December 7 // Prince George’s school board member wants deeper probe of alleged grade tampering

A Prince George’s County school board member who helped launch an investigation of alleged grade-tampering and fraudulent graduation rates told a state panel on Wednesday that the state officials need to conduct a deeper probe into the scandal. “More state intervention is necessary,” board member Edward Burroughs told the state Board of Public Works, a three-member panel made up of Gov. Larry Hogan (R), Comptroller Peter Franchot (D) and Treasurer Nancy Kopp (D). Burroughs is one of four school board members who wrote a letter to Hogan earlier this year asking the state to investigate the allegations, which have roiled the state’s second-largest jurisdiction. (Wash. Post)

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Waterloo Elementary earns Blue Ribbon recognition

Howard County’s Waterloo Elementary School was one of six Maryland public schools named Maryland n Dec. 5 to receive the state Department of Education’s 2017-2018 Blue Ribbon schools Dec. 5. The Blue Ribbon Schools state and nationwide program honors schools for high performance and students’ improvement in reading and mathematics as measured by state assessments. Schools scored in the top 15 percent on the 2017 state PARCC assessments. Additional recipients include West Towson Elementary in Baltimore County, Fallston Middle in Harford County, Urbana Elementary in Frederick County, and Bannockburn and Luxmanor elementaries in Montgomery County. (Columbia Flier)

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CCPS school board chooses type of committee for school closure, redistricting discussions

The Carroll County Public Schools Board of Education made forward steps Wednesday night in the redistricting and school closure discussion. The school board decided on a process, in regard to what type of organization to eventually make recommendations, and also gave a few broad parameters that the organization will be tasked with. After much discussion, the board agreed to move forward with a committee of about 14 individuals, that would likely include five parents, two representatives from the bargaining units, three CCPS staff members, one person from Carroll County Government staff, two members of the business community and a facilitator. (Carr. Co. Times)

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Hagerstown Community College board finalizes profile in search for new president

In its next president, Hagerstown Community College hopes to attract a collaborator, a unifier and a relationship builder to lead the institution into the future. Those were a few qualities emphasized by dozens of people who participated in public forums Tuesday to offer input on the college's upcoming presidential search. During a special meeting Wednesday, the HCC Board of Trustees reviewed and unanimously approved its presidential profile to officially launch the process to find a full-time replacement for outgoing President Guy Altieri. (Herald-Mail)

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December 6 // Baltimore County parents, school board members ask state for audit of tech contracts

The Baltimore County school system plans to hire an outside accountant to audit its purchasing practices amid questions about the awarding of millions of dollars in technology contracts the past few years. But some school board members and parents want the state to intervene and hire the auditor rather than leaving the matter in the hands of county school officials. (Balt. Sun)

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Following fraud probe, a Md. district drafts plan to improve grading

Prince George’s County school leaders say they are tightening controls on student records, upgrading technology to improve graduation certification and rethinking credit recovery programs that allow students to make up for work they have failed. The efforts are part of a plan to address problems cited during an investigation of alleged grade tampering and fraud in graduation rates in Maryland’s second-largest school system. (Wash. Post)

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MCPS superintendent wants to try extended academic year at two elementary schools

A forthcoming budget plan by Superintendent Jack Smith will call for trying a lengthened academic year at two elementary schools in Montgomery County. Smith on Tuesday mentioned the initiative while describing in broad strokes the spending proposal that he will present to the school board later this month. The operating budget recommendation for fiscal year 2019 will not include class-size increases and will seek to expand opportunities for students, while preparing for the impact of the county’s fiscal struggles, Smith said. (Bethesda)

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Big pay hikes for teachers proposed

Big increases in teacher salaries along with the creation of a statewide career ladder that would put teachers in line with other “high-status professions” are among the key recommendations a statewide commission on school funding will make to the legislature. The Commission on Innovation and Excellence in Education, charged with looking at a wide range of education issues, will also recommend teams of teachers be given greater autonomy and spend less time in the classroom and more time collaborating on teaching strategies. (Times-News)

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