1:14 pm
Fri December 19, 2014

Health Exchange Digs Into Data To Up Enrollment

Maryland Health Connection website

Originally published on Fri December 19, 2014 9:15 am

When you apply for health insurance on the exchange, you’ve got to put in some basic information. Age, location, gender and income are some of the data points that the health exchange collects from applicants-- race and ethnicity are optional on the application. Taken together, these data points help paint a picture of who and where the exchange has successfully reached.

Read more
Deconstructing Vacants
1:13 pm
Fri December 19, 2014

When Vacant Doesn’t Necessarily Mean Vacant

This house on Stonewood Road in the New Northwood neighborhood of Northeast Baltimore is falling apart. However, city law says it's not vacant because the ground floor windows and doors are not boarded up.

Originally published on Fri December 19, 2014 8:12 am


There is a house on Stonewood Road in the New Northwood neighborhood in Northeast Baltimore that is clearly falling apart.

The rain gutters are hanging on their last hinges.  The shingles are peeling away from the roof. Rusted outdoor furniture is on the front porch and the railings are wrapped in weather beaten garland for the holidays. More Christmas decorations stick up from a couple of flower pots.

It looks as if neighbors have been trying to take care of the yard.  Someone had started bagging leaves.

Read more
Common Core: A Work in Progress
1:12 pm
Fri December 19, 2014

Blending The Arts And Common Core

Flamenco dancer Anna Menendez performs for students at Chesapeake High School in Pasadena as part of lessons that combined the Common Core standards for English literature with art forms.

Originally published on Fri December 19, 2014 11:59 am

Earlier this year, 20 Maryland teachers were paired with professional musicians, singers and other artists to develop week-long lessons connecting the arts with the Common Core standards.

The artists went through Common Core training, the teachers learned how to blend the arts into their instruction and the lessons the teams created together went live in some Maryland classrooms this week.

Read more
11:35 am
Thu December 18, 2014

Hogan Names First Four Cabinet Picks

Gov.-elect Larry Hogan

Originally published on Wed December 17, 2014 4:22 pm

When Larry Hogan is sworn in next month, he’ll bring with him a whole new cabinet. The governor-elect started naming his cabinet picks Wednesday afternoon.

Hogan and his lieutenant governor – as well as his chief of staff, legislative director and his fiscal advisor – all served in former Republican Governor Bob Ehrlich’s administration. Another Ehrlich veteran, Jim Fielder, will join Hogan as appointments secretary. That’s the post that Hogan held a decade ago.

Read more
11:34 am
Thu December 18, 2014

The Civil Rights Train Never Stops, Never Brakes

Caricature of C. Fraser Smith

Originally published on Thu December 18, 2014 11:27 am

When you get on the civil rights train, you can never get off. That was the late Parren Mitchell’s urging. Contemporary events, if nothing else, prove him quite right. He and his famous civil rights family knew the landscape as well as any. You couldn’t get off the civil rights train because it had not – might not ever – reach its destination. The struggle would not end. You had to ride on and on. 

Read more
Sports At Large
1:15 pm
Tue December 16, 2014

If The Orioles Have A Plan, Let's See It!

Baltimore Oriole Bird

Originally published on Thu December 18, 2014 2:06 pm

Remember a few weeks ago, just after the Orioles lost to the Kansas City Royals in the American League Championship Series, when we wondered if the season the Birds had would be enough to forget the sting of coming up short in the quest for a World Series title?

Read more
1:13 pm
Tue December 16, 2014

State's Budget Problems Grow

Originally published on Tue December 16, 2014 10:28 am

  Maryland should expect to have about $271 million dollars less than expected coming into its coffers over the next year and a half – that was the news out of the state’s Board of Revenue Estimates Monday. It follows already downgraded expectations for the state’s revenues.

Comptroller Peter Franchot, the state’s tax man, blamed cuts in federal spending for a state economy growing slower than expected. The state is home to about 300,000 federal workers, as well as numerous government contractors.

Read more
Inside Maryland Politics
10:16 am
Mon December 15, 2014

Why State Center Revamp Is In Jeopardy

State Center in Baltimore.

Originally published on Fri December 12, 2014 4:05 pm

The State Center complex in Baltimore is one of the remaining items that Governor Martin O'Malley may push for in his last month in office. WYPR's Fraser Smith and Christopher Connelly talk about the origin of the project and why its future is in jeopardy.

Read more
10:15 am
Mon December 15, 2014

New State Standardized Tests Pose Unique Challenges To New English Speakers

English Language Learners at Bond Mill Elementary in Laurel work on reading assignments in an after-school program that's giving them extra help in reading and skills they will need for the new state assessment exams.

Originally published on Fri December 12, 2014 8:09 am

Students in Maryland and 11 other states and the District of Columbia will start taking new standardized tests in March to assess their progress in math and English Language Arts under the Common Core standards. But some education experts fear that students who are only beginning to learn to speak English will be at a disadvantage when they take the more rigorous, computerized exams.

Read more
10:15 am
Mon December 15, 2014

Hogan: Maryland Has Big Budget Problems, Needs ‘Strong Medicine’

Gov.-elect Larry Hogan says the state's spending exceeds its revenues, and promises to make tough decisions to bring it back to balance.

Originally published on Fri December 12, 2014 8:24 am

Gov.-elect Larry Hogan briefed reporters on the state’s fiscal situation yesterday afternoon and the picture he painted was dire. Maryland’s next governor says the state needs ‘strong medicine’ to fix its fiscal health after years of bad budgeting.

“Let me put it in everyday terms: They drained our checking, savings and retirement accounts. They maxed out every credit card. They tapped into Christmas funds, college tuition funds,  they even broke into every one of the kids piggy banks, and we still don’t have enough to pay the bills," Hogan said.

Read more