Unlike his numerous, more impulsive predecessors, School Superintendent Walter G. Amprey was able to resist an urge to reorganize the city public school system for nearly three years. But now that he has caught the bug, he is pledging to do a major house-cleaning in the name of improving education. As an opener, he has downgraded his two top deputies. By the time this reorganization is implemented in September, more than 100 administrators may have been transferred, demoted or terminated.
We will be watching this unfolding drama with fascination. All we say is: Dr. Amprey better be right. The history of the Baltimore City school system over the past three decades has been an unending pendulum movement from one reorganization to another. Meanwhile the goal -- improving education -- has remained elusive.
In the most memorable of the blood baths, the late Roland Patterson fired his 22 top administrators in 1972 and then invited them to apply for jobs. In all, he claimed to have eliminated more than 150 positions. By the time Dr. Patterson himself was fired, it was apparent that little had changed. The school system was still ruled by a cabal of entrenched bureaucrats, many of whom were linked to one another either by familial ties of marriage and kinship or by social ties of fraternity or sorority membership.