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Baltimore's mismatched schools

Last year, Baltimore had 20 neighborhood elementary schools where enrollment was at least 25 percent greater than the state-rated capacity for their buildings, and it had 21 where enrollment was at least 25 percent below capacity. The most overcrowded elementary, John Ruhrah, had 369 more students...

  • Reviewing the riots

    Reviewing the riots

    Maryland's National Guard is reviewing its response to the unrest that followed Freddie Gray's funeral, and its leaders have already briefed the commanders of every other state and territorial guard in the nation on their experience.

  • Ocean City's unwelcome mat

    Ocean City's unwelcome mat

    Either visitors are getting a little wilder or Ocean City residents are getting a bit more sensitive, but the conflict between summer vacationers and those who live in the beach resort year-round has reared its ugly head again. Tomorrow, the Ocean City Council is scheduled to consider legislation...

  • Breaking the cycle of poverty

    Across Maryland the aftershocks of the Great Recession of 2007 are still being felt nearly eight years later. While unemployment has fallen from its peak levels in 2008-2010, the recovery has left many of the state's most vulnerable families still struggling to make up for lost ground. Maryland,...

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  • Health exchange debacle: Settled but not over

    Health exchange debacle: Settled but not over

    The state's $45 million settlement with the primary contractor responsible for its botched health insurance exchange appears to be a good deal for the taxpayers. It only covers about 60 percent of the state and federal funds Maryland provided to Noridian Healthcare Solutions, but it comes with...

  • Lessons unlearned from the riots

    Lessons unlearned from the riots

    It was obvious from the moment that rock throwing rioters clashed with police outside Mondawmin Mall that Baltimore was ill prepared for violent unrest in the wake of Freddie Gray's death, but every new disclosure about what happened that Monday serves to prove just how profound that lack of preparation...

  • Cruel and unusual punishment

    Cruel and unusual punishment

    Last week President Barack Obama became the first sitting president to visit a federal prison. On Thursday, Mr. Obama traveled to the medium-security El Reno Federal Correctional Institution near Oklahoma City to call for major reforms to the nation's criminal justice system, including a ban on...

  • O'Malley's $339,200 college debt

    O'Malley's $339,200 college debt

    Earlier this month, former Gov. Martin O'Malley outlined his plan to reduce student debt and make college more affordable for more families. It's a common theme for Democratic candidates running for president these days, but for Mr. O'Malley the public reaction proved a mixed blessing — his proposal...

  • The 'interim' commissioner

    The 'interim' commissioner

    Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake's use of the word "interim" to describe Kevin Davis' status as Baltimore police commissioner is a curious choice. Technically, it means his service in that role is temporary, covering an intervening period between two other leaders — Anthony Batts and whomever comes...

  • Stop the stopgap thinking on transportation funding

    Stop the stopgap thinking on transportation funding

    As of late last week, the average price of a gallon of regular unleaded gasoline in the Baltimore area hovered around $2.71, about six cents below the national average and a few pennies less than a week ago. One year ago, the average was $3.52. And where are gasoline prices headed in September?...

  • Crime and punishment

    Crime and punishment

    Norman O'Neal Brown, the lone Marylander among the 46 federal inmates to whom President Barack Obama granted clemency this week, was a drug dealer. He wasn't the sort who was sent to prison for a long term over mere possession of illegal drugs — he was convicted in 1993 as part of a loosely defined...

  • Free college?

    Free college?

    Baltimore officials are considering applying to a program that would cover the tuition expenses for any city graduate attending one of Maryland's public colleges and universities. The program promises a free college education to every city student who finishes high school, no strings attached....

  • Fighting the disease of addiction

    Fighting the disease of addiction

    If you have a heart attack, the ER physician doesn't just give you an aspirin and send you home. If your kidneys fail, doctors don't throw up their hands and discharge you because they're short on dialysis machines. But if you're lucky enough to survive a heroin overdose, you might have to wait...

  • Safe Streets' successes and side effects

    Safe Streets' successes and side effects

    In 2010, Baltimore shut down two of its Safe Streets violence intervention programs after federal authorities tied them to gang activity. The city was unable to substantiate the reports and started them back up. One of the Safe Streets locations in West Baltimore was shut down three years later...

  • Why not?

    Why not?

    The Orioles return from the All-Star break tomorrow with a disappointing .500 record yet only four games behind the division-leading New York Yankees, a team so old and flawed that a drop-off looks inevitable. The American League East appears up for grabs with even the last-place Boston Red Sox...

  • Howard's granola bar grinch

    Howard's granola bar grinch

    The choice by any elected leader to veto legislation approved by a legislative super-majority sufficient to override that veto is a truly rare action generally reserved for core beliefs — values so fundamental and important that compromise is not possible. Here is where I make my stand, a governor,...

  • Bargaining with Tehran

    Bargaining with Tehran

    It was always going to be a nail-biter, but the announcement today that Iran and six nations led by the United States had reached a historic agreement to limit Tehran's nuclear program was still a stunning development after nearly two years in the making. The deal holds out the promise of preventing...

  • The summer of hate

    If Americans needed any reminder of the hatred and racism that lies about a hair's breadth beneath the subject of immigration in this country, they witnessed it in full flower these past two weeks. From the unwarranted insults hurled at Mexico and Mexicans by Donald Trump to the response to the...

  • The governor's single-sided ax

    As a candidate for governor, Larry Hogan spent a great deal of time preaching against the evils of government regulation, so, if anything, last week's unveiling of a committee looking to streamline or eliminate red tape was overdue. We wish him luck. If his 10-member group spots what he terms "nonsensical,...