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Inside Ed Education news and issues
Baltimore Sun wins national education reporting award

A Baltimore Sun investigation into $4.6 million in workers' compensation claims by hundreds of city educators hurt by students in 2013 has won the Education Writers Association's first place award for investigative reporting, the association said Thursday.

The February 2014 project, "Painful Lessons," was authored by Sun reporters Erica L. Green and Luke Broadwater and former Sun reporter Scott Calvert. Calvert now works at the Wall Street Journal. It documented more than 300 claims related to assaults or run-ins with students and reported that the city schools system trails only the Police Department in injuries reported per year.

Judges praised the report's combination of "ingenious approach to public records" and "dogged personal reporting."

"This presents a complete and provocative investigation into a costly and troubling problem," they said. "It has an array of features aside from the strong narrative that lays out the problem in compelling fashion.

"It includes profiles of the...

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Tiger Woods donates to UMES scholarship

The University of Maryland Eastern Shore said on Thursday it has its first individual donor to a scholarship fund honoring the late professional golf pioneer Charlie Sifford.

The donor: Tiger Woods.

UMES officials said on Thursday that the PGA Tour star contributed a personal gift of $10,000 to help launch the Sifford Fund, which would provide need-based scholarships for student golf enthusiasts from areas “underrepresented in the golf industry.”

UMES executive vice president Kimberly Dumpson said that though the scholarship fund is in its early stages school officials hope to begin distributing awards as early as next fall.

Sifford led the way in successfully desegregating the PGA in the 1960s. He died at the age of 92 last month, less than three months after President Barack Obama presented him with the Presidential Medal of Freedom.

UMES officials said that the school’s connection with Sifford began at a tribute reception it hosted on Capitol Hill for Sifford the evening he was...

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Fraternities face scrutiny, self-analysis after series of scandals

In the wake of a racist, sexist email that roiled the campus this month, students at the University of Maryland, College Park spoke out at a forum Tuesday, expressing frustration with fraternity culture and unhappiness with the school's response.

Some of the more than 100 students attending the campus forum said they want university President Wallace D. Loh to punish the student who sent the message — allegedly a member of the Kappa Sigma fraternity — and want administrators to oversee fraternities more closely.

"It's the university's responsibility to address it," said Ceaira Thomas, a 20-year-old junior from Columbia who helped organize the forum as a member of the campus chapter of the NAACP. She said the student who wrote the email ought to be expelled.

"It's something that's embedded in the [fraternity] culture, and we need to take steps to address it," Thomas said. "This is an opportunity to make a concrete change, and I don't feel like steps have been taken to the...

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Lawmakers call for change on city schools leave pay

State and local lawmakers called on Baltimore school officials Monday to rein in policies and practices that led the district to pay employees $46 million last year in accrued leave, bonuses, overtime, stipends and other compensation.

The district made the payouts as it was logging a $72 million deficit that officials say will force the first layoffs in more than a decade.

The salary information, obtained by The Baltimore Sun, comes to light as district readers and lawmakers rally to restore $36.5 million in state cuts back to the schools budget.

City Council President Bernard C. "Jack" Young said the district should change rules for new hires to limit payouts for unused vacation time when they leave the system. He said he doesn't believe they should be allowed to cash out sick time.

"I have some real concerns," Young said. "Going forward, the school board needs to figure out a system similar to the one [the city has] for new employees, where they cap the vacation."

Young emphasized...

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In Baltimore, Monarch students walk a path of civil rights history

When eighth-graders at Monarch Academy crack open their textbooks to read about the lives of Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall and Baltimore NAACP organizer Lillie Mae Carroll Jackson, they'll do so knowing they've sat in the same church pews and walked along the same streets as the civil rights legends.

When they learn about segregation in Baltimore's restaurants and parks, they'll recall standing on the grassy plot in Druid Hill Park where a "colored-only" swimming pool once sat, just a short distance from the ornate recreation pavilion that was reserved for white patrons.

On Thursday, more than 70 students from Monarch Academy in Glen Burnie spent a day walking in the footsteps of civil rights leaders and viewing some of the locations where Marshall, Jackson and the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. wrote history. Students learned throughout the day that while some storefronts may have changed names, the shadows of the men and women who visited them still loom large over the...

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Loyola University Maryland president taking sabbatical

Loyola University Maryland announced Thursday that its president, the Rev. Brian F. Linnane, will take a six-month sabbatical in fall 2015.

Loyola’s Board of Trustees granted Linnane, 59, the sabbatical and named Susan Donovan, Ph.D., executive vice president, acting president for the duration of the period from July 1 to Dec. 31.

“As I prepare to take this sabbatical, I express yet again my deep faith in our community’s ability to continue to advance Loyola in fulfilling our important mission," Linnane said in a statement. "The Jesuit tradition values seeking out time for reflection, and I am grateful to the Trustees for granting me this opportunity."

Officials said in the statement that Linnane has not finalized his plans, but intends to spend time at one of the Jesuit theological centers "so he can re-immerse himself in his academic area of theological ethics. His scholarly publications in this field are extensive, covering the disciplines of fundamental moral theology, health care...

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