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By Nancy S. Grasmick | February 6, 2000
ON TUESDAY, the State Board of Education voted to take over three of Maryland's poorest-performing schools, none of which has shown significant improvement in the four to five years since being named eligible for reconstitution. The move is guaranteed to elicit criticism -- ironically, from both sides. Just one year ago, cf03 The Sun cf01 called for the state to get tougher on struggling schools and, more recently, questioned our reluctance to intervene earlier. In fact, reconstitution eligibility -- the mere possibility of state takeover -- has produced significant results.
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NEWS
By Julie Bykowicz | julie.bykowicz@baltsun.com | January 27, 2010
Gov. Martin O'Malley has activated the state's dormant Sexual Offender Advisory Board - a decision that comes after state lawmakers learned this month that the board they created four years ago never met and failed to produce a required report on the state's sex offender policies. The Democratic governor is expected to announce today that reconstitution of the board is among six proposals on sex offenders he will push for this year. He'll also seek lifetime supervision of violent and repeat sex offenders, changes to the state sex offender registry that will bring it into federal compliance, and criminal background checks for employees at all facilities that care for or supervise children.
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NEWS
By Mark A. Mlawer | October 6, 1997
MORE THAN 200 parents of Baltimore schoolchildren recently drafted a petition urging the state to disapprove the 1997-98 improvement plan of their children's school, Patterson High School.The many issues raised by these parents come at a critical point. Fifty Baltimore City schools have been named "reconstitution-eligible" by the state. Patterson High School was so named in 1994, one of the first two in the city.If reconstitution has not had a positive effect at Patterson, significant changes must be made before the state sends more schools down that same road.
NEWS
By NEW YORK TIMES NEWS SERVICE | January 1, 2006
UNITED NATIONS -- Officials of the United Nations have decided that they must act within weeks to produce an alternative to its widely discredited Human Rights Commission to maintain hope of redeeming the United Nations' credibility this year. The commission, which is based in Geneva, has been a persistent embarrassment to the United Nations because participation has been open to countries such as Cuba, Sudan and Zimbabwe, current members who are themselves accused of gross rights abuses.
NEWS
By NANCY S. GRASMICK | April 24, 1994
Virtually every state in this nation is now engaged in reforming schools, from the top down and from the bottom up.While teachers are exploring a variety of strategies to get better results -- cooperative learning, team teaching, integrated services, de-tracking, conflict resolution, site-based management -- educators, politicians and the general public are coming to a consensus about the appropriate roles and responsibilities for schools, school districts and...
NEWS
January 25, 1996
FROM THE beginning of Maryland's school reform effort, it has been clear that the key to success would be to set high standards and hold everyone accountable for meeting those standards. Failure would bring consequences.This year, those consequences have mushroomed in Baltimore City, where 35 schools have been targeted for reconstitution, on top of five other schools named over the previous two years. These are schools in which test performances are not only distant from state standards but have declined from the previous year.
NEWS
By Mike Bowler and Mike Bowler,SUN STAFF | January 30, 2002
The state placed nine low-performing schools - four in Baltimore and five in Prince George's County - on the official failing list yesterday. At the same time, state officials upgraded four city schools and one in Prince George's, saying they're on the way - but not quite - out of the academic woods known as "reconstitution." The reconstitution designation means the schools have failed to meet state standards or make progress for several years. They have to draw up improvement plans, but they receive technical assistance and additional money from the state.
NEWS
By Mike Bowler and Mike Bowler,SUN STAFF | January 26, 2000
THE STATE BOARD of Education is poised, finally, to "reconstitute" -- that is, turn over to an outside contractor -- one or more schools on the Maryland School Performance Assessment Program list of perpetual failures. Sadly, the board won't have to look far beyond its headquarters in downtown Baltimore. Of the 97 schools judged "reconstitution- eligible" since MSPAP became official in 1993, 83 are in the city, and some have been on the list for years. Indeed, no school has improved sufficiently to be taken off the dishonor roll.
NEWS
By Mike Bowler and Mike Bowler,SUN STAFF | December 30, 1998
WHAT NEEDS FIXIN' in 1999 (and how it got broke):Higher education funding: The 11 presidents of the University System of Maryland complained for years about red tape and puny budgets. Now a task force headed by retired Naval Academy Superintendent Adm. Charles R. Larson has recommended giving them more autonomy and more money.That will be welcome, and it might lead to a truce in the war that saw Towson University President Hoke Smith snubbed by system officials because he had the gall to suggest that flying solo was superior to a place well back in the flock.
NEWS
February 2, 1995
The cornerstone of Maryland's ambitious school reform effort is accountability. But accountability without consequences is a charade.The consequences announced yesterday by state schools chief Nancy S. Grasmick brought no real surprises. Even so, the list of three Baltimore City schools earmarked for reconstitution and possible state intervention drew a loud protest from city officials. That protest does not ring true.Five years after the State Board of Education adopted benchmarks for academic performance, four years after the first school performance reports were issued and more than a year after guidelines for reconstitution efforts were put out for public comment and approved by the state board, city school officials now cry foul.
