Baltimore Sun


Welcome to "Classroom Connections," The Sun's new education blog!

Most of us have heard the Internet described as the "Information Superhighway." Well, we see this blog is a two-way street --- with your thoughts and opinions making up an integral part of the discussion, debate and exploration of education news and trends.
    We chose the blog's name, "Classroom Connections," because it best describes our endeavor to give readers an upclose view of where the real action happens --- the bottom line is all about the differences that are being made in the classroom.
    You can expect to frequently see news updates and fresh insights from The Sun's education team --- a group of nine reporters who cover state, national, regional and local school news.
    We believe that "Classroom Connections" will provide a centralized location for readers to find information of the happenings in and around the education world, particularly in Maryland.
    Toward that end, we are launching a few features --- and will add new ones as the blog evolves --- that are designed to augment the blogging experience, including:
    "Education Q&A"
Each Monday, we'll invite readers to submit questions to be answered by local education enthusiasts, including school system administrators, teachers, students, parent advocates. Sometimes we'll look at a particularly hot topic in the news, other times we'll seek your questions about a variety of compelling education issues and trends. The answers will be posted on the blog the following Monday.
    "Educator Spotlight"
With your help, we'll spotlight outstanding educators from across the region. To salute your favorite educator, please e-mail any of The Sun's education reporters the following information: The educator's name; school; educational background; and personal data, such as age, residence and family. This person may be anyone who works on the behalf of students ... teachers, principals, guidance counselors, etc. Then, answer this question: "How does this educator make a difference?"
    "Talk Back"
From time to time, we'll toss out a question or raise an issue for discussion, and post your responses. "Talk Back" is designed to spur discussion of hot topics in the news as well as trends and issues in education.
    We believe this blog will serve as a powerful tool to bring together the community of people who are passionate about the health of our school systems. We urge you to visit the site regularly and weigh in with your questions, thoughts and ideas.
    On that note, let's get started with our first "Education Q&A."
    With news accounts of kids bringing guns to class, fights breaking out at high school sporting events, and the recent Virginia Tech massacre, school leaders, government officials and education advocates across the country are asking themselves if enough being done to prevent such violence. Schools are supposed to be havens. Scared teachers can't teach, scared students can't learn. A local school security official and a police officer will answer your questions on this pressing issue. Please submit questions by 10 a.m. Wednesday for Larry Faries, security coordinator for Carroll County public schools, and a Howard County police officer. Their answers will be posted next Monday.
    We look forward to hearing from you,
    The Sun's Education Team
    Liz Bowie, state/national education:, 410-332-6563
    Gina Davis, Baltimore County schools:, 410-494-2938
    Gadi Dechter, higher education:, 410-332-6261
    Arin Gencer, Carroll County schools:, 410-751-7930
    Brent Jones, Baltimore City schools:, 410-332-6624
    Ruma Kumar, Anne Arundel County schools:, 443-482-3402
    Sara Neufeld, Baltimore City schools:, 410-332-6610
    Madison Park, Harford County schools:, 410-803-2793
    John-John Williams IV, Howard County schools:, 410-715-2837