How good is your city’s pre-K program? Here’s a new report that grades 40 of them.

Research shows high-quality, accessible prekindergarten that meets the physical, cognitive and social developmental needs of children can have long-lasting positive effects. So just how good is the pre-K program in your city? A new report (see results below) looks at prekindergarten programs in 40 cities and rates them on 10 benchmarks that experts say are necessary for healthy and thriving students and communities. (Wash Post)

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Howard parent files redistricting injunction; school board adds ratification of vote to agenda

A Howard County Public School System parent filed an injunction in court Wednesday against the Board of Education’s final redistricting decision based on the argument the board violated the Maryland Open Meetings Act. Hours later, the school board’s Tuesday meeting agenda was updated to reflect an additional action item entitled, “Ratification of Vote on Redistricting.” No other information about the agenda item was available Thursday, and there was nothing indicating the vote was related to the Open Meetings Act injunction. (Balt Sun)
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‘I could do a little better’: Anne Arundel Co. student reflects in letter to Santa

When a second-grader at Southgate Elementary School in Glen Burnie, Maryland, was given an assignment to write a letter to someone, she decided to have a very honest talk with an important man: Santa. “Dear Santa, I love the gifes you gave me last Chrismas!” the letter begins. (All adorable spelling and grammar attributed to the original letter.) But then, the 7-year-old relegates herself to Santa’s naughty list: “I’v been a little bad this year attchely I’v been bad at school and at home. I drive my mom crazy sometimes.” (WTOP)

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Business leaders urge passage of Kirwan Commission recommendations for Maryland’s public schools

More than 30 business leaders wrote a letter Wednesday to Gov. Larry Hogan and top legislative officials urging support of the Kirwan Commission recommendations to improve public schools. “We are business leaders whose lives have been committed to building the economy and providing jobs for Marylanders. Maryland employers and employees must compete with companies across the United States and across the world,” stated the letter. “To succeed in an ever increasingly competitive global economy, our state must have a world-class education system. Sadly, we don’t have that now. Significant and immediate changes in our present system are needed or Maryland will slip and all Marylanders will pay a steep and avoidable price.” (Balt. Sun)

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Glitter, rollers and blowers in hand, Carroll County cosmetology students craft ‘Whoville’ hairdos

They came with their glitter. They came with their rollers. They came with their ornaments, hairpins and blowers. On Wednesday morning, the cosmetology students at the Carroll County Career and Technology Center were preparing for the eighth annual “Whoville” hair contest, crafting coifs fit for the mayor of the village made famous by Dr. Seuss. Or maybe a Grinch. (Balt Sun)

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Mids to honor Joshua Kaleb Watson, others killed in Pensacola shooting at Army-Navy game

Ensign Joshua Kaleb Watson attended last year’s Army-Navy game as a senior midshipman at the Naval Academy. At this year’s game on Saturday, he’ll be honored along with two other sailors shot and killed last week in a classroom at the Pensacola Naval Air Station. Watson, 23, known to his friends as Kaleb, graduated from the academy in May and was planning on a Navy career as a pilot. (Balt Sun)

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MD youths needing psychiatric care find long waits, drives

The first time Jeannine LeMieux’s daughter was hospitalized for a psychotic episode, she was only 8 years old. LeMieux took her daughter to a hospital emergency room near her home on Maryland’s Eastern Shore, where it was determined that she needed to be hospitalized. Her first admission was to Sheppard Pratt, a privately run psychiatric hospital with child and adolescent inpatient units in Towson, nearly a two-hour drive away. “They didn’t do anything,” said her daughter, now 19. “I just remember a kid that smacked me in my face one time.” To maintain the confidentiality of a minor’s medical history, LeMieux’s daughter’s name is being withheld. (AP)

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Board of Education votes to start school year Aug. 31

The 2020-2021 school year for Frederick County Public Schools will begin Aug. 31. The Board of Education voted and approved the third option presented by the school system’s Calendar Committee on Wednesday night. Joy Schaefer was the only board member who voted in opposition to the motion; all others voted to approve it, and the student member supported it. Option three was recommended to the school board after a high volume of public feedback expressing concern over the first two options was received. (News-Post)

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