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Friday, November 02, 2007

Time for Grasmick to go

(Posted 2 Nov 2007)
Time for Grasmick to go.
DC Examiner, 2 Nov 2007 (Editorial).
Maryland education bureaucrats in Annapolis — aided and abetted by their union masters in the Maryland State Teachers Association (MSTA) — are now in full cover-up mode. Instead of requiring teachers to focus on imparting essential skills like reading and math, the State Board of Education has gutted the Maryland high school graduation standard.
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Grasmick has been running the show and dictating curriculum in Maryland since 1991, which is before the class of 2009 entered kindergarten. During a meeting with The Examiner in March, Grasmick insisted that 2009 graduates would have to pass the high school exit exams — which, by the way, she selected — before getting a diploma. She brushed off warnings that thousands of ill-prepared students would slip through the system.

Now, eight months later, the State Board of Education has decreed it will accept projects designed by, guess who, Grasmick’s underlings at the Maryland Department of Education. This is nothing more than a cynical sleight of hand to boost Maryland’s graduation rate and divert public attention from the dumbed-down curriculum, particularly in areas with large numbers of minority and low-income children who can’t pass the exit exams because they weren’t taught the material.
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The basic problem is that Maryland politicians lavish bigger budgets, power and perks on bureaucrats like Grasmick and unions like MSTA, even as generation after generation of children fall behind. Until Maryland stops rewarding adults who fail to educate the state’s children, academic mediocrity is guaranteed, no matter how much of the taxpayers’ money goes to the schools. It’s as simple as that.

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