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School to stress job success

August 31, 2000

School to stress job success



By TARA REILLY / Staff Writer


A state-supported initiative aimed at promoting a link between school achievement and workplace success will be brought to Washington County's high schools in mid-September, according to June Streckfus, executive director of the Maryland Business Roundtable for Education.

The program, called Achievement Counts, was announced Thursday in Baltimore at Roundtable for Education's annual meeting. State Superintendent of Schools Nancy S. Grasmick endorsed the initiative.

Washington County is one of eight counties in the state that will participate in the effort. Baltimore City will also participate. All of the county's high schools except the Washington County Technical High School are included. Washington County Career Studies will also participate.

Achievement Counts, a week-long program for ninth-graders, will stress how doing well in high school can boost the chances of finding a job.

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Streckfus said the program is based on the belief that many businesses use high school transcripts in the hiring process.

Young, local business representatives between the ages of 22 and 35 will be trained to give interactive presentations to the students from Sept. 11 to Sept. 15. Streckfus said younger business people were chosen for the presentations because they're closer to the students' ages.

"Who delivers the message is very important," Streckfus said. "These presentations will not be lectures."

"The Achievement Counts program delivers a strong message that just getting by in high school is no longer good enough," Grasmick said.

The program was piloted in Baltimore and Harford counties last year. It is sponsored locally by the Washington County Chamber of Commerce and the Washington County Jaycees.

Theresa Flak, deputy superintendent of Washington County Public Schools, said she thinks Achievement Counts has the potential to provide positive results.

"It will help to verify the importance of working hard in school and giving school serious attention," Flak said.

MRBT will back the initiative with a Baltimore-based radio campaign and with another program called Parents Count, which will provide parents with information about student learning. The information will be sent to the employers of parents and distributed at work.

"A well-educated population means more qualified workers for our companies, more astute customers for our products and services, and more opportunity for our young people," said MRBT Chairman Raymond A. Mason.

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