Teach For America Coming to Va.?

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Teach For America Coming to Va.?

Gov. Bob McDonnell unveiled the second phase of his education agenda Thursday and topping his list of initiatives is legislation to bring Teach For America to Virginia schools.

Teach for America is a non-profit that trains top recent college grads from around the country to be teachers in the nation's most struggling schools. McDonnell said, “A significant achievement gap still exists between our students. While the task will not be easy, TFA has been successful in working with schools to close the achievement gap.” McDonnell wants TFA teachers to be staffed in Virginia schools for the start of the 2013 school year.

But the program isn’t without its controversy. TFA fellows, for instance, are only required to stay in the classroom for two years, prompting criticism among many longtime educators who say it takes more than two years to fully develop as a teacher.

Some of the other initiatives McDonnell introduced include:

  • A-F School Report Cards- A new school grading system that will assign schools a letter grade based on their performances
  • K-12 Red Tape Reduction- Legislation that would allow schools to more easily request waivers from the Board of Education from certain state requirements
  • Staffing Flexibility for School Divisions- Legislation that would give schools some flexibility to assign staff (librarians, counselors, etc) to meet their needs. Currently there is strict protocol that assigns this staff to schools.
  • Reading is Fundamental Initiative- Improve reading by providing students with extra opportunities to work with a reading specialist. This will be backed by $1.4 million in funding

Read the full list of his initiatives here

Last month McDonnell introduced the first phase of his education plan, which called for $59 million in teacher raises. He also proposed to change the current teaching evaluation process, tying raises to teacher’s evaluations.

IN OTHER NEWS:

The Tim Tebow home school legislation was proposed for the fourth year in Virginia

* D.C councilmembers must now use their Council emails to conduct public business

* Treasury to delay moving 450 jobs from Prince George's County to West Virginia

* Maryland Senate President says he will ensure death penalty legislation gets a vote if O’Malley can secure the votes

O’Malley’s thuggish side

* Tim Kaine is officially a U.S. Senator

* Gay marriage is a big boon for businesses in the area

D.C. police seek justice on Pinterest

* Post Editorial Board: Virginia’s phony concern for health

Photo Credit: AP

Former Terp Alex Len reportedly saves friend from drowning

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Former Terp Alex Len reportedly saves friend from drowning

During a trip to the Dominican Republic late last month, former Maryland center and current Phoenix Sun Alex Len reportedly saved a friend from drowning, as detailed in a story published on Friday by AZCentral.com Suns beat writer Paul Coro.

Jay Johnson, one of three friends of Len's along for the trip, reportedly entered waters off the coast and was caught in a riptide. Len went in to save him. 

From Coro: 

Len, 22, momentarily thought Johnson was joking, trying to get their attention. He quickly ascertained the fear in Johnson’s voice as his arms flailed and he took quick gasps of air before waves plunged him underwater repeatedly.

Len did not look around for help. Without hesitation, he sprinted into the sea to save his friend.

“By the time I got to him, he was halfway passed out,” Len said of Johnson, whose arms were exhausted as his legs cramped. “He couldn’t swim. He wasn’t moving. If I would’ve come a couple minutes later, he probably would’ve drowned.”

During the 10-minute ordeal, Coro writes, a lifeguard attempted to aid in the effort but the ocean's current became difficult to fight. Len and his physical size and strength were what ultimately allowed for a safe rescue not only of his friend but of the lifeguard as well.

Read more from Coro's story here.

Orioles rained out, will play Saturday day/night doubleheader

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Orioles rained out, will play Saturday day/night doubleheader

BALTIMORE – About 35 minutes before the scheduled start of Friday night’s game with the Oakland Athletics, the Oriole announced the game had been postponed. 

Friday’s game will be made up as part of a day/night doubleheader beginning at 1:05 p.m. on Saturday. The second game will begin at 7:05 p.m.

Mike Wright, who was originally scheduled to pitch Saturday night will start the first game against Rich Hill. Ubaldo Jimenez, who was listed as Friday night’s starter, will pitch in the second game against Jesse Hahn. 

This is the third rainout of the season for the Orioles, the second at home. 

Braden Holtby named finalist for Ted Lindsay Award

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Braden Holtby named finalist for Ted Lindsay Award

Caps netminder Braden Holtby has been named a finalist for the Ted Lindsay Award as announced by the National Hockey League Players' Association (NHLPA). The Ted Lindsay Award is the annual award to the most outstanding player in the NHL as voted on by members of the NHLPA. Patrick Kane of the Chicago Blackhawks and Jamie Benn of the Dallas Stars were also named as finalists.

Holtby, 26, won 48 games for the 2015-16 season, tying Martin Brodeur's record for most wins in a single season. He also recorded three shutouts, a 2.20 goals-against average and a .922 save percentage.

After his spectacular season, Holtby was also named a finalist for the Vezina Trophy as the NHL's top goalie. Should he win the Ted Lindsay Award, he will become the second player in franchise history to do so. Alex Ovechkin won the award in three consecutive seasons for 2007-08, 2008-09 and 2009-10.

In addition to Holtby, Barry Trotz is a finalist for the Jack Adams Award and Ovechkin is a finalist for the Mark Messier Leadership Award. The winners will be announced during the 2016 NHL Awards on June 22 in what is shaping up to be a big night for him and the Capitals.

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