NEWS
By Tom Bowman and Tom Bowman,SUN NATIONAL STAFF | November 10, 2003
WASHINGTON - Six months after U.S. officials disbanded the 400,000-soldier Iraqi army, there are growing calls to bring back large parts of it to help combat stubborn guerrilla resistance and relieve stretched American forces. "It's something that's very actively under discussion" and could be decided by the end of the month, said a State Department official who requested anonymity. "People are saying, `Let's entertain the idea. How would you do it?'" A senior Pentagon official said the proposal - under review by L. Paul Bremer III, the American civilian administrator for Iraq, and U.S. military officers - would not necessarily include trying to rebuild Iraqi army units but rather integrating sizable groups of former soldiers into the security forces.
NEWS
By Mike Bowler and Mike Bowler,SUN STAFF | January 30, 2002
The state placed nine low-performing schools - four in Baltimore and five in Prince George's County - on the official failing list yesterday. At the same time, state officials upgraded four city schools and one in Prince George's, saying they're on the way - but not quite - out of the academic woods known as "reconstitution." The reconstitution designation means the schools have failed to meet state standards or make progress for several years. They have to draw up improvement plans, but they receive technical assistance and additional money from the state.
NEWS
By Nancy S. Grasmick | February 6, 2000
ON TUESDAY, the State Board of Education voted to take over three of Maryland's poorest-performing schools, none of which has shown significant improvement in the four to five years since being named eligible for reconstitution. The move is guaranteed to elicit criticism -- ironically, from both sides. Just one year ago, cf03 The Sun cf01 called for the state to get tougher on struggling schools and, more recently, questioned our reluctance to intervene earlier. In fact, reconstitution eligibility -- the mere possibility of state takeover -- has produced significant results.
NEWS
By Mike Bowler and Mike Bowler,SUN STAFF | January 26, 2000
THE STATE BOARD of Education is poised, finally, to "reconstitute" -- that is, turn over to an outside contractor -- one or more schools on the Maryland School Performance Assessment Program list of perpetual failures. Sadly, the board won't have to look far beyond its headquarters in downtown Baltimore. Of the 97 schools judged "reconstitution- eligible" since MSPAP became official in 1993, 83 are in the city, and some have been on the list for years. Indeed, no school has improved sufficiently to be taken off the dishonor roll.
NEWS
By Howard Libit and Howard Libit,SUN STAFF | October 8, 1999
When the state threatened that it might take over just one failing Anne Arundel County elementary school 3 1/2 years ago, the reaction was immediate.A top-notch principal was assigned to the school. All teachers were forced to reapply for their jobs.And barely a day went by without someone from the system's central office offering training or other help.But when the state sounded the same alarm over the past five years for 83 of Baltimore's 182 schools -- threatening to take over or close schools that don't improve, in a process known as "reconstitution" -- the city didn't respond in the same way.The city lacked enough top-notch principals and teachers to carry out wholesale staffing changes at the 83 troubled schools.
NEWS
September 29, 1999
THE WRECKAGE from Educational Alternative Inc.'s early '90s privatization experiment is still smoking in certain corners of the Baltimore school system. And now comes the Maryland State Department of Education, proposing another dalliance with outside management of troubled public schools.Is this a case of failure to learn from past mistakes?Not likely. The state has a plan for privatization -- which places it light years ahead of the EAI deal. And in the context of the current reconstitution program -- which has failed to take definitive action against schools that don't improve -- how could this plan not be an improvement?
NEWS
September 29, 1999
THE WRECKAGE from Educational Alternative Inc.'s early '90s privatization experiment is still smoking in certain corners of the Baltimore school system. And now comes the Maryland State Department of Education, proposing another dalliance with outside management of troubled public schools.Is this a case of failure to learn from past mistakes?Not likely. The state has a plan for privatization -- which places it light years ahead of the EAI deal. And in the context of the current reconstitution program -- which has failed to take definitive action against schools that don't improve -- how could this plan not be an improvement?
NEWS
By Sara Engram | January 28, 1996
WHEN STATE officials designed Maryland's school-reform initiative, they knew they had to include consequences for failure. For under-performing schools, ''reconstitution,'' a purposely ambiguous threat, was the answer. That ambiguity is proving useful.This is the third year in which the state Department of Education has targeted schools for reconstitution. But this year's list -- 35 schools in Baltimore, one in Anne Arundel County and one in Somerset County -- far surpasses last year's list of three, or 1994's list of two failing schools.
NEWS
By Mike Bowler and Mike Bowler,SUN STAFF | December 30, 1998
WHAT NEEDS FIXIN' in 1999 (and how it got broke):Higher education funding: The 11 presidents of the University System of Maryland complained for years about red tape and puny budgets. Now a task force headed by retired Naval Academy Superintendent Adm. Charles R. Larson has recommended giving them more autonomy and more money.That will be welcome, and it might lead to a truce in the war that saw Towson University President Hoke Smith snubbed by system officials because he had the gall to suggest that flying solo was superior to a place well back in the flock.
NEWS
By Mark A. Mlawer | October 6, 1997
MORE THAN 200 parents of Baltimore schoolchildren recently drafted a petition urging the state to disapprove the 1997-98 improvement plan of their children's school, Patterson High School.The many issues raised by these parents come at a critical point. Fifty Baltimore City schools have been named "reconstitution-eligible" by the state. Patterson High School was so named in 1994, one of the first two in the city.If reconstitution has not had a positive effect at Patterson, significant changes must be made before the state sends more schools down that same road.
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