I am concerned about recent letters to the editor in response to a May 12 article describing costs to the Howard County Public School System of lawsuits brought by Board of Education member Allen Dyer. Most contain either explicit or implicit accusations that leaders in our local public schools are devious, sinister and/or incompetent in their work.
I am finishing a three-year term as president of the county PTA Council. I would be the last person to say that our school system is perfect. Yet, I have generally found it to be quite strong. Our schools are something in which all county residents can take a great deal of pride.
I have generally found school board members, central office staff and teachers to be quite knowledgeable about our schools' shortcomings, committed to making improvements and open to having others involved in making things better. Further, during this past year I had the opportunity to serve on the county executive's Spending Affordability Advisory Committee. In that work, I was struck by how important an asset our local schools are to the economic and cultural vitality of our county.
The key to making our schools better is being constructive in our criticism, and becoming part of creating solutions. Carping from the sidelines, denigrating others and suing when things don't go our way doesn't help. Rolling up one's sleeves and doing the hard work of creating answers to complex challenges is what makes the positive difference.