Governor O'Malley touts Maryland's many educational successes — top rankings from Education Week and Newsweek and in the number of students taking Advanced Placement tests — but he has been reluctant to embrace the reforms that will be necessary for us to expand on that success and to eliminate disparities in educational quality. It took him months to accept that any changes were necessary to shore up Maryland's application for the federal Race to the Top competition.
That said, he did eventually endorse reforms to the teacher tenure process and the linking of student test scores to teacher evaluations. Mr. Ehrlich has been stronger so far on the issue of charter schools, but Mr. O'Malley has demonstrated that he can actually get education reforms the teachers unions don't like through the legislature. Rather than bristling at Mr. Ehrlich's effort to steer the governor's race toward a discussion of what the candidates would actually do if elected, the governor should take the chance to unveil a comprehensive education reform agenda of his own.