The following blog article by Chester E. Finn, Jr., December 20, 2012, suggests that Montgomery County
"needs a versatile, smart, and courageous education