Weekly News Roundup: Financial Literacy “Mini-city” Opens, Low PARCC and NAEP Scores

After a student filmed a PGCPS school bus driver texting while the bus was in motion, PGCPS is changing its transportation discipline handbook so that drivers who misuse cellphones on a school bus can be fired. (NBC 4)

A new financial literacy center opened Tuesday on the campus of G. James Gholson Middle School. The Prince George’s County Junior Achievement Finance Park is a partnership with PGCPS, Capitol One, and Junior Achievement of Greater Washington. It is a 13,500 square foot experiential learning center that will serve 9,000 students per year. Students visiting the center will take on a role (e.g. career, salary, financial obligations) and, using a digital tablet, put their financial skills to the test in a “mini-city” with storefronts and kiosks. (PGCPS)

Columnist Michelle Singletary writes of the need to be wary of conflict of interests in financial literacy programs. (Washington Post)

An Eleanor Roosevelt HS freshman writes an opinion piece for the Washington Post, questioning whether extracurricular activities should affect college admissions. (Washington Post)

At Central High School, a student’s cell phone went missing, and campus security searched the binder and book bag of every student in the class. Now the family of one of the students who was searched has filed a lawsuit, claiming that the search was illegal. (Washington Post)

Prince George’s County Police Chief Mark A. Magaw is asking the County Council for enough money to fund a second class of police cadets in 2016. The county’s police force, already shorthanded, is losing officers to retirement faster than they can be replaced, and the police department has been asked to absorb a $9 million budget cut. (Washington Post)

A commission to explore whether Maryland students are overtested will begin meeting next month, and most of the members selected for the panel have been announced. (Washington Post)

The Prince George’s County Public Debate League opened its second season last Saturday, with around 300 middle and high schools participating. (PGCPS)

Maryland’s performance on the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) has declined this year in fourth and eighth grade reading and math. However, more students with disabilities were included in the test this year than in previous years. (Baltimore Sun)

The first round of scores for the new Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC) test have been released, and fewer than half of Maryland students met the benchmarks. (Baltimore Sun)

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