April 6, 2012
Maryland is poised to join a growing number of states that are requiring students to stay in school until their 18th birthday, a shift that President Barack Obama urged during his State of the Union address in January. A measure to raise the compulsory attendance age — state students now must attend until they turn 16 — has cleared both chambers in the Maryland General Assembly. It needs final approval by the Senate, which is expected as early as today. Gov. Martin O'Malley has said he will sign the legislation, which would fully take effect in 2017.
March 22, 2012
Op-ed writer John Clayton Young suggests that school should be optional for some students ("Why force a kid to go to school?" March 12). He claims a child shouldn't have to attend school if he or she doesn't want to and that forcing people to be there is a violation of their freedom. I couldn't disagree more. There are certainly other ways a child can get an education, acquire knowledge and learn to find his or her way in the world. But a general education opens a child's mind.
September 19, 2011
Clutching a portfolio and a messenger bag with a city schools logo, Monique Robbins knew her unannounced visit to the homes of chronically absent students in West Baltimore on a recent misty evening might seem ominous. So when she was met with narrowed eyes and a defensive stance, she was ready. "I'm just a volunteer and a member from the community, here to let you know that whatever you need help with to get your child to school this year, we have resources," Robbins said, almost in one breath, to the first parent to open the door a sliver.
May 1, 2011
When a student is chronically absent from class, school officials rightly hold parents responsible. Because school attendance in Maryland is compulsory until age 16, parents have a legal obligation to make sure their children show up for classes. If they don't, the courts can step in and compel them to comply with the law's requirements. But a case reported Monday by The Sun's Erica Green demonstrated what happens when that is taken to an extreme. The city has hauled more than 400 parents into court this year because of their children's chronic truancy, and in a dozen cases, the parents have received sentences.
June 2, 2010
I applaud the Supreme Court's decision to scrap the "Miranda warning" nonsense ("Supreme Court says suspects must tell police they want to be silent during interrogation," June 1). If it was needed in the past, it is needed no more. With its ubiquitous appearance in several decades worth of TV police and lawyer shows, I'm willing to bet that if a poll were conducted, asking each respondent to complete these two sentences often heard on the TV, "You have the right to remain . . ." and "Oh say, can you see . . .," many more people would be able to complete the first than they would the second, and could go on to explain the rest of the warning.
November 4, 2009
A report last week that Montgomery County officials now favor raising from 16 to 18 the minimum legal age at which students can drop out of school signals a growing awareness that Maryland's future depends on a well-educated work force capable of competing in a global economy. Along with Baltimore City and Prince George's County, Montgomery County's support means there will now be a substantial bloc of lawmakers in the General Assembly ready to back toughening the requirements for school attendance to ensure that Maryland doesn't fall behind.