WBAL showcases schools that work


Public education in America is one of those targets like the side of a barn -- in other words, easy to hit with criticism. What is vTC harder, but probably more useful, is to find and examine some of the things that may be working.

That is the premise of "Promises to Keep," the latest special in WBAL-Channel 11's year-long "Great Expectations" project on community education. It airs at 8 tonight, with host anchor Pat Minarcin.

Although the hour-long show originated as a product of WCVB-TV in Boston, a WBAL sister station in the Hearst Broadcasting organization, Channel 11 has responsibly taken advantage of a chance to produce and insert segments on Baltimore-based model education programs.

The local angles include reports on the Upton School and the Lady Maryland Maritime Institute.

The former is a school whose 2,600 students all suffer from illness or injury and cannot go to regular classes. The latter is perhaps best known to the public for its namesake sailing vessel, a replica of a Chesapeake Bay "pungey" schooner. But its programs, as explored by Channel 11's Camilla Carr tonight, also include a variety of educational efforts with a nautical and ecological thrust.

Programs in Arkansas, Texas and Pennsylvania are also included in "Promises to Keep."

THE WEATHER UP THERE -- Maryland Public Television's long-running early morning forecast show, "A.M. Weather," will continue flying with a recently announced underwriting grant from the International Flying Farmers organization.

You may not know about this show if you are not up and viewing MPT (channels 22 and 67 locally) by 6:45 a.m. weekdays. But the 15-minute weather roundup, produced in MPT's Owings Mills studios, is one of the most widely distributed local contributions to the public broadcasting system, airing on 316 stations across the United States.

A spokesman for the Flying Farmers said the show's focus on aviation weather "gives our membership that valuable overall picture that is needed before contacting flight service for an in-depth, specific-route weather briefing."

LIVE LONG AND PROSPER -- The syndicated series "Star Trek: The Next Generation" has become the first non-network program to make the "fully endorsed" list of the national Viewers for Quality Television organization.

The show, seen here in first run at 6 p.m Sundays on WBFF-Channel 45 (plus several repeats), joined the list in recent membership voting along with CBS' "The Trials of Rosie O'Neill" and NBC's "Law & Order."

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