Ex-teacher sentenced
to 5 years in prison

A former D.C. high school teacher was sentenced Monday to five years in prison for exchanging pornographic images with a teenage student.

John Solano, who taught science at McKinley Technology High School in Northeast Washington, pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court in July to receiving child pornography. He admitted to receiving inappropriate and sexually explicit text messages from a 16-year-old student, according to the office of U.S. Attorney Ronald C. Machen Jr.

Solano, 30, also had “inappropriate sexual communications” with other students, Machen’s office said.

Solano has been in jail since his arrest on the high school campus in March. He will be placed on supervised release for 10 years after completing his prison term.

— Ann E. Marimow

Man found on fire
on Mall is identified

The man who was found on fire on the Mall last week was identified Monday by D.C. police as John Constantino,64, of Mount Laurel, N.J.

Constantino died Friday night after being taken to a hospital from the Mall where he was found semiconscious.

Police said Monday night that it was “now apparent that he set himself on fire.”

No motive could be learned for his actions. Efforts to locate relatives or friends were not immediately successful.

— Martin Weil

Schools respond
to exam failures

Each of Montgomery County’s 25 high schools has created an action plan to identify and support students who need help in math, as part of an effort designed to boost student success overall and improve grades on final exams.

The initiative follows widespread concern in Montgomery about high rates of failing grades on high school final exams. Figures came to light in the spring showing a majority of 30,000 students taking exams in seven math courses did not pass the end-of-semester test.

The idea is to take action and anticipate students’ needs, “not to wait until they fail,” said Christopher Garran, associate superintendent for high schools.The effort may involve a couple of thousand students, he said.

— Donna St. George