Agents did some research on what the Sunpapers...

ONE OF OUR

April 24, 1993

ONE OF OUR agents did some research on what the Sunpapers had to say editorially about William Donald Schaefer when he was first running for mayor in 1971. He sure sounded boring.

The Evening Sun said, "Mr. Schaefer steps forward [on election day] less a striking Galahad than a shrinking groundhog."

On a more positive note, the paper said, "Mr. Schaefer is no flighty fire-eater. He is a step-by-step man, pledged throughout his campaign to the proposition that progress is best made slowly."

In endorsing Mr. Schaefer, it described him as "the prudent man's prudent man. Sobriety, responsibility, sound citizenship -- yes. But not much cut-and-thrust and no derring-do at all." And then, on another occasion: "An exciting candidate, no. A serviceable mayor, yes."

The Sun, always more restrained, remarked that "while Mr. Schaefer is not an inspiring leader, he is a workhorse." With what must have been a huge yawn, the newspaper thus described its endorsee: "Though without a commanding presence or a rousing delivery, Mr. Schaefer has the experience and common sense to keep the city running."

Well, what does Gallimaufry think in hindsight?

The guy who was destined to be one of the city's most colorful mayors either ran a deceptive campaign, with his rambunctious personality under wraps, editorial scribblers misjudged his character or he was transformed by the power and prerogatives of office.

If we could rewrite those editorials of yesteryear, we would proclaim Mr. Schaefer a Galahad indeed, a man of derring-do and cut-and-thrust, a commanding presence who is no more shrinking groundhog than he is shrinking violet.

* * *

A group calling itself PRIDE (Parents' Rights In Developing Education) recently has risen up in Baltimore County to call for the resignations of school superintendent Stuart Berger and the county school board.

Do these folks ever have it in for Dr. Berger! They say he's #F changing the school system too quickly and doing so with a brusqueness that has made parents and educators feel like they're dealing with a rude check-out clerk at the Mars.

The PRIDE people argue these changes -- especially the shift away from letter grades -- will ruin the system and harm the students.

Leaders of PRIDE have been stating their case in letter after letter to local newspapers, including The Sun. Recently a pair of letters of about 500 words each arrived here, penned by two of PRIDE's leaders.

One letter had 17 errors of grammar and punctuation. The other letter had 13.

A suggestion: Before they write letters about how Stuart Berger & Co. are ruining the schools, the folks at Parents' Rights In Developing Education ought to work on developing their own basic education skills.

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