With less than two years before the Class of 2009 is scheduled to be the first year to only graduate students who passed all the High School Assessments (HSAs), state Superintendent Nancy Grasmick is conceding that students unable to pass all four tests ought to be allowed an alternative means by which to earn a diploma.
On the first day of school, students cluttering the hallways at Blair seemed to glow of one color: skin-tones. Spaghetti straps, boxers and short-shorts were the clothing – or lack of clothing – that paraded around the school. However, due to the additional regulations prohibiting spaghetti-strap tops, skirts or shorts that are not fingertip length and pants worn below the waist, the hallways now sparkle with the brilliant colors of new clothes this season.
Two years after Hurricane Katrina decimated New Orleans, turning hundreds of thousands of U.S. citizens into refugees, cutting the city's population in half, flooding 80 percent of the city and annihilating whole networks of infrastructure, New Orleans has yet to recover from the chaos wrought by the hurricane.
Last Thursday saw the biggest moment in soccer for the Washington area since Freddy Adu, as British superstar David Beckham suited up for the Los Angeles Galaxy to take on DC United in his regular season debut. League execs hope that the presence of an international superstar of Beckham's caliber will be a turning point for the sport, as soccer establishes its presence here in the US, taking its place alongside football, basketball and baseball in the pantheon of American sports.
Michael Jordan. Cal Ripken Jr. Jerry Rice. Not so long ago, it was easy for a kid to find a sports hero to idealize. He or she could turn to the sports section of the newspaper, and it would be filled with stories of last-second baskets, great receptions, solid pitching – anything and everything about the games themselves. Now turn to the sports page, and one thing dominates the section – scandal.
Recently, Secretary of Homeland Security Michael Chertoff said it was his "gut feeling" that the country faces a higher risk of terrorist attack in the summer, which raises the question: are we really safer with this government agency, which has one-fourth of its top leadership positions unfilled? Since it was established on Nov. 25, 2002, the Department of Homeland Security has been at constant odds with the mission it was supposed to accomplish and people it was designed to protect.
The recent ban on photography in Downtown Silver Spring caused enough uproar to start a protest, a photographer rights group and now a change. Peterson Companies., the corporation who once claimed that Downtown Silver Spring is private property, has backed down and allowed photographers to freely take pictures in the area again. Nevertheless, these actions seem overdue and still leave the question of why the ban was placed to begin with.
In this time period, classrooms are not only places where teachers present lectures, but also situations for students can participate in active discussion on topics of study. A limitation on that classroom practice comes as a sad reminder that some subjects are just too controversial for a classroom setting.
If we don't think about it, "Live Earth" sounds like a great idea: celebrities from across the globe unite to spread awareness about man-made climate change and how detrimental it is to our environment. Let's face it, whether we like it or not, celebrities have a significant impact on the mindset of the average person. They are considered role models by many, their words have value, so when they say, "The world is in trouble, we need to save it," people are likely to listen. However, this message is deeply marred by the disturbingly huge amount of gas used and pollution expelled to put this event into action.
The next presidential election is more than fifteen months away, but the battle is already being fiercely fought in ways unseen in any other election. The new weapons at the candidates' disposal: social network and video sites like YouTube, MySpace and Facebook.
After the U.S. Court of Appeals denied I. Lewis "Scooter" Libby's plea to avoid prison time while he worked out his next appeal, it was time for President Bush to step into action and make a decision. He was stuck. The President could pardon Libby – who was convicted of perjury in the Valerie Plame CIA leak affair – to satisfy the unanswered calls from his conservative base or leave the issue alone and allow the court's sentence for the former vice presidential aide stand in an attempt to soothe the Democratic Congress.
The Supreme Court ruled 5-4 against a high school student last week in Frederick v. Morse, the first major case involving students' First Amendment rights since 1988. However, the Court did not reinforce the famous Tinker precedent that students do not shed their constitutional rights to freedom of speech or expression at the schoolhouse gate as it should have, choosing instead to create a whole new rule on the First Amendment that allows censorship of student speech advocating illegal drugs.
