Despite opposition from teachers unions and Maryland's largest school system, the state school board is poised to vote Wednesday to approve an application for as much as $250 million in federal funds...
...Montgomery's Weast told the board Tuesday that the county will not sign the application because it does not want to give up its own teacher evaluation system. In an interview, he said that the county believes its evaluation system is better than others and that the state has not fully thought through the process for many of the reforms.
"Bold is not a strategy," he said.
But Grasmick and state board members are clearly perplexed by the Montgomery decision, particularly because the county will have little choice in implementing many of the reforms that are now law and the cash-strapped county stands to gain $12 million in federal money.
In an interview, Grasmick said, "The law is the law. This is what I don't understand. …They will have to do it anyway."
Board members pressed Weast at the meeting Tuesday to explain the decision, particularly because he was there to ask them not to fine the county $51 million for failing to fully fund education as required under Maryland law. The board granted the county a waiver.
School board president James H. DeGraffenreidt Jr. said, "It bounces off our brain why Montgomery County doesn't want to sign."
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