NEW BAY BRIDGE PLANS CONCERN ARUNDEL OFFICIALS: Maryland transportation officials have determined that building another bridge near the Chesapeake Bay Bridge would relieve traffic backups better than an additional crossing farther to the north or south, Katherine Shaver of the Post reports.
- Maryland has narrowed the options for a new Chesapeake Bay crossing to three sites in Anne Arundel County — immediately spurring concerns from county leaders. All three sites — as well as a “no build” option — will be the subject of community meetings on both sides of the bay in September and October, reports Pamela Wood in the Sun.
- Although a final decision on where to build a new span – let alone actual construction – is years away, Anne Arundel officials on Tuesday expressed dismay with the Hogan administration’s approach, Bruce DePuyt of Maryland Matters reports. “Anne Arundel is looking down the barrel of a gun right now,” County Executive Steuart Pittman said in an interview.
- Kristi King of WTOP-AM reports that the Maryland Transit Opportunities Coalition thinks drivers will end up paying for the new bridge. In a news release stating that a new bridge could easily cost $5 billion to $10 billion, coalition chair Ben Ross called the idea an exercise in financial fantasy that would cause Bay Bridge tolls to triple. “If you triple the tolls, commuter traffic is sure to decline,” Ross said. “Once you do that, will there be any point to building the bridge?”
LAWMAKER SEEKS PROBE INTO RACING PANEL: Doug Donovan of the Sun is reporting that a Baltimore legislator is asking the state attorney general to investigate whether the Maryland Racing Commission has improperly awarded public subsidies to the state’s biggest racetrack owner and to evaluate why so many of the horse racing regulators earn money from the sport they govern.
PARCC SCORES UP IN ENGLISH, DOWN IN MATH: Maryland students in elementary and middle school improved on standardized tests in English, according to new data, but math scores dipped at most grade levels. Donna St. George of the Post reports that the results, released Tuesday, mark a final chapter for rigorous exams that Maryland rolled out in 2015 and is leaving behind. For the coming school year, the state is creating new standardized tests.
- Student math achievement has long lagged behind reading in Maryland, and this year’s results on the annual spring PARCC tests highlighted the continued failure of schools to come up with a better way to teach the subject, report the Sun’s Liz Bowie, Talia Richman and Christine Zhang.
- Carroll County Public Schools ranked No. 1 in math and second in English Language Arts among school systems in Maryland for the standardized tests called the PARCC, or Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers. Carroll saw the biggest increases in Grade 10 ELA, rising 3.3% over last year to a total of 68% of students passing, Catalina Righter of the Carroll County Times reports.
- “We have some good news to celebrate in terms of our English Language Arts results, but we have some real work to do in terms of our mathematics results,” State Superintendent Karen B. Salmon told the board. Danielle Gaines writes the story for Maryland Matters.
- You can search the rankings by school by clicking here.
ALLSTATE, MD TEAM ON I-695 SAFETY: Baltimore’s Interstate 695 was named among the 15 riskiest roads in America this summer by Allstate, and now the highway is getting a $10,000 grant aimed at making it safer for drivers. Carey Milligan of the Baltimore Business Journal writes that Allstate spokeswoman Sharee Merenov said the company has been in contact with the Maryland Department of Transportation and are looking at a variety of potential projects. There’s no timeline for when the projects will be announced, but Merenov said it will be before the end of the year.
HOGAN TOUTS TRANSPORTATION WORK: Gov. Larry Hogan touted his administration’s improvements to Maryland’s roads, the Port of Baltimore and BWI Thurgood Marshall Airport as he hosted a forum in Boston Tuesday on infrastructure policy at the National Governors Association’s first Infrastructure Stakeholder Summit., Jeremy Fox of Maryland Matters reports.
CRABS LAGGING IN SOME SPOTS: At the beginning of July, media across Maryland delivered good news for those planning a traditional feast of Chesapeake Bay blue crabs on Independence Day. Someone apparently forgot to tell the crabs, at least in the Upper Bay, writes the Bay Journal’s Timothy Wheeler for MarylandReporter. While supplies were generally ample in the Lower Bay through spring into summer, crabbers in other places had a hard time finding enough of the crustaceans to satisfy their crab-craving customers.
JUSTICE DEPT. SUES BA CO ON POLICE RECRUITING: The U.S. Department of Justice sued the Baltimore County government Tuesday, alleging that a written test for police officer recruits was unfairly biased against African American applicants, Pamela Wood and Wilborn Nobles report in the Sun. African American applicants failed the test at a greater rate than white applicants, resulting in fewer African Americans being hired as police officers, the Department of Justice wrote in the lawsuit. The suit, filed Tuesday in U.S. District Court in Baltimore, did not include the pass rates, but said the difference was “statistically significant.”
- The feds are asking the county to discontinue the tests and develop a non-discriminatory selection process, and provide relief to people who may have been discriminated against, Brandon Weigel of Baltimore Fishbowl reports.
OPINION: HOWARD’s DISSERVICE TO SCHOOLS, TAXPAYERS: In a column for the Sun, Lew Jan Olowski, a Howard County resident, opinions that according to its government, Howard County is racist, classist and does not yet pay enough taxes. But the Board of Education and the County Council have plans to change that. He concludes that it seems that Howard County’s government is committed to transforming the demographic makeup of the community. Maybe voters should change the makeup of the county government instead, he says.
OFFICIAL: ST. MARY’s OK ON OPEN MEETINGS COMPLIANCE: An opinion issued by the Maryland open meetings compliance board last month that the Talbot County Council’s frequent electronic communication among council members over nearly two days constituted a meeting that should have been open to the public should have no effect on St. Mary’s County, officials say. St. Mary’s is the only county in the state to adopt its own open meetings policy that is more stringent than Maryland law, Taylor DeVille reports in the St. Mary’s Enterprise.