By Linda Perstein
When finalists were announced for the 2010 Broad Prize for Urban Education, I did not give much thought to the inclusion of Montgomery County, Md. I did not give much thought to any of the finalists, really. But today I saw the video on the Montgomery County Public Schools website—I covered MCPS for the Post years ago and check in there from time to time—that highlighted the Broad visit and couldn’t help but laugh when I saw the officials at Julius West Middle School. Julius West is a couple of miles from one of the most affluent communities on earth. Heard of Potomac? Not what I would call “urban.”...article continues here
You're right. Our urban district hired a superintendent who graduated from the Broad School. He acknowledged that his former district, Montgomery County, had per student expenditures of nearly 21/2 time our district. But he kept saying that Montgomery County had more poor students than our entire district. He never realized that the situation is different when more than 90% of students are poor, and the district has been poor for generations. Montgomery County, and other places, have an educational culture that may have taken more than a century to create. Our state has more than a century of anti-intellectualism, generational poverty, and oppression...
...By the way, that superintendent had the talent to have been truely great, but he ignored warnings that he wasn't in Montgomery County anymore, continued to spend in the ways he'd been accustomed, and was gone in six months, but leaving discord that still paralyzes much of our deliberations.