Gwendolyn Glenn / WYPR

Students in Maryland and 11 other states and the District of Columbia will start taking new standardized tests in March to assess their progress in math and English Language Arts under the Common Core standards. But some education experts fear that students who are only beginning to learn to speak English will be at a disadvantage when they take the more rigorous, computerized exams.

John Hopkins in cloudy weather taken by callison-burch via flickr

On December 3, Baltimore City Police announced in a press release the arrest of two Reiserstown men in conjunction with the alleged gang rape of a 16-year-old girl on November 2 at the Johns Hopkins Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternity house on 29th and St Paul Streets. Both the victim and the alleged perpetrators were not affiliated with the University.

This case is the second high-profile sexual assault headline involving Johns Hopkins this year. The University became one of 76 schools under investigation by the U.S. Department of Education last spring for failing to comply with the Clery Act, which requires schools to report sexual assaults. That stemmed from the mishandling of a Towson University student’s report that she was gang-raped at the Pi Kappa Alpha - or PIKE - house in March of 2013. 

Freeman Hrabowski, educator, at TED2013: The Young, The Wise, The Undiscovered. Tuesday, February 26, 2013, Long Beach, CA. Photo: James Duncan Davidson. / TED Conference via flickr

A week after analysts announced a state budget deficit, Freeman Hrabowski, president of the University of Maryland Baltimore County sent his staff an email stating that a hiring freeze would go into effect December 1st.

The email also warned that “uncertainty remains about the extent of expected reductions,” referring to budget cuts that may come as a result of the deficit.

Gwendolyn Glenn / WYPR


It’s about 6:30 a.m. and 17-year-old Julia Miller, dressed in jeans and tennis shoes, is ready for school. But before she can head out, she has to wake up her two-month-old son, Logan, and feed and dress him. Miller already fed him sometime between 3 a.m. and 5 a.m. and fell back asleep. “I’m exhausted,” she said as she trudged up the narrow stairs to her room in the small townhouse she shares with her mom, older brother and Logan’s father, 19-year-old Shaquille Johnson. He works afternoons in a grocery store and was walking around sleepily helping Miller with the baby.

Gwendolyn Glenn / WYPR

There are nearly 1,000 babies born to teenagers in Baltimore each year, according to the Kids Count Data Center. And that has led to a lot of students missing more than 20 days of school each year, making them chronically absent.

So officials at Benjamin Franklin High school came up with a way to help teen parents balance school work and child care. They opened the city’s first all-day childcare center within a school.

The center was three years in the making. Principal Chris Battaglia spearheaded a campaign to raise nearly half a million dollars from the city school system, the state department of education, the city health department, the United Way and other donors to renovate unused space in the building. The day care center opened its doors Oct. 30.

A plus by ludwg via flickr

The nation's teacher training programs are not rigorous enough and education majors are being graded too easily, according to a new report released this week by the National Council of Teacher Quality, an education think tank.

The report, called “Easy A’s,” compared teacher training programs to other programs at more than 500 institutions. It concluded that education majors at 58 percent of the schools surveyed are held to lower standards than students in other majors.

Gwendolyn Glenn / WYPR

The Common Core standards for math and English Language Arts have led to major changes in how elementary and secondary students are being taught. But some education experts worry that teacher training has not kept up with the changes.

Kate Walsh, President of the National Council on Teacher Quality, an education think tank that focuses on teacher preparation and effectiveness, says college education departments are not in step with the major changes the Common Core requires of teachers. “Higher education is traditionally slow at adopting changes that are happening at the K-12 level,” she said at an Education Writers Association conference in Detroit last month. “We're seeing little evidence of the Common Core being taught on campuses up until a year ago. That may be shifting, but what has happened at the K-12 level often doesn't manifest itself in the teacher training that's going on in those schools.”

Team Meade, universities talk partnerships taken by Fort Meade via flickr

The chancellor is stepping down. After 50 years in education, and 12 years as Chancellor of the University System of Maryland, William English “Brit” Kirwan is retiring. He will leave office after his replacement is selected by the Board of Regents.

The search is underway.

During his tenure, Kirwan was hailed for his strategic spending; his “Effectiveness and Efficiency Initiative,” started in 2003-04, has saved the system upwards of $462 million to date. He was also partly responsible for the tuition freezes after the recession. Under him, enrollment in Maryland’s 11 institutions of higher learning increased by 24 percent.

Day 190/365: University of Maryland Medical Center taken by wenzday via flickr

Maryland’s health and hospital officials announced a statewide strategy today to diagnose and treat Ebola, if any cases were to arise. No Ebola infections have surfaced in Maryland, but those suspected of having the virus would have their blood tested at the state’s public health lab, one of only 13 in the country authorized to test for Ebola.