Economic growth and job creation must be 2012 General Assembly priority

State lawmakers convened January 11 for the 2012 General Assembly session, facing a familiar challenge of having to close a projected $1 billion deficit. But Maryland’s long-term future will be shaped by how lawmakers act, or defer action, on issues relating to what has to be their overriding priority...

AACC Cyber Forensics Team Wins International Competition

An Anne Arundel Community College cyber forensics team won first place in the community college division and was among the top 10 teams on the leaders’ board of the U.S. Department of Defense Cyber Crime Center (DC3) Digital Forensics Challenge that drew 1,147 teams from all 50 states and 52 countries. The team will receive its award at the Department of Defense Cyber Crime Conference Jan. 22-27 in Atlanta, Ga. … Continue reading

Donald Fry: USM decision aims for something better than a merger

By Donald C. Fry The University System of Maryland Board of Regents’ decision on December 9 against merging the University of Maryland Baltimore with the University of Maryland College Park was not simply the end of something. It was the beginning of something better. The USM regents spent eight months studying the proposed merger concept suddenly advanced last spring by state Senate President Mike Miller during state budget deliberations. To … Continue reading

Rethinking Pre-K: Five ways to fix preschool

By Kayla Webley Take two kids, one from a low-income family, the other middle class. Let them run around and do little-kid things in their respective homes and then, at age 5, enroll them in kindergarten. Research shows that when the first day of school rolls around, the child from the low-income household will be as many as 1.5 years behind grade level in terms of language and prereading and … Continue reading

GBC’s Fry: Finding common ground in evaluating educators

Don Fry Commentary on WYPR Maryland has begun a two-year process to develop a system where at least 50 percent of public school teachers’ and principals’ job evaluations will be based on student performance. In June, a state Council for Education Effectiveness, appointed by Governor O’Malley, issued recommendations for implementing new education performance standards – something the state agreed to do in order to gain federal Race to the Top … Continue reading

AACC professor selected for national commission seat

The American Association of Community Colleges has selected Jennifer G. Lara of Laurel, professor of education in the Teacher Education and Child Care Institute at Anne Arundel Community College, to serve on the association’s 21st Century Commission on the Future of Community Colleges. Lara is one of 36 representatives nationwide chosen as a commissioner and in 2010 was selected for the inaugural White House Summit on Community Colleges. She is … Continue reading

Donald Fry: Despite education acclaim, Maryland faces workforce development challenges

By Donald C. Fry Virtually anyone who reads a newspaper or watches television news in our state knows that Maryland’s public schools are ranked first in the nation and have received that ranking from Education Week magazine for three years in a row. However, despite high rankings for public schools and its renowned public and private higher education resources, our state faces compelling workforce development challenges. Maryland currently has a … Continue reading

Donald Fry: Finding common ground in teacher evaluation

By Donald C. Fry New recommendations from a state panel appointed by Gov. Martin O’Malley signal the beginning of what some say will be a “sea change” in how Maryland public school teachers and principals are evaluated. A set of recommendations issued June 20 by the Maryland Council for Educator Effectiveness would put into motion a two-year process of implementing an evaluating system where 50 percent of an educator’s job … Continue reading

GBC’s Fry: Public education must re-focus on the issue of financial literacy

Don Fry Commentary on WYPR The topic of financial literacy is being debated more often in policy circles and in the media. Several studies, including a recent national survey, show that a majority of Americans lack working knowledge of financial basics that apply to borrowing, interest rates, inflation, risk, investing and pricing. Such holes in a person’s knowledge can worsen personal financial problems. They even deepened the economic effects of … Continue reading

Job No. 1: Keeping Alonso

James Campbell, a former member of the Baltimore school board and senior communications manager for the Johns Hopkins University School of Education, wrote this commentary, which appeared in the November 23 issue of the Baltimore Sun. “When the Baltimore school system announced the appointment of Andrés Alonso as its new chief executive officer in 2007, Brian Morris, the board chairman, said, “We went after the best and we got him.” … Continue reading