School Austerity Measures Come to the Suburbs

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I'm in Howard County and we

I'm in Howard County and we pulled our oldest out to homeschool because we were so unhappy with the direction we see the school system headed, particularly for kids who struggle. We see very shallow, metrics-oriented superintendent pushing a very shallow, metrics-oriented curriculum on on-grade and below-grade kids. Fewer resources are going to be put toward intervention as consultants help superintendents like ours look for flashier ways to spend funds. Education-focused parents in our affluent county are currently watching with great interest the current budget struggle between the superintendent and county council. The superintendent asked for an obscene increase with little justification and because she didn't get the entire increase is now pushing cuts she no doubt wanted to make anyway. The article doesn't note how much teacher morale has dropped under this superintendent, how experienced teachers are being pushed out and how staff have been threatened overtly or subtly with repercussions including dismissal if they voice any dissent with the superintendent's policies. One positive for our county - in a recent school board primary, three board members who have been supportive of the superintendent's policies were up for reelection and two out of three did not make it past the primary and the third hopefully won't make it past the general election. Parents need to be very aware of this new breed of superintendent. They look good on paper but in reality they hop from one school system to another pushing drastic but unproven corporate reforms and have more interest in self-promotion than in increased opportunities for students.

Barb R. 341 days ago

The k-12 system is long

The k-12 system is long overdue for a makeover. There is no good reason for shutting down during the summers. There is no good reason to oppose school choice. We should establish high standards and then let many ideas demonstrate what will work best. Our school system is mired in the 19th Century when we need to bring it into the 21st.

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a concerned parent 354 days ago

As a retired school

As a retired school administrator, the only comment I can agree with is that today's schools are holding onto some antiquated policies, but one policy that will never outlive itself is self-rule. Schools belong to the public they serve. While I agree that the majority is not always right, I believe that over time it is more right than wrong. Outside sources, whether private for profit businesses or state legislature, seldom have the best interest of the local communities at the heart of their decision making. In today's inflamed political environment, too often decisions are made based on ideological grounds instead of sound educational reasoning. If what these private agencies are offering is such sound educational reform, why are they so hesitant about bringing into the light of day?

Mark 348 days ago

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