For a state that prides itself on its schools, Maryland's pension plan is an embarrassment and an obstacle to attracting and retaining quality teachers. Maryland's teacher pension plan ranks 51st in the nation - dead last. Retired Maryland school employees receive just 38 percent of their peak salary, half as much as in neighboring Pennsylvania, according to the Maryland State Teachers Association (MSTA).
The warm weather that usually comes with spring has only just begun to assert itself, but the race for Montgomery County Executive seems to be growing hotter by the day, as could be seen in a debate held in Silver Spring last week between candidates Ike Leggett and Steve Silverman. Despite leaving many issues still unsettled, especially issues regarding mass transit and the purple line, both candidates left this early debate having thoroughly established their platforms when it comes to real estate and hopring and the warm weather that usually comes with it has only just begun to assert itselfme ownership.
A depressed sophomore contemplating suicide who checked himself into a George Washington University Hospital was sent a letter by the University's administration stating that his "endangering behavior" could result in his suspension or expulsion unless he withdrew from school, according to a March 10 article published in The Washington Post. In the meantime, Jordan Nott, the student, was barred from the campus.
It rises majestically from the Forest Glen Metro stop, flying high into the air, running parallel to Georgia avenue before soaring over the Beltway on- and off-ramps, ducking under the Beltway itself and making a landing next to what, in the mind of some bureaucrat, is a spot of vital importance to pedestrians: the parking lot of some town homes.
Two weeks ago, Maryland State Senators passed "Andrew's Law," a provision named for former Blair student Andrew Helgeson, that would require every Maryland high school to have an automatic external defillibator. State legislators have taken the first step to improve an inadequate environment for student health in schools but why stop at defibrillators? MCPS should make cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) and First Aid training a requisite for all teachers at all levels of education in the county.
While legislators engage adults about issues they think voters care about, they can be quick to leave students out of the democratic process and overlook their concerns. Although most students do not vote, they do represent a large portion of the population - but even in an area as politically active as Montgomery County, their views are rarely heard.
A student brings home a perfect report card. It is an ideal situation: Parents and child are happy, and MCPS is patting itself on the back for successfully educating another pupil. But, this situation also illustrates one of the main tools MCPS uses to maintain its reputation for stellar academics: grade inflation through letter grading.
Court of Appeals Judge Samuel Alito, a staunch conservative, replaced moderate Supreme Court Associate Justice Sandra Day O'Connor on Jan. 31. In his career as a judge, Alito's radical ideology has fueled an archaic, reactionary interpretation of the Constitution that he seems to value over the common good of the American people.
"In line with local laws and policies, parts of the result are not listed." Written in Chinese characters, this message appears across the bottom of a web page after a search. Unfortunately Google, a company that has prided itself on its accurate, unbiased web searches, has hypocritically decided that censorship is acceptable when there is money to be made.
Gone are the "good old days" of our parents' youth when the movies that Hollywood made were actually good, original ideas, or at least did not focus entirely on sex and violence. Although most critics believe that the increasing presence of violence and sex in films is the biggest issue in the movie-making industry, the real problem is the lack of new ideas.
In an attempt to limit overcrowding, a zoning ordinance passed Dec. 29 requires Manassas, Virginia residents to live only with immediate family members. After being widely criticized as discriminatory, the ordinance was suspended, according to a Jan. 5 article in The Washington Post. That such a law was passed in the first place is evidence of an emerging pattern of growing prejudice towards immigrants, a pattern perpetuated by current immigration policy.
He's been writing in support of Advanced Placement (AP) tests for over two decades, formulated a controversial and nationally respected ranking system for high schools based solely on the number of AP tests administered, declared APs the catalyst of a golden age in American education and said that APs will soon overtake the SAT as the standard measure of high school learning. But Washington Post education reporter Jay Mathews is no sellout. He's a utilitarian.
School Superintendent Jerry Weast snuck one by the Board of Education earlier this semester by imposing a regulation that prevents teachers from showing movies rated R and PG-13 to high school and middle school students. Between this and the "sex-ed video" debacle, Montgomery County Public Schools seem to be headed down a path in the wrong direction.
What ever happened to the golden days of professionalism in sports? Gone is the era when the NBA's Michael Jordan and Patrick Ewing were heroes to young athletes. In today's money-centered sporting world, kids have more bad role models than good role models to look up to.
To participate in Montgomery County high school athletics, students must maintain a 2.0 grade point average. For some student-athletes this isn't a problem, but for others the academic requirements are a formidable hurdle. Some people argue that academics should not play a role in determining who gets to play sports and that the best athletes in a school should represent it in athletic competition, but others believe that school takes precedence. Students, parents and administrators all have an opinion on this contested topic. So the question is, are these academic restrictions justified?
Walking into the Giant mid-October, looking to purchase some Halloween candy for pre-Halloween taste testing (for the safety of the children, of course), I stopped short. Towering before me was not any sort of ghost, ghoul or goblin or even black and orange banners that might be expected around Halloween. There weren't even any turkeys, pilgrims or traditional Thanksgiving decorations. Instead, I found myself face-to-face with a towering inflatable Santa Claus snow globe.
It's impossible to say which elements of this bloated pop culture of ours will find traction in a future whose tastes we can only predict. No one can say for sure if Harry Potter will join Sherlock Holmes, Frodo and Dracula on the short-list of great British fictional characters, or if the works of J.K. Rowling and C.S. Lewis will be held in equal esteem. But this is a distinct possibility. It wouldn't surprise me either if future PhD theses explored everything from the septet's religious symbolism to its social and political allegory to its treatment of the teenage psyche. There hopefully won't be a lot of it, but there will be Harry Potter scholarship. One of these days.
Sudan is a topic of controversy and horror - a country packed with more death and terror than a thousand scary movies. Why then do United Nations officials seem more scared by the concept of entering the country than the actual crimes being committed?
Joseph Wilson, the CIA envoy sent to confirm the Africa claim in 2002, wrote an editorial to the "New York Times" about the Iraq-Niger deals being false. This attempt of righting the wrong caused more harm than good. Lewis Libby, Vice President Dick Cheney's former chief of staff and national security advisor, leaked the Valerie Plame's identity as a CIA operative to several journalists. Libby sought to discredit Wilson believing his actions to be subversive, blurring his purpose, and ruining the career of his wife, Plame, by revealing her position at the CIA.
Thirty-one percent of students nationwide ages 12 to 17 know someone their age who carries a gun. In just one year, 20 percent of all public schools experienced at least one violent crime. In the 1997-1998 school year, 20,286 physical attacks involving weapons occurred at schools.
George W. Bush has always billed himself as a "uniter, not a divider." Now, at long last, the President has lived up to his promise: the nomination of Harriet Miers to the Supreme Court has united secularist liberals and hard-line conservatives — against his decision.
Remember that awful Diflucan commercial with the middle-aged women running up and down escalators in distress, all to the beat of the nauseating "Gotta Go"? theme music? Maybe you don't; after all, its infamy did put an abrupt halt to the annoying advertisement, and we haven't really seen much more of that campaign from the bladder fixer-upper. But now, whether wanted or not, we Blazers can't help but wonder why we constantly find ourselves singing the catchy jingle during the school day.
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