January 28, 2010
The recent article "Several senators oppose Grasmick's school reform" (Jan. 22) appearing as it did one day after The Sun's front page article headlined "O'Malley plans fund shift to sidestep service cuts" (Jan. 21) underscores the challenge that Maryland legislators face in squaring inherently political concerns with the need to adjust to today's fiscal realities. In plain English, should our legislative leaders tend to the political interests of an important constituency, the teachers' union, or should they make a serious play for the hundreds of millions of education dollars on offer through the federal Race to the Top program?
August 27, 2010
Erica L. Green's article, "City gets 'C' on school reform" (Aug. 25) cites a study by the Thomas B. Fordham Institute, identifying that organization as a "nonprofit organization that conducts research in elementary and secondary education reform…". That's like saying a report by the Republican Party, a non-profit organization, has been critical of Governor Martin O'Malley. The article should have said that the Fordham Institute is a right-wing organization tied to charter schools and anti-union activities.
May 12, 2013
With city schools CEO Andrés Alonso's announcement last week that he is stepping down at the end of this school year, Baltimore finds itself in the market for a new leader who can continue and expand upon the reforms he instituted. Whoever succeeds Mr. Alonso will have a hard act to follow, and finding a replacement who possesses the right combination of leadership, management and interpersonal skills won't be easy. That's why the Baltimore City Board of School Commissioners must insist on conducting a thorough, nationwide search for the city's next schools CEO and resist pressures from some city leaders to short-circuit the process by rushing to name a successor.
May 7, 2010
Kudos to the Sun for its thoughtful editorial on May 7 recognizing the vital importance of quality early childhood programs and pre-K in closing achievement gaps and imparting lifelong benefits to children ("Excellence at early age"). A mountain of research, notably the Perry Pre-School study and Chicago Child Parent Centers study, document that these investments save governments enormous costs in the form of reduced incarceration, less need for special education, smaller public assistance rolls and improved high school graduation rates.
June 21, 1995
A year ago, candidate Parris N. Glendening typically hedged when asked whether he supported Maryland's ambitious public school reform effort. Having won office and taken stock of the state of education in Maryland, he has now signed on. At a press conference last week, he announced his own education initiatives and put his stamp on the reform process.There will be some new money, including $10 million to be proposed in the fiscal 1997 budget to reward schools that show improvements in student performance.
April 18, 1995
Ask virtually anyone in the country to name the leading states in school reform, and Maryland will be on the short list. Many people can take credit for the remarkable progress the state has made in setting clear, albeit difficult, goals and in moving steadily toward them.Even so, it is undeniable that without the tenacity and unwavering vision of state Schools Superintendent Nancy S. Grasmick the reform effort would have stalled at several politically rocky points. By insisting day in and day out that the goal of education reform is to improve the lives of children -- not teachers, principals, parents or bureaucrats -- she has kept the state on a steady course.