August 20 // A tablet in every cell: Gansler's conversation starter

Maryland Attorney General Doug Gansler raised quite a few eyebrows recently when he suggested that inmates in the state's prisons be given tablet computers to help them further their educations, search for job opportunities online and keep in touch with their families on the outside. It's an interesting idea but one that obviously needs to be fleshed out further, if only to explain why prisoners should be getting the devices before they are even available to all the state's schoolchildren. (Balt. Sun)

Read Full Article

City sits on its hands as Suns are ready to leave Hagerstown in the dark

By all appearances, Hagerstown is on the brink of losing professional baseball. That’s quite a feat. Over the past three decades there have been small bumps and major crises, but at the end of the day the men and women who occupied the mayor and council chairs were able to come together to keep baseball. This city council has been incapable of doing that. (Herald-Mail)

Read Full Article

One week and counting

Between Egypt and disgraced politicians, August has proven itself a more robust month for news than usual this year, yet there's always room in the summer doldrums for the wacky and off-beat. And for generations, few individuals have proven themselves better suited to provide that brand of comic relief than the men who have served as Maryland's comptroller. Whether it was Louis L. Goldstein's tireless campaigning or his cheerful but grammatically-challenged signature send-off, "God bless y'all real good," or even William Donald Schaefer's diatribes against the world or generally bizarre behavior, Maryland comptrollers have a tradition of quirky entertainment. How comforting to recognize that Peter Franchot, the man who has held the office since 2007, is continuing this proud tradition. (Balt. Sun)

Read Full Article

Kalman Hettleman: Alonso's special ed legacy

In the wake of the departure of Andrés Alonso, a commanding CEO for the past six years, Baltimore City school bells may be ringing a different tune this year. And listeners will be wondering: Will his bold legacy last? His best-known institutional reforms include extensive school autonomy, a wide variety of schools of choice, a progressive teacher contract, and restrictions on suspensions of students. These are likely to survive, but they are fairly commonplace across urban school districts, and he is not a signature founder of any of these movements. But one lesser-known reform is one-of-a-kind nationally and likely to be his most lasting legacy: the "One Year Plus" initiative to raise the academic performance of students with disabilities. (Balt. Sun)

Read Full Article

Bennett Freeman: Business leaders believe in clean energy

Maryland has repeatedly shown leadership on climate change and the clean-energy solutions that will both tackle the problem and provide economic growth. In order to continue this leadership, Maryland faces an important choice: whether to take another step forward on clean energy and reap the economic and job-creation benefits, or to settle for less. Gov. Martin O'Malley made the call late last month for the state to make the step forward, and we applaud his leadership. (Balt. Sun)

Read Full Article

With start of school, drivers must take care

Next week, approximately 56,000 children will board school buses for the first day of classes in Anne Arundel County. And statistics show that those children will be far safer than those being driven in cars. But we should still give some thought to making them safer yet. All too many state drivers still don’t realize that the flashing red lights and retractable stop signs on school buses are not a suggestion — they are a legally enforceable order. And not just to the motorists behind the bus but to those in front of it, on the other side of the road. (Capital)

Read Full Article

Dan Rodricks: Martin O'Malley starts to take his victory lap

Don't look now, my fellow Marylanders, but I think the Martin O'Malley victory lap has commenced. The governor, with a year and a half to go in his second and final term, has started telling us all about his impressive tenure. The governor gave a speech over the weekend that was mostly that — a way of cementing the local narrative about how his pragmatism and competency got us through the worst economic cycle in decades. Like everything else O'Malley does, it's all part of a strategy to enhance his standing as a Democratic presidential candidate in 2016. (Balt. Sun)

Read Full Article

Unequal outcomes

It may seem paradoxical that even as more black and Hispanic students attend college, America's system of higher education is becoming more racially polarized and unequal, with whites far more likely to graduate, earn advanced degrees or find good jobs than their minority peers. Yet that's exactly what researchers at Georgetown University's Center on Education and the Workforce recently found. The reason? While white students are increasingly clustered in the nation's top 468 schools with selective admissions policies, most of the nation's minority students attend open-access and community colleges that spend substantially less on instruction than their more selective counterparts — leading to wildly divergent opportunities and outcomes for students. (Balt. Sun)

Read Full Article