Who will hold the schools accountable?

October 10, 2012

Politicians and the media urge holding teachers accountable for the performance of schools and their students. As a classroom teacher, I support accountability, and I'm willing to be evaluated on student test scores and student/administration evaluations.

However, as I read our article on financial mismanagement and lack of oversight in the city schools I asked myself whether in fairness to taxpayers — and the good of students — there isn't more accountability to go around ("Schools get 'F' in finance control," Oct. 7).

Will The Sun follow this story, or only report the preliminary audit (which seems to be the reason no Baltimore schools representatives can comment)? And where have you been since the 2004 "financial missteps" uncovered in the system? Will you report who is responsible for the system's various "oversights," and will there be future developments to report?

What is the city school board's view? Will members with a conflict of interest resign; will their fellow board members demand it? Who is accountable for ethics and financial disclosure, what is board's plan going forward and how will it be monitored?

Will the state General Assembly and the Maryland Department of Education grant additional funding for the city? How do they monitor funds they award, and what is their plan going forward? How will they prove to taxpayers that the money is being well spent?

For city schools CEO Andrés Alonso the questions are obvious: How will he get the fiscal situation under control? And who will monitor him?

Unfortunately, neglect takes many forms when no one is held accountable.

Evelyn K. Ishmael, Bel Air

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