In an email to the Parents' Coalition, Ms. Eland wrote:
"Our schooling system has had an ongoing link with Montgomery County Public Schools (MCPS) since 2004 initially as an appropriate partner for a headteacher exchange programme, more latterly given our wide ranging reform agenda, as a schooling system which offers important insights on issues of underachievement and schooling system effectiveness."Exchange program? Anyone know of any teachers or principals from Northern Ireland or from MCPS who participated in an exchange program?
Who in MCPS authorized Dr. Weast to provide (free) consulting services to the Northern Ireland Education Department? Did the BOE give their approval?
"An important element of the Northern Ireland reform agenda has involved the setting up of a new Education and Skills Authority (ESA). The Department of Education and ESA officials have visited Montgomery County to access for themselves those aspects of the MCPS system which with contextualisation may add value to local endeavours. We are grateful to MCPS for facilitating the involvement of its superintendent Dr Jerry Weast in the strategic discussions and thinking underpinning our change programme."
"Dr Weast’s recent trip to Northern Ireland was funded and organised by the Regional Training Unit (RTU), which has responsibility for leadership training across our system and which has an ongoing relationship with MCPS. Over the course of the week, Dr Weast had discussions with local educationalists, political representatives and journalists."
“No further trips are planned at this time.”
In the meantime, MCPS has its own issues to deal with, mostly in Weast's absence.