I am asking that you put a stop to this grant immediately--apparently it is unlikely to be received anyway--and make it known how the rehabilitation of Edison and Wheaton will proceed in the near future. They are in the queue for reconstruction and actions are required. I also ask that these be DELAYED until you have a new superintendent in place that is responsive to parents and can see the project through in the open. I also want a promise that this kind of thing will not happen again. Apparently there were no lessons learned after the Monocacy Elementary School fiasco--which at least had a vote when two schools were considered for consolidation. Why aren't we being shown the same respect of a vote?
Parents must be proactively contacted and encouraged to be involved. This sneakiness will not fly. Can you imagine if Dr. Weast had tried doing this to a school in Bethesda? Imagine the outrage. Well, he isn't getting away with this here, either.
This grant was never vetted or approved by the Board of Education, the Edison High School staff or principal, or the Montgomery County Council before it was submitted. This is outrageous as far as I can tell--never happens. You plan to close a school--you do it in the open, with a vote. Board of Education President Patricia O`Neill was quoted in the Gazette as saying no vote was necessary--I'm sorry, that's poppycock. That grant would set policy and close and remake schools.
I am also calling your attention to many misstatements by Dr. Weast in your recent joint meeting with County Council.
To be clear: this was not a planning grant or a feasibility grant. It was not a request for money to "think about" what to do with three schools. Please obtain a copy if you haven't already, including five separate packets of documents, and review it for yourself. (Please note the duplicative paragraphs in the "letters of support" and the absence of any that mention Edison High School or come from Edison High School staff. I also suggest you look into how Dr. Weast obtained the signatures of the Wheaton teachers. This is nothing short of shameful).
Nowhere will you read about how Edison High School functions today. You come away wondering, gee...what about automotive? What about cosmetology? What really is going on at Edison High School? Apparently nothing. I defy you to find the word "vocational" in that grant application.
When I met with Marty Creel of MCPS and asked him about the fate of these classes, he pointed me to a "box on page 49" that lists "Business Teams." He said "look under Small Business. That would include cosmetology. Look under Transportation. That would include autotechonology." Really? Who would have thought that? And more importantly, who would believe it?
The enrollment numbers at Edison High School are also misstated. Honestly, there are so many questionable "facts" about the grant they are too many to name.
I look forward to seeing Edison High School on your agenda in an open and public meeting. I am available anytime to meet.