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GREAT SCOT! & Singer will sew Gaelic thread into BlackRock show. B-7 The Gazette ROCKVILLE | ASPEN HILL | WHEATON DAILY UPDATES ONLINE Wednesday, October 23, 2013 25 cents Middle schools rely on MAP to track students System using test until academic targets developed n LINDSAY A. POWERS BY STAFF WRITER PHOTOS BY RAPHAEL TALISMAN/FOR THE GAZETTE Chris Calvert of Wheaton stands in front of the Carter G. Woodson Home National Historic Site in Washington, D.C. With Saturday’s visit, Calvert has now seen all 401 national park sites. IN THE FOOTSTEPS OF HISTORY With trek to historic D.C. home, Wheaton man has seen every national park site In each place, Calvert has explored and absorbed the significance n BY SARAH SCULLY STAFF WRITER When it comes to America’s 401 national park sites, Chris Calvert now can say he’s seen them all. On Saturday, Calvert set out from his home in Wheaton for a 12-mile walk to his final site — the Carter G. Woodson Home in northwest Washington, D.C. At age 10, Calvert itched to visit the national parks, begging his parents for a trip to Yellowstone. But they never got to Yellowstone after Calvert heard about Disney World opening in Florida. Calvert speaks to friends in front of the Carter G. Woodson Home National Historic Site. Growing up in Silver Spring, he often visited parkland in Washington, D.C. But his first purposeful trip came in 1980, when Calvert, then 17, and his parents traveled west. They began with Olympic National Park in Washington state. Starting at a visitor center at sea-level, Calvert and his par- ents drove up a winding road toward the Olympic Mountains, through thick fog lingering in the ancient fir forest. As they gained elevation, the clouds dissipated. By the time they reached Hurricane Ridge, Calvert looked over a clear sky, past forest and meadows, to the peaks of the glimmering snow-capped mountains. “I decided, if this is what the national parks are about, I have to see them all,” he said. “It was amazing. I still remember that, 33 years later.” He was determined to visit at least two new national parks a year to reach his goal — at the time, there were 49 national parks. Between trips to the Grand Canyon, Hawaii, American Sa- See HISTORY, Page A-11 Rockville officials fear partisan influence on ballots Hall, Coyle skeptical of city elections held in presidential years n BY ELIZABETH WAIBEL STAFF WRITER Some current and former Rockville officials think putting the city’s election on the same ballot as the presidential election could have a chilling effect on federal employees’ willingness to serve on the city’s Mayor and Council. City elections are currently held in oddnumbered years. Changing the timing so that they coincide with the presidential elections is one of three advisory referendums on the ballot in Rockville this November. Supporters of moving the race hope it would increase voter turnout at municipal elections. Opponents worry that partisanship would seep over from federal elections into Rockville’s nonpartisan races. Jim Coyle, a former Rockville mayor who used to work for the Federal Emergency Management Agency, said he doesn’t think he would have run for office if the city’s elections were held in presidential election years. “You have to maintain your neutrality as a government worker, or you put your career in jeopardy,” he said. Federal employees are not typically permitted to run for elected office in partisan elections. If they do, they risk losing their jobs. SPORTS TALENT RUNS IN THE FAMILY Good Counsel lineman earns invite to national bowl; appears destined for the NFL. B-1 While Rockville’s elections are nonpartisan, Coyle worries that partisan influence would be more likely to sneak into a city election held in a presidential election year, when national partisan politics have a higher profile. If federal employees were worried that city elections were becoming more partisan, they might be less likely to consider running for a city office, Coyle said. “This could lead to a nullification of federal employees running, because they would be concerned that elections would become more partisan,” he said. Council member John F. Hall Jr. is an attorney for NASA. He said Rockville’s electoral process would be gravely damaged if See BALLOTS, Page A-13 Around the County Automotive Calendar Celebrations Classified Entertainment Local Opinion School News Sports Please RECYCLE A-5 B-17 A-2 A-17 B-13 B-7 A-3 A-18 A-16 B-1 Middle school students’ performance will be tracked by the Measures of Academic Progress test as the county’s schools await data from new state assessments. Kimberly Statham — deputy superintendent of teaching, learning and programs for the school system — said in a presentation to the school board Monday that the school system eventually will develop academic targets based on the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness of College and Careers. PARCC will be fully implemented in the school system next school year. “In the meantime, however, we need a high-quality instrument to assess the health of the school system,” she said. “We believe that that instrument is MAP.” The computer-based progress test that assesses math and reading performance already is in use in the school system. This year, however, will mark the first time the test is used to assess student progress systemwide, Statham said. Superintendent Joshua P. Starr said these measures are not the same as the “milestone” targets described in the strategic planning framework he announced in June. Starr said that Monday evening’s conversation marked the first of four the school board will have regarding the school system’s milestones. According to the strategic plan, students will be tracked through five milestones at grades three, five, eight and See MAP, Page A-11 DAN GROSS/THE GAZETTE The Wheaton Recreation Center and Library on Georgia Avenue in Wheaton. Wheaton Rec Center fate is still undecided Additional hearing scheduled for Nov. 14 n BY SARAH SCULLY STAFF WRITER Dozens of people showed up Thursday to take part in the continued debate over whether the Wheaton Recreation Center should be designated as historic — a designation that could halt plans to replace the building with a new, much larger one, to house both the rec center and the Wheaton Library. The hearing before the Montgomery County Planning Board drew a range of commmunity members, who spoke either extolling the architecture or begging the board to tear down the building. The building, at the intersection of Hermitage and Georgia avenues, has a small weight room, kitchen, art studio, gym, computer lab, and a meeting room, which on the afternoon following the hearing hosted a circle of 5-yearold girls in pale pink tutus for ballet class. But following rainstorms, the kitchen and computer lab ceiling leak, the smell of mold rises from some of the carpeting, and an approximately 30 by 11 foot lump in the corner of the basketball See REC CENTER, Page A-13 SPECIAL SECTION GAZETTE SENIORS Sixteen questions you need to ask your aging parents; exploring the wonders of wine; what happens to your digital accounts when you die; reaping the benefits of tai chi. See Our Ad Inside! INSIDE TODAY 1906637

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