After extensive research and a forum held by the Silver Chips Editorial Board with both candidates, the Editorial Board is proud to endorse Harris for the At-Large seat on the Board of Education, upholding the decision made in May. As a champion for student voices and an experienced MCPS teacher, Harris will bring necessary perspective to the Board table, ensuring that students are at the forefront of all conversations.
Associate Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg has been a critical piece of my own political socialization. She showed me and so many other young women that we have a place in this world––not only as lawyers and jurists, but as strong advocates and leaders, too. Ginsburg fought for and secured a number of women's rights, including—but not limited to—the ability to take out credit cards in our own names and to purchase and lease properties without a male co-signer. At the same time, I have to recognize that Ginsburg was not the perfect progressive she is often idolized as.
I’ve spent the past 12 years immersed in Montgomery County Public Schools, starting in 2008 when my son started kindergarten. I went to my first PTA meeting, raised my hand to volunteer for something, and then kept raising my hand. Taking on more volunteer roles, leading the PTA, stepping up to work as a leader of the countywide PTA (the Montgomery County Council of PTAs, or MCCPTA)—those things together provided many opportunities to study issues, listen, learn from leaders, and connect with communities.
The final decision on reopening MCPS lies with the county’s chief health officer. The Board of Education’s role—and mine, as a prospective member—is to tirelessly plan for the moment the light turns green. Rather than emphasize careful and transparent planning and identifying needed resources, MCPS has contributed to anxiety and confusion. That, and poor communication, has led to five myths about school reopening.
Kathryn is Silver Chips' Ombudsman. To connect with her, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
From maintaining schools, to distributing food, to teaching on Zoom, MCPS employees are continuously going above and beyond during this pandemic. Now, MCPS is hanging them out to dry.
Joe Francaviglia struggled for years with getting mental health resources for his students. “I taught 33 eighth graders my second period, and the class had at least eight kids with serious mental health needs,” Francaviglia, a former teacher in Baltimore City Public Schools and current Executive Director of Strong Schools Maryland, said. “We had one school psychologist who was there part-time. My class alone would have filled her caseload.”
When Norah Lesperin, a sophomore at Albert Einstein, took health over summer break to get the required graduation credit out of the way, she encountered hateful comments about her identity and a sexual assault lesson so insensitive that it made her feel nauseous.
This fall, as seniors scramble to submit their college applications, many find themselves checking off a box to indicate their race—wondering what their answer will mean for their admission prospects. The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) apparently has a very good idea of that.
TRIGGER WARNING: This article contains non-graphic descriptions of and information about sexual abuse and trauma. Where only first names appear, names have been changed to protect the identities of the sources.
The arguments for and against face filters
Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, many have found themselves struggling to get by. Small businesses are hustling to keep themselves afloat, school districts are scurrying to create successful online learning systems, and medical staffers are working excruciatingly long hours to help those in need. To lessen the spread of the virus and its chaos, state governors have urged citizens to stay home by enforcing stringent stay-at-home orders––some states even administering fines for non-essential travel. This has led many Americans to stockpile on everyday items. People are hoarding exorbitant amounts of items—from rolls of toilet paper to cases of water—just so they can be prepared. While this reaction is understandable, stockpiling is doing more harm than good.
This year, students not only took AP exams from the comfort of home, but in a fraction of the previous three hour time limit. These limitations extend to restrict the number and type of questions on the test, and even the content covered. While the College Board, the for-profit “non-profit” that has monopolized the standardized testing industry, would like to believe that their blissfully shortened 45-minute AP tests will be enough to demonstrate students’ mastery of a subject, this is simply not the case.
The Silver Chips Editorial Board is proud to endorse Lynne Harris for the open at-large seat on the Montgomery County Board of Education. Ms. Harris’ deep knowledge of the school system, unique prioritization of students, and diverse career experiences make her the ideal choice for students and families as MCPS recovers from the COVID-19 pandemic.
Now is the time to learn a language, make a YouTube channel, and start your next big coding project. Now is the time to create a garden, paint the next Mona Lisa, and write a book. From the internet, newspapers, and even TikTok, we’ve been hearing these sentiments over and over again: We must maximize the efficiency of our quarantine time.
In a recent study, the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) recorded and analyzed the deaths of teens in the age range of 16-19 in order to access the effectiveness of the Graduated Licensing System (GLS). According to their findings, after the implementation of the GLS, states have suffered 1,348 fewer fatal automobile accidents with 16-year-olds behind the wheel. But in the same period of time 1,086 more 18-year-olds have been killed behind the wheel.
The Latin expression in loco parentis gives schools and institutions the right to speak for their students' best interests in dire instances. Administrations in schools have saved lives in crises and protected students when their parents could not. But although our schools can shoulder that legal burden while we are behind their gates, does it hold that they should keep it with them at all times?
MCPS may already go above and beyond the Maryland State Board of Education's newly adopted guidelines for gifted and talented (GT) education, but the county has yet to take GT labeling to the state-condoned extreme. The Feb. 28 GT legislation suggests that schools monitor their students from pre-kindergarten, a dangerous move that threatens to widen the achievement gap and contribute to the deceleration of curricula across MCPS.
Currently, Silver Chips puts out seven issues a year, which is fairly infrequent. It's up to the editorial staff of Silver Chips to strike a balance between length and quality on the one hand, and timeliness and relevance on the other. Silver Chips print should consider shifting gears to a ten-issue paper to keep the readers up-to-date through more timely and relevant sports and news stories, and to establish a greater Silver Chips presence throughout Blair.
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