First report card grades schools across Maryland; Worcester schools all earn four out of five stars

Data released this week shows that Worcester County schools scored four out of five possible stars under the state’s new accountability system. Though only nine of the county’s schools were rated under the new system, the Maryland Report Card released Tuesday revealed that they each received four of five possible stars. Superintendent Lou Taylor said officials were pleased with the news. (Dispatch)

 

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Salisbury University opens new Center for Equity, Justice and Inclusion

Salisbury University opened its new Center for Equity, Justice and Inclusion this week, offering a new space for historically marginalized populations. The university cut the ribbon on the new center in Blackwell Hall on Wednesday, Dec. 5, which will provide space for research, programming or socializing. Organizers hope it will help nurture a more robust sense of identity and community, according to a news release. (Daily Times)

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Opening of UMBC's OCAMocha cafe in Arbutus delayed until spring

OCAMocha, a community space and coffee shop originally slated to open in Arbutus over the summer, has been delayed until spring 2019 because of a drawn-out permitting and approvals process, according to officials from the University of Maryland, Baltimore County. “We’ve been learning as we go,” said Lisa Akchin, UMBC’s associate vice president for engagement. “None of us are experts in setting up something this innovative.” (Arbutus)

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December 6 // Prince George’s Co. taps education funding expert to lead school board

Prince George’s County Executive Angela Alsobrooks has named Alvin Thornton to serve as the chair of the county’s board of education. Thornton led the 1999 state commission that came up with the Maryland state education funding formula that’s still in place today. State lawmakers still refer to the “Thornton plan” when discussing education spending plans. “He’s legendary. I don’t think it’s an exaggeration to say that about him,” Alsobrooks said. She added that she consulted with school officials and the members of the county school board before announcing her selection. (WTOP)

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University of Maryland School of Medicine researchers discover how some bacteria can promote cancer

Potentially groundbreaking research at the University of Maryland School of Medicine has shown for the first time how a bacterial infection contributes to the development of cancer. The discovery, made by Institute of Human Virology researchers, explains how certain bacteria interfere with infected cells’ ability to respond to and repair DNA, a problem that can cause cancer. The team plans to work next to determine whether there are similar connections between other types of bacteria and cancer development. (Balt. Sun)

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Anne Arundel school board members eager to make good on campaign promises

Almost one month after the historic election, Wednesday marked the first day on the job for five new Anne Arundel County school board members. For the first time in county history, there are four elected members on the school board: Candace Antwine, Dist. 1; Melissa Ellis, Dist. 4; Dana Schallheim, Dist. 5; and Michelle Corkadel, Dist. 7. Robert Leib, who was selected to serve by the School Board Appointment Committee, also got his first taste of life behind the dais on Wednesday. (Capital)

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Montgomery Co. school chief suggests $55 million budget increase for 2020

Montgomery County School Superintendent Jack Smith has issued the first look at his budget proposal for the 2020 fiscal year, and it will cost $55 million more than the current $2.6 billion budget. Under Smith’s plan, the operating budget would come to over $2.65 billion. Smith said he wants to continue cutting class sizes especially in Title 1 schools, where students have more needs. He worries that a state proposal on education funding from the Kirwan Commission could challenge that goal. (WTOP)

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Harford County Education Foundation presents more than $11,000 for innovation grants to schools

Harford County Education Foundation leaders oversaw distribution this week of more than $11,000 in Classroom Innovation Grants designed to support nearly a dozen academic and community partnership programs at local schools. The grants were presented during Monday’s meeting of the county Board of Education. The nonprofit education foundation works with the community and area businesses to provide classroom support beyond what the county school system provides in its budget. (Aegis)

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