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Always topical: Education news in Baltimore

NancyG This week at NewsTrust Baltimore, we're focusing on education and conducting a news hunt on the topic

As news breaks this afternoon of the resignation of Nancy Grasmick, the long-serving state schools superintendent, we're reminded that education is a major focus for Maryland families and news sources. A number of interesting stories on public schools, higher education and budget issues have already surfaced in our review of the subject, and we invite you to share and review the wealth of journalism on the subject.

Baltimore's public school system is a focal point for a national concern over urban education. The city's schools have been a source of despairing statistics and tragic story arcs (particularly in the fourth season of "The Wire"). Many local school districts are facing budget cuts and staff reductions severe enough to prompt student protests, as covered in The Baltimore Sun and Towson Patch.

But there's another side to Baltimore's education story.

Despite the challenges facing the city, the surrounding counties and the state of Maryland, there are innovative people and programs at work. An educator writing in the Huffington Post has argued that Baltimore is "quickly becoming the blueprint for how to turnaround a struggling district."

People in Chicago are sufficiently impressed with the leadership of Baltimore schools CEO Andres Alonso to bring up his name as a candidate to lead their gigantic school system.

A busy political season is coming to a close in Maryland's General Assembly. Funding for education, especially in Baltimore City, has been a flash point in debates over the state budget and a new proposed tax on alcohol.

The University of Maryland system and Baltimore's universities are also in the news a lot this week. For a dynamic view of these institutions, we encourage you to explore the student newspapers we have added as sources at NewsTrust Baltimore: The Quindecim (Goucher College), The Johns Hopkins News-LetterThe Greyhound (Loyola University Maryland), Columns (The College of Notre Dame of Maryland), The Towerlight (Towson University), The Retriever Weekly (UMBC), and The Diamondback (University of Maryland College Park).

Towson University is in the midst of a leadership change, and an interim president has been appointed. Access to higher education for young illegal immigrants has been the focus of debate in Annapolis this session. We have seen fascinating comments by young undocumented students advocating for in-state tuition and sometimes ambivalent reactions within Maryland's African-American politicians.

In sorting through the complexities and contrasting narratives surrounding education in Baltimore, we welcome your contributions. Together, the community of NewsTrust Baltimore staff, partners, readers, and members can help surface the best journalism on this crucial topic. Next week, when we've wrapped up our education news hunt, we'll highlight on the blog the most informative stories and your insightful reviews and comments. 

Photo credit: Maryland State Archives

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