By Mike Petrilli
Often it’s hard as a writer to know if you are having any impact, in fact to know if anyone is even reading your stuff. Most weeks that I author a piece in the Gadfly I don’t hear a peep, and I just hope for the best.Read former MCPS employee Joe Hawkins' response and the full Flypaper article here.
Not this week! My article about the Montgomery County, Maryland schools under the leadership of superintendent Jerry Weast (and based on my reading of Leading for Equity: The Pursuit of Excellence in Montgomery County Public Schools) led to the bombardment of my email box by angry local parents, teachers, and activists. To whom I am very grateful. Let the debate begin!
I am seeking permission from several of these folks to post their comments on this blog; one of the most incisive is below.
But before that, a thought. I’m struck at how the Montgomery County activists are so like many of the New York City activists. They both get steamed when the national education policy community holds their local districts up as exemplars, when they know the underbelly of those systems up close and personal. Maybe there’s a rule for reformers: The more you know about any particular district, the less you like it. (I’ll admit to knowing very little about Montgomery County, even though I live there—in the “Red Zone” no less!)
Now here’s another side to the Montgomery County story, thanks to Joseph Hawkins...