State Roundup: Education board appoints interim super noted for ‘Mississippi miracle;’ Gov. Moore confident on inking O’s deal; Covid on the rise

State Roundup: Education board appoints interim super noted for ‘Mississippi miracle;’ Gov. Moore confident on inking O’s deal; Covid on the rise

Dr. Carey Wright, the former superintendent of Mississippi public schools who has been lauded for her advocacy of phonics-based reading education and the turnaround in scores in that state, will take the Maryland superintendent's position on an interim basis. Wright has strong ties to Maryland and Maryland education. Screenshot from a 2018 event recorded by C-Span.

EX-MISSISSIPPI SUPER TO TAKE INTERIM MARYLAND POST: The Maryland State Board of Education has voted to appoint Dr. Carey Wright as the interim state superintendent of schools. Wright will replace Superintendent Mohammed Choudhury while the state school board conducts a national search for a permanent replacement. Choudhury plans to resign Friday and transition into a new role as senior advisor to the state school board. Project Baltimore/WBFF-TV News.

  • Wright gained national prominence for her role in helping Mississippi students’ scores on national math and reading tests move from among the worst to close to the national average in just a decade. She had previously worked as a teacher, principal and administrator in the Howard, Montgomery and Prince George’s county school systems and as chief academic officer for Washington, D.C., public schools. Liz Bowie/The Baltimore Banner.
  • Wright’s time leading the southern state aligns with what some have called the “Mississippi miracle” — the state was ranked in 2013 as the second-worst for fourth-grade reading to 21st in 2022, according to The Associated Press. Dan Belson/The Baltimore Sun.
  • Wright is expected to start her new gig Oct. 23 to oversee a public school system with nearly 890,000 students and becoming the leading advocate for the 10-year Blueprint for Maryland’s Future education reform plan. William Ford/Maryland Matters.
  • Choudhury withdrew from consideration for a second term last month after a problem-plagued two-year tenure in which he was accused of creating a toxic work environment, driving away veteran staffers and micromanaging the department. Valerie Strauss, Ovetta Wiggins and Nicole Asbury/The Washington Post.
  • Here’s a 2022 ‘exit interview’ with Carey Wright as she gets ready to leave the state of Mississippi’s school superintendency for Maryland. Robert Pondiscio/American Enterprise Institute.

MOORE CONFIDENT ON COMING O’s DEAL: Six days after the Orioles and the state of Maryland announced a 30-year deal to keep the team at Camden Yards and five days after it was revealed that the agreement was a memorandum of understanding, and not a lease, Gov. Wes Moore emphasized the deal’s importance and guaranteed a lease would get signed. Sam Janesch and Hayes Gardner/The Baltimore Sun.

COVID CASES SURGE: Maryland is seeing a surge in COVID cases that mirrors national trends — and experts say it might continue as the state heads into respiratory disease season and as some residents take lax approaches to preventive measures. Shifra Dayak of Capital News Service/

MARYLAND BIOTECH FIRM GETS FDA OK FOR NEW COVID VACCINE: Novavax, a biotech firm based in Gaithersburg, has been granted emergency FDA authorization for its version of a COVID-19 vaccine — and local officials hope it will encourage more people to get boosted against the latest COVID-19 variants. At his weekly briefing with reporters, Montgomery County Executive Marc Elrich said the Novavax vaccine is a protein-based vaccine, as opposed to the mRNA vaccines already on the market. Kate Ryan/WTOP-FM.

POLL: NO CRUSH TO GET COVID SHOTS: While Marylanders are being reminded to get their flu and RSV vaccines, they are also being reminded that COVID-19 boosters are available. But a new poll found that not everyone is rushing to get the shot. The poll by Gonzales Research and Media Services showed that 52% of respondents said they will be getting their boosters this year, while nearly 42% said they will skip it. Kate Ryan/WTOP-FM.

