The undated, unsigned "Voluntary Plan" submitted with the application contains the following language:
"On April 22, 2010, the Superintendent informed the Board of Education that the Montgomery County Public Schools (MCPS) was supporting the voluntary plan by applying for a grant to improve programs offered at the Wheaton and Watkins high schools and at the Thomas Edison School of Technology, which shares a campus with Wheaton High School. (...) The detailed rationale that the superintendent's notification contained fulfilled steps in the required procedures that apply to the development and implementation of new magnet programs."
According to today's Gazette, Board of Education President Pat O'Neill stated that Board members were "briefed" on the proposal. When did this "briefing" take place? Or is Pat O'Neill referring to the page-and-a-half memo from Jerry Weast, sent to the BOE and dated April 22, 2010 informing the BOE that MCPS had applied for this grant? Is there some reason why this proposal has not been discussed, pros and cons, at an open meeting of the Board of Education?
The grant application states that "MCPS believes that implementing magnet programs will assist the Wheaton, Watkins Mill, and Thomas Edison high schools in reducing the increasing socio-economic and racial isolation that students in these schools are now experiencing. (Voluntary plan, page 4)" How, exactly does MCPS propose to do so? By creating a program designed to attract higher-income, non-minority students? If so, let's hear the details in public at a full Board of Education meeting.