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Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Comments on Rushern Baker's planned school coup d'etat, Part five, Examiner editorial covers what Post left out

See the Washington Examiner editorial: Examiner Local Editorial: Competition, not takeover, is key to turnaround at Prince George's County schools (originally posted online 19 Mar 2013)

Two key points where the Examiner editorial writers address issue the Post has generally ignored in both editorials and news reports:
Baker's past record

a decade ago, when he was a state delegate, Baker successfully lobbied to replace another elected school board with political appointees, who then hired Andre Hornsby as superintendent. In 2008, Hornsby was convicted of giving kickbacks on school contracts to his live-in girlfriend. So Baker's judgment, if not his motive, is already suspect.
Executive takeover vs. school choice

Baker points to school takeovers in other cities such as the District, where in 2007 legislation gave former Mayor Adrian Fenty control over the city's failing public schools. But six years later, it's clear that the mayoral takeover had less effect on improving public education than the introduction of competition in the form of school choice.

Vouchers and charter schools not only raised parental expectations, they forced DC Public Schools to compete -- especially east of the Anacostia River, where a majority of children come from low-income families.
Prince George's has seven charter schools, but it needs many more. Maryland's 2003 charter law does not limit the number of charter schools a county can have. ... The flaw in the law is that it gives local school boards veto power over their own competition.

If Baker wants a change in state law to force changes in public education, the charter law is the place to begin.

1 comment:

  1. But the Examiner conclusion about charter schools and competition is the very reason I am worried about Mr. Baker’s plan. We need to know what kind of school reform Baker intends to implement before we hand him control. I do not want to see more charter schools. They have not proven to be, on average, any better than regular schools. Most parents want their kids to attend a good school in their own neighborhood. We need forward-looking school leadership that will work collaboratively with teachers and all stakeholders to improve all PG county schools. It will be hard work and take longer. But, miraculous sudden improvements in student achievement—the kind of change most politicians are after—are likely the result of outright fraud or a rigged evaluation system designed to produce desired results.