Students of a Maryland high school are working together to raise awareness about issues that are important to them, including the recent protest of the removal of a tree, as well as a Black Lives Matter demonstration. Students participated in a schoolwide campaign against sexual violence. They also made a video highlighting the painful experiences of some students at their school.
A group of juniors and seniors from the Friends School of Baltimore recently visited St. Petersburg, Russia, where they toured sites including the Museum of Political History, practiced their Russian-language skills and learned how locals felt about the government's conflict with Ukraine. The students, who stayed in pairs with host families during the two-week trip and were accompanied by teachers, observed that some Russians were concerned about how the conflict is being reported in the media.
Middle-school students enrolled in a summer-school program in Carroll County, Md., are learning about the attacks on Sept. 11 as a historical event. Teacher Mike Chrvala favors using the stories of individuals to teach history, in this case, calling upon a firefighter and a survivor to share their stories, as well as field trips, to teach students who are too young to remember the attacks of 2001.
More than 240 students in Maryland took an active role in state government recently during the Lobbying Day, held by the Chesapeake Regional Association of Student Councils. Students visited Annapolis, where they lobbied lawmakers, participated in a mock election and expressed concerns about issues including graduation requirements and social media. "We understand principals might want access to social media accounts in certain situations, but there needs to be a level of privacy," said eighth-grade student Carolyn Williams.
Joshua P. Starr, superintendent of Montgomery County Public Schools in Maryland, is calling for a three-year moratorium on standardized tests to focus on the implementation of the Common Core State Standards. While the common core, adopted by 45 states and the District of Columbia, is an important and worthy change, he writes in this opinion article, its implementation has not been given the full focus it deserves by school district officials.