As humans continue to test the strength and resilience of Mother Nature, several U.S. state governments have been proactive in limiting their contributions to global climate change. Now the state of California, the leader of the pack, may be able to force the auto industry to manufacture cleaner cars, something the federal government has failed to do.
White House officials have been discussing the prospect of closing the detainment facility at Guantanamo Bay – an interrogation and holding facility for suspects of terrorism. Last Friday, they finally acknowledged that this issue has become a priority.
High school is supposed to prepare us for college. Counselors encourage students to take challenging courses, try their best, maximize capabilities and show potential. And what better way to do this than taking and scoring well on an Advanced Placement (AP) exam? Many colleges currently offer exemptions from their first year courses if students score well enough on the respective AP exams. In light of this, students are using these exemptions in order to skip semesters, or even entire years of their college education. But instead of getting a head start on life, students who skip college courses are cheating themselves out of important life education.
On July 1, Principal Phillip Gainous will say farewell to Montgomery Blair High School. Now that his decision is final and his departure imminent, the school has turned its attention toward his replacement. As Gainous himself has said, "Nobody is concerned about my leaving, it's who's coming in." Blair's new principal must continue Gainous's precedent of excellent cooperation with vocal students by exercising the administration's obligation of oversight while consistently taking student rights of expression into consideration.
Amid the frenzy of preparing for high school graduation, Student Service Learning (SSL) often becomes an afterthought, a vague notion that settles into the far corners of memory until, for some, second semester of senior year rolls around.
For as long as anyone can remember, there has been homework. It has become an unquestionable constant in our society, a concept so etched into the minds of our collective conscious that it's hard to imagine life without massive take-home packets, book work and essays. But what if we did?
The number and score of students taking Advanced Placement (AP) exams is a) a good indicator of progress in the county b) a testament to how well MCPS is doing compared to the nation c) a testament to better preparation and teaching d) none of the above
Imagine that you are driving down University Blvd. toward Blair High School. Your iPod is blasting your favorite song and traffic is flowing well. You turn right to enter the student parking lot and as soon as you enter, you immediately press down on the brakes and come to halt. From the entrance all the way down the far lane closest to University Blvd., there is a long line of cars. Parents are stopping in the driving lanes to drop off their children and it is impossible for you to pull around them.
For Blazers the typical after school job pays anywhere from $5.15 to $8.00, adding up to just enough for the latest gaming system or pair of sneakers. But what if you had to live on that money? For minimum wage workers this is just the case.
Blair is one of only a few high schools in the county that has yet to implement the Online Achievement and Reporting System (OARS). In the 2007-2008 school year, MCPS will require the use of this program in all secondary schools.
It can prevent cancer, it can save lives, but in Maryland, it is not yet required for middle school girls. It is Gardasil, the newly released vaccine that protects against the human papillomavirus (HPV), a disease that can lead to cervical cancer. While there is opposition from parents and controversy over how the maker of the vaccine will benefit from state mandates requiring the vaccine, Maryland has made a mistake in not passing the legislation potentially preventing thousands of cervical cancer cases.
A nonstop flow of yelling in Arabic is the only sound in the film as an unidentified object swings in and out of the dark, grainy scene. A few more seconds reveals the object to be the dead body of Saddam Hussein, former Iraqi dictator. That's all thanks to YouTube, a widely popular and controversial home video uploading and sharing service. Now, anyone with a working email address and the savvy to change one's birth year to earlier than 1988 when registering for the site can access the disturbing footage with the click of a button.
Every workday, thousands of commuters sit through miles of gridlock, crawling along the area's clogged local roads and highways as they face hour long drives to work. The Intercounty Connecter (ICC), a proposed six-lane, 18-mile highway, aims to alleviate this congestion by providing a traffic free east-west route between I-270 in Montgomery County and U.S. Route 1 in Prince George's County.
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