Education is a top priority in Maryland -- not merely among parents, but also among members of the business community who increasingly view the preparation that students receive as inadequate to meet the challenges of the next century.
Joseph Shilling, who has left the post to run the Queen Anne's County school system, did an excellent job. He leaves behind an education reform plan that stresses fiscal and academic equity, creativity at the individual school level and, perhaps most important, accountability. By all indications his replacement, Dr. Nancy Grasmick, will embrace the framework Shilling has fashioned, and work to implement it statewide.
Grasmick, who was named superintendent by the state Board of Education this week, approaches the challenge with an impressive array of credentials and experiences -- among them more than two decades in the Baltimore County school system, where she served stints as assistant superintendent for elementary and middle schools and assistant superintendent for administration. In 1989, she left the county, having been recruited by Governor Schaefer to run the Office of Children, Youth and Families. Earlier this year, she was appointed secretary of the Department of Juvenile Services.