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MD Gov. Moore commits to using data-driven policies to fight poverty, enhance accountability

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Maryland Gov. Wes Moore rolled out a data-driven plan he will use to help meet his administration’s goals during a town hall with state employees on Thursday.

Moore, the former head of the anti-poverty Robin Hood Foundation, described the nonprofit as a data-driven organization and said he wanted to bring his experience using data as a tool from his former job to guide his leadership as governor.

“This is going to guide us,” Moore, a Democrat, said. “It’s going to show exactly how we need to move, and it’s going to make sure that we have core benchmarks as to what success looks like … and we’re going to have data that backs up our process.”

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Moore pivoted from his State of the State address a day earlier to describe how his data-oriented plan will help meet four goals he has been highlighting: improving public safety, making Maryland more affordable as well as more competitive for business, and encouraging public service.

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The governor said there were 10 priorities to help get there, with addressing child poverty at the top of the list. The plan calls for using data to help people access available tools to fight poverty, such as the earned income tax credit, child tax credits and Pell grants.

“The reason that we have to have a focus on true measurements of economic mobility and sustainable economic mobility is because we are watching how generations of concentrated poverty continue to impact every single prospect that we have as a state,” Moore said.

Maryland Gov. Wes Moore is seen here during the State of the State address in Annapolis, Maryland, on Feb. 7, 2024. (AP Photo/Steve Ruark)

The other priorities the governor focused on included education, the economy, jobs, safer communities, making housing more affordable, advancing infrastructure to better connect the state’s residents to opportunities, the state’s health care system, clean energy and public service.

Moore said much of the framework to improve education already has been created with the state’s Blueprint for Maryland’s Future. That’s the state’s sweeping education reform law that focuses on expanding early childhood education, increasing teachers’ salaries, and providing aid to help struggling schools adequately prepare students for college and careers.

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“We want to make sure that education is going to be the pathway to long-term economic success and long-term competitiveness for our state,” Moore said. “We have to invest in it clearly, and we have to use data and metrics to be able to show that it’s working.”

He also underscored using data to enhance accountability in the expensive K-12 funding law that is being phased in at higher costs in future years.

“Everything has to have accountability to it,” Moore said. “This cannot just be about funding numbers. That’s not the only number that’s going to matter. We need accountability. We need transparency.”

The Governor’s Office of Performance Improvement will continue to work on data availability, enhancing transparency, and elevating the use of data to drive decision-making, the governor’s office said in a news release. The office will begin publicly reporting progress on key performance indicators in early 2025.

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Northeast

Delaware police investigating possible abuse of special needs students at elementary school

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Special needs children at a Delaware elementary school may have been abused inside the classroom by three teachers, according to police.

Families in Smyrna, Delaware, met with school administrators after learning their special needs children may have been the victims of abuse inside the classroom.

Smyrna Police are investigating the possibility that three teachers at Smyrna Elementary engaged in professional misconduct. Police are working with the state Attorney General’s Office Special Victims Unit, which is common for these kinds of investigations, according to Fox 29.

“Your child’s school is the last place you’d think something like this would ever happen,” parent Leslie Thomas told Fox 29. “It has to be a different school. My son is traumatized, even turning on the street leading to Smyrna Elementary, so I could never force him to go somewhere where he was traumatized.”

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Families in Smyrna, Delaware, met with school administrators after learning their special needs children may have been the victims of abuse inside the classroom. (Smyrna School District)

The Smyrna School District released a statement Wednesday saying a report was made on February 16 of possible professional misconduct.

“As part of our multi-faceted approach to keep our students safe, we have taken all precautions, including contacting law enforcement and providing alternative staff to instruct students,” the statement said. “The investigation is active and on-going.”

“While I cannot go into detail, due to the ongoing investigation, I can assure you that the professional misconduct being investigated is not sexual in nature,” the district said in a follow-up statement. “District staff were at the school to support students, employees, and affected parents.”

Some of the families spoke with police and were told the details of the allegations, including the children being locked in bathrooms and having objects thrown at them.

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Smyrna Police

Smyrna Police are investigating the possibility that three teachers engaged in professional misconduct. (Smyrna Police)

“They were being locked in the bathroom in the dark by themselves,” parent Tierre Thomas told Fox 29. “Their hair was being pulled. Objects were being thrown at them. They were being put in timeout physically and being held there.”

Leslie Thomas said she previously raised concerns to the district after observing changes in her son this school year. She and other parents are petitioning the district to move the students to another elementary school.

“We’re seeing aggression in him, hitting, something he has never done before. He flinches. He’s afraid of the dark. These are all behaviors he has never exhibited before but consistent with the allegations that have been made,” she said. “Most of the parents have agreed on North Smyrna, so for right now I would like to see them create that setting and of course we all would like to see the charges coming very soon.”

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The police investigation could last several months.

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Boston, MA

NC State 81 Boston College 70: BY THE NUMBERS

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NC State 81 Boston College 70: BY THE NUMBERS


NC State defeated Boston College 81-70 this afternoon in PNC Arena, improving to 17-10 overall, and 9-7 in ACC play. Here’s a look at the game BY THE NUMBERS.