VIRGINIA MULLS EXTENDING 11 MILES OF TOLL LANES INTO MARYLAND: A proposal to widen an 11-mile stretch of the Capital Beltway in Virginia has entered a new phase with the release of nine possible construction alternatives. Topping the list is an extension of toll lanes into Maryland. Luz Lazo/The Washington Post.

HARRIS VOTED TO KEEP MCARTHY AS SPEAKER: In a historic vote that removed a U.S. House speaker for the first time, Maryland’s seven-member Democratic delegation voted with their colleagues to oust former Republican Speaker Kevin McCarthy while the state’s lone GOP congressman, Andy Harris, a member of the conservative Freedom Caucus, supported his party’s leader. Sam Janesch/The Baltimore Sun.

  • Rep. Steny Hoyer of Maryland and former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) were evicted Tuesday from their U.S. Capitol hideaway offices in the aftermath of the ousting of former Speaker Kevin McCarthy. Parker Leipzig/Capital News Service.

CHARLES COUNTY JOINS SUIT AGAINST SOCIAL MEDIA: Charles County this month joined nine other Maryland school districts in a lawsuit against the world’s social media giants: Google, Meta, ByteDance and Snap Inc. Other school districts in the state that have joined the court action are Baltimore city and Anne Arundel, Carroll, Cecil, Harford, Howard, Montgomery, Prince George’s and Talbot counties. “Hopefully this lawsuit provides pressure for some action in terms of how to better create products that are geared to children,” said Maria Navarro, superintendent of Charles County Public Schools. Christina Walker of CNS/

TRAFFIC FATALITIES RISING IN MARYLAND: Maryland is on track to see the highest number of roadway fatalities since 2007, according to Motor Vehicle Administrator Christine Nizer, with Prince George’s County leading the state in fatal crashes. As of Oct. 4, Maryland has seen 456 roadway fatalities this year, according to Maryland Department of Transportation’s Crash Data Dashboard. Last year, 564 people died on Maryland roadways, while in 2007, 615 people were killed on state roads. Lucy Hubbard of CNS/

MD CONGRESSMEN ASK IRS TO SPARE COLLEGE SAVINGS PLANS FROM TAX PENALTY: Members of Maryland’s congressional delegation are asking the Internal Revenue Service to spare families invested in the state’s prepaid college savings plan from a hefty tax penalty they could face to access the money in their accounts. Danielle Douglas-Gabriel/The Washington Post.

BALTIMORE COUNTY COUNCIL CONSIDERS EXPANDING: The Baltimore County Council will explore the possibility of adding more council members, following years of pressure from voting rights advocates. Lia Russell/The Baltimore Sun.

CASSILLY SEEKS TO OUST SECOND HARFORD COUNCILMEMBER: Harford County Executive Bob Cassilly is once again calling for the removal of a County Council member because of their day job. This time, Cassilly is targeting Aaron Penman now that Penman has returned to work for the Harford County Sheriff’s Office. Penman, a sergeant who worked for the sheriff’s office for more than 23 years, returned to work recently after retiring in October 2022. He was elected to the County Council in the November general election. Jason Fontelieu/The Aegis.

SYED GOES BEFORE STATE SUPREME COURT: Adnan Syed, who served more than 20 years in prison in the killing of his ex-girlfriend and classmate at Woodlawn High School, heads to the state’s highest court on Thursday for oral argument in an appeal that could decide whether he remains free. Dylan Segelbaum/The Baltimore Banner.

About The Author

Cynthia Prairie

Contributing Editor Cynthia Prairie has been a newspaper editor since 1979, when she began working at The Raleigh Times. Since then, she has worked for The Baltimore News American, The Chicago Sun-Times, The Prince George’s Journal and Baltimore County newspapers in the Patuxent Publishing chain, including overseeing The Jeffersonian when it was a two-day a week business publication. Cynthia has won numerous state awards, including the Maryland State Bar Association’s Gavel Award. Besides compiling and editing the daily State Roundup, she runs her own online newspaper, The Chester Telegraph. If you have additional questions or comments contact Cynthia at:

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