Report provides information on school construction plans
Wednesday, 17 December 2014 13:12

Specific details remain unclear in wake of just-issued report

 by Nicole Rodman

    A report providing more details of the county’s Schools for Our Future plan was presented to the Baltimore County school board on Tuesday evening, just as The Eagle was going to press.
    The report includes assessment data and enrollment projections for each school in the county. Cost projections for potential school demolitions, renovations and rebuilding are included in the report.
    In April, Baltimore County Executive Kevin Kamenetz announced Schools for Our Future as part of his fiscal year 2015 budget.
    The $1.1 billion program allocates funding for school renovations and construction over the next decade.
    The school system hired architects to assess each school in the county, noting each building’s physical condition, location and adherance to current educational and accessibility standards.
    Other information taken into consideration included current and projected enrollment figures, area demographics and staff input.
    The report includes a breakdown of this data for each school.
    The report also lays out the costs for the demolition, renovation and/or construction projects planned for each school.

Dundalk Middle School teacher earns national certification
Wednesday, 17 December 2014 13:05

Dana Foot completes year-long certification process

 by Nicole Rodman

    Dana Foot is always learning.
    An exceptional needs specialist at Dundalk Middle School, Foot continually strives to further her education.
    With bachelor’s and master’s degrees already under her belt, Foot is now celebrating her latest educational achievement.
    She recently earned National Board certification, making her one of only nine county school system teachers to become nationally certified this year.
    In all, there are 127 nationally-certified teachers in Baltimore County Public Schools.
    National Board Certification is an advanced credential offered by the National Board of Professional Teaching Standards.
    The certification is voluntary; it does not replace a state teacher’s license, but it does complement it.   
    According to Foot, she decided to begin the year-long journey toward national certification as a way to renew her original teaching certification.
    “Every five years, teachers must take six credits to renew their certification ...,” she explained.
    “For me, this was a way to earn credits towards certification renewal while improving my practice.”
    The process toward earning a national certification is laborious and time-consuming.
    Foot was required to complete a four-part portfolio and submit videos of herself teaching.
    She also had to document her work with students and reflect on the work she has done in the classroom.
    The process also included a three-hour exam complete with six essays.

TALK OF THE TOWN: Does being the “good guys” mean the rules don’t apply?
Wednesday, 17 December 2014 12:55

by Steve Matrazzo

It’s hard not to be appalled by details in last week’s report on CIA detention and interrogation practices issued by the Senate Intelligence Committee.
    The report presents a litany of treatment of detainees ranging from the disgusting (rectal hummus? really?) to the nakedly cruel — and sometimes deadly — as well as a picture of lax oversight, obfuscation and outright lies regarding the program.
    Worse still, it states that nearly a quarter of those detained, interrogated and — yes — tortured were actually innocent, and that one of those innocent men — captured in what has since been revealed to be a case of mistaken identity — was chained to a wall and doused with water — and froze to death in CIA custody.
    Despite calls from here and abroad for prosecutions, the report will, almost certainly, have no meaningful consequences. Because most of us don’t want it to.

Maryland officials react to Senate committee’s interrogation report
Wednesday, 17 December 2014 13:02

Former CIA officer skeptical of techniques — and prosecutions

 by Steve Matrazzo

    “That’s not who we are as Americans. That’s not where our values are.”
    That was the reaction of 2nd District U.S. Rep. C.A. Dutch Ruppersberger last week after the release of a Senate Intelligence Committee report reviewing the detention and interrogation of terror suspects by U.S. intelligence personnel.
    The report, which detailed the use of interrogation methods described in the text as torture, was released last week and has been the subject of widespread public debate ever since.
    Ruppersberger, who is the ranking Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee, told The Eagle that “a lot of this [information] has already been out there through the years,” but noted that “this has been going on since 2002. We’ve learned a lot. As [the interrogation program] evolved, we learned what we should and should not do.”

County to study use of cameras on police Tasers and body suits
Wednesday, 17 December 2014 12:53

Spokeswoman says move is not related to recent controversies

 by Ben Boehl

    Baltimore County Executive Kevin Kamenetz  has announced a pilot plan under which the Baltimore County Police Department will use Tasers equipped with cameras. The county is also looking into the possibility of using of body cameras on police officers.
    County spokeswoman Ellen Kobler said that the program aims to take advantage of changing technology and is not in response to recent controversies over the use of force by police that have garnered national attention.
    (The use of body cameras by police has often been suggested in public debate about recent incidents.)            “[I]t is important to note that one of the key reasons that county crime rates are so low is the trust that exists between our police officers and the communities they serve. We are very proud of that trust.” Kobler said. 

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