Children from lower-income families are concentrated in Columbia’s older neighborhoods and the Route 1 corridor because that’s where their parents can afford to live. Achieving equity in education for these students requires the additional resources laid out by the Kirwan Commision on Innovation and Excellence in Education. Simply moving them to higher performing schools, as the superintendent has proposed, is not enough.
Del. Trent Kittleman, R-9A Howard County, the grandmother of six students in Howard County public schools, questions Superintendent Michael Martirano plan to move 7,400 students to relieve overcrowding but also to achieve “socioeconomic integration.” Kittleman says the moves will harm many children.
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The Kirwan Commission’s real aim is hiking teacher pay by $3 billion a year, and it is why the state teachers’ unions are so strongly backing it – more teacher pay. Kirwan aims at “making teacher salaries more competitive with other professions.”
Instead of spending close to $3 million dollars as that is the projected transportation cost associated with Dr. Martirano’s proposal, a prudent way to spend this money would be educating school staff about trauma. No curriculum or instruction provided by the best Howard County teachers will succeed if a student is under chronic stress.
The cries of outrage and opposition by Anne Arundel officials of both parties were predictable when the Maryland Transportation Authority announced in August that it had narrowed it choices for a third Chesapeake Bay bridge.
A team of researchers studying dolphins in the Potomac River got unexpected fruit from their labors last month when they witnessed a dolphin being born near the river’s confluence with the Chesapeake Bay. Bottlenose dolphins are among the most studied species in the world, but a wild birth has only been documented in scientific literature on one other occasion: in 2013 off the coast of Georgia.
Psychiatrist Shobhit Negi writes that the recommended area adjustment plan for Howard County schools is a shortcut approach to a larger issue that our society faces. It is analogous to applying a Band-Aid over a wound while letting it bleed internally. His concerns are related to the biological and psychological ramifications associated with implementation of the superintendent’s recommendation.
Legal but politically stupid. That was the decision last week by the workgroup on school spending to go into closed session to begin hashing out funding formulas. This was a shocker from a commission that has been remarkably open and transparent.
The Howard County superintendent’s redistricting plan forces 7,300 students to switch schools, promoting equity by reducing the presence of low-income families at some schools and increasing their presence at other schools. Many of the plan’s proponents cannot defend it in good faith. Consider the example set by the County Council’s own segregation smear.