The team that shot the ball best isn’t the team that won the game. Boston College shot better than NC State from the field (45%/44%) and from beyond the arch (45%/30%).

The team that one is the team that got to the free throw line the most. The Wolfpack made 21 of their 24 free throw attempts, and the Golden Eagles made 11 of 13.

In two other key statistical categories, NC State was the better team. The Wolfpack scored 18 points off of turnovers, compared to BC’s 6. Also, NC State scored 16 second chance points, while the Golden Eagles scored only 10.

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It’s rare to see, but NC State led for every second of the game.

D.J. Burns led the Wolfpack in scoring with 19 points (7 of 16). The last time Burns led the Wolfpack in scoring was on January 3rd, when he scored 13 in the Pack’s 54-52 win at Notre Dame.

Jayden Taylor was big for the Pack today, scoring 15 points (3-7), with 7 of them coming from the charity stripe. He made all 7 of his free throw attempts. Taylor also knocked down 2 of his 5 three point attempts.

Casey Morsell needed this game. He scored 13 points, marking the first time he has scored in double digits since February 3rd, when he scored 15 against Georgia Tech. Morsell made 2 of 3 from three.

After leading NC State in scoring for the previous 7 games, the pressure was not all on DJ Horne’s shoulders this afternoon. Horne finished with 13 points. It wasn’t his best day shooting, making 6 of 15 from the field, and 1 of 7 from deep.

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Man, I love Mohamed Diarra’s game. He had 8 points and 9 boards, and he was 2 of 3 from beyond the arc. The Wolfpack were +22 when he was on the court, which led the team.

Michael O’Connell had 6 assists with 0 turnovers, which is what you love to see. The Wolfpack’s starting Point Guard also snagged 9 boards, which tied Diarra for a team high.

 



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Pittsburg, PA

Cheswick Christian boys edge Pittsburgh Christian Academy for SWCAC title | Trib HSSN

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Cheswick Christian boys edge Pittsburgh Christian Academy for SWCAC title | Trib HSSN


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Saturday, February 24, 2024 | 8:49 PM


The Cheswick Christian Academy boys basketball team defeated Pittsburgh Christian Academy, 42-39, on Saturday at a packed Steve Warden Gymnasium to take home its first SWCAC title since 2015.

Grant Rochkind, the league MVP, finished with 14 points, 13 rebounds and six assists for Cheswick Christian.

The game featured eight lead changes. Pittsburgh Christian, in its second season, took a 26-25 lead in the third quarter.

But the Chargers responded with an 11-0 run, which was fueled by Joseph Rosio, who knocked down a 3-pointer. A layup from Sean Louis put Cheswick up 36-26, but the River Hawks rallied with an 11-0 run capped by a 3-pointer from Aaron Powers to give Pittsburgh Christian a 37-36 lead.

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The Chargers got their first points in the fourth quarter when Grant Rochkind was fouled and made both free throws with 1 minute, 46 seconds remaining to make it 38-37. Powers fouled out on the play.

Tim Nicklas then drove for a layup to give Pittsburgh Christian back a 39-38 lead.

Then came the biggest play of the game. Rochkind was forced left on an isolation and hit a fadeaway for a 40-39 lead.

“I knew we had to get a bucket,” Rochkind said. “I knew if we were going out, I had to take my best shot at it and it went in.”

The Chargers forced a stop, and after reaching the bonus, Brian Kazmer hit both free throws to go up 42-39.

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The River Hawks chucked up a final shot as time expired, but it went long.

“The crowd was electric,” Rochkind said. “It was amazing tonight. I love their support. They’re great.”

Rosio, who scored 14 points and buried three 3s, marveled at his teammate.

“He’s clutch, man,” Rosio said of Rochkind. “That’s the reason he’s MVP.”

Rosio contributed several key baskets, including an and-one 3 early in the game to energize the crowd.

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“Joseph man, he’s a sniper,” Rochkind said. “He’s great. He’s been huge for us all year, and it continued tonight.”

Rosio also appreciated the atmosphere.

“I love these fans man,” Rosio said. “I love this crowd.”

“My team puts that trust in me. They trust me to get the ball. They trust me to knock down those shots, and I do my best to knock them down.”

Kazmer said the team is peaking at the right time.

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“I’m super proud of the team,” Kazmer said. “We’ve been playing good defense all year. Our offense has been getting better and better as we went on. Playing WPIAL teams made us better as a team. Our team chemistry, we’ve been playing since middle school, so it’s just through the roof.”

Pittsburgh Christian dominated much of the fourth quarter until Cheswick Christian’s late rally.

“They worked really hard, and they had a goal to get here,” River Hawks coach Chadd Schafer said of his team. “Obviously we wanted to win, but we’re really proud of how they played. They battled a lot of things this season. I’m super proud of them.”

Nicklas finished with 15 points and four rebounds, and Powers had 12 points and five rebounds.

Tags: Cheswick Christian

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