Laptop computer by mmole on Flickr

Many blame big corporation, Pearson, for school testing malaise

When a state commission meets for the first time on Tuesday to open a probe on the use of standardized testing in Maryland public schools, the elephant in the room could well be the testing vendor itself. The company, Pearson, is viewed by some as a multi-pronged education conglomerate whose standardized testing component is either a bane of classroom existence or the future of student assessments, depending on whom you speak with.

Gov. Larry Hogan, left, and Comptroller Peter Franchot announce tax refund. Photo by Governor's Office.

Hogan, Franchot tout $200M tax refund, but judges and Howard County couple deserve credit

Republican Gov. Larry Hogan and Democratic Comptroller Peter Franchot were at the podium in the State House Monday taking credit for a $200 million income tax refund that 55,000 Marylanders could apply for.

But it was actually judges on the U.S. Supreme Court and Maryland's Court of Appeals that should have been standing there, or even better Brian and Karen Wynne of Howard County who deserved the credit.

Baltimore County Executive Kevin Kamenetz, right, and Superintent of Schools Dallas Dance at Sparks Elementary School from the county's Facebook page.

Rascovar: Hogan vs. Kamenetz, a preview of 2018?

In a bizarre twist, we might witness a preview of the 2018 gubernatorial campaign at the next Board of Public Works meeting. Then again, a threatened confrontation between Republican Gov. Larry Hogan Jr. and Democratic Baltimore County Executive Kevin Kamenetz may never occur. Even more bizarre is the issue that could bring these potential foes into a debate arena: air-conditioning.

Gov. Larry Hogan talks with reporters Thursday at the 100 days event.

Hogan still debating hotel tax

Gov. Larry Hogan is now wrestling with the issue many legislators debated this session: are online travel agents paying the full sales-tax owed to Maryland?

Hogan frowning

Analysis: Hubris at the Board of Public Works?

Whether you call him the new sheriff in town, or the public-sector incarnation of the muscle-bound wrestler “Hulk” Hogan, Governor Larry Hogan has meted out his own brand of “whoop ass” on flat-footed state bureaucrats while presiding over his first six meetings of the Board of Public Works, a three-member panel that approves major state procurements.

Hogan Franchot Kopp Board of Public Works

Rascovar: Procurement disgrace in Annapolis

Maryland's system of contracting for services through competitive bids is in shambles. It has been that way for years -- and is getting worse. It's an embarrassment to taxpayers. Yet a long list of procurement debacles hasn't been enough to spur sweeping reforms.

Hogan Franchot

Hogan signs on to Franchot drive for school start after Labor Day

“Wouldn’t It Be Nice” by the Beach Boys pounded in the staid assembly room of Maryland’s Treasury Building Thursday as Comptroller Peter Franchot and others gathered to collect the final signature on his year-long petition drive to “Let Summer Be Summer.”

“See you in September” might have been just as appropriate for the effort to require schools to start after Labor Day as Gov.-elect Larry Hogan became the 13,244th person to sign the petition since the drive started last in August on the boardwalk of Ocean City with a goal of 10,000 signatures.

Omalley Kopp share a laugh

O’Malley’s final BPW meeting — smiles, applause and budget cuts

Twice a month for eight years, Gov. Martin O'Malley has presided over the Board of Public Works. Its three members all describe it as a unique institution in American state government where three independently elected state officials get to review every major government contract and purchase, from health insurance and prison food service to university dorms and wetland permits. Wednesday was O'Malley's last session as governor, and at Comptroller Peter Franchot's suggestion, the audience gave O'Malley a standing ovation.