Elementary as opera resounded through its halls, stirring my soul like never before. As a school psychologist with limited exposure to classical genres, I was startled but tremendously invigorated by this music. I then noticed some students bopping down the halls — also seemingly uplifted. I immediately sought out the assistant principal, a former music teacher who selects Moton's morning melodies, begging him to identify this inspiring music.
NEWS
By Frederick N. Rasmussen, The Baltimore Sun | August 10, 2012
Margaret H. "Maggie" Rittler, an educator whose lifelong dream was teaching special-education students, died Aug. 3 of an aneurysm while on vacation on Cape Cod. The Cockeysville resident was 44. Mrs. Rittler was stricken while attending a movie and was taken to Cape Cod Hospital in Hynannis, Mass., where she died. The daughter of a military policeman and a registered nurse, Margaret Henry was born and raised in West Milford, N.J., where she graduated in 1986 from St. Dominic Academy.
NEWS
By Robert Maranto | January 25, 2012
This is National School Choice Week, an occasion that always makes me think back to 1976, when as a writer for my high school paper, I interviewed retiring Baltimore County schools Superintendent Joshua Wheeler. I asked Mr. Wheeler why our schools didn't require proficiency testing for graduation. "I know we're a great school system," I said diplomatically, "but even so, some of our kids graduate without being able to read and write. " Mr. Wheeler was an honest public servant, and I'll never forget his candid response: "Your question shows that you do not understand the purpose of the public education system.
NEWS
By Erica L. Green, The Baltimore Sun and Baltimore Sun reporter | August 15, 2011
Margaret Ann Wotthlie Curtis, career-long Baltimore County educator of special needs children, died Aug. 11 of cancer at Dove House in Westminster. She was 71. Born in Baltimore on Oct. 20, 1939, Mrs. Curtis grew up on Rogers Avenue, and graduated from the prestigious, all-female Western High School in 1957. She married Eugene Curtis the same year, and they raised their three sons in Reisterstown. Mrs. Curtis, affectionately known to her family and friends as "Peggy," began her education career as a cafeteria volunteer at Chatsworth Elementary School in 1975, one year after the Reisterstown school opened with Nancy S. Grasmick — who would later become the state superintendent — as its principal.
NEWS
May 15, 1993
In Baltimore city public schools, there's nothing special in special education. On the contrary, for the 17,000 boys and girls consigned to special education in the city, the program is nothing but a dumping ground for students who have problems learning by means of traditional teaching methods. The purpose of special education is to ensure that students who need something more than the instruction provided in regular classrooms will get the help they need to succeed in school. In Baltimore city schools, however, the reality is that special education is often no education at all.A new report, issued by Students First, a group advocating reforms in the city schools, describes a system that essentially writes off any student who proves difficult to teach or to discipline.
NEWS
By Debbie M. Price and Stephen Henderson and Debbie M. Price and Stephen Henderson,SUN STAFF Sun researcher Andrea Wilson contributed to this article | December 6, 1998
At the High Road School of Baltimore County, newly opened this year in a Dundalk strip mall, an education costs $34,000 a year.At New Foundations, a school for boys that operates out of the Chicago Title Insurance Building in downtown Baltimore, tuition is $53,000.And at the National Children's Center in Washington, D.C., where some students live year-round, an education, room, board and services cost $132,000 a year.Who pays these higher-than-Harvard tuition rates?As a Maryland taxpayer, you do.Baltimore, a city that places more of its students in special education than almost any other school district in the country, also tops the charts in the number of special education children it sends to costly private schools.
NEWS
By Liz Bowie | liz.bowie@baltsun.com | March 9, 2010
The often-contentious 26-year-old lawsuit that attempted to provide equality for Baltimore's special-education students but ultimately helped to change the course of the public school system is nearing an end after a federal judge agreed Monday to end his oversight. U.S. District Judge Marvin J. Garbis accepted an agreement from the school system and the Maryland Disability Law Center, which had filed suit in 1984 on behalf of several special-education students, saying they were not being offered adequate services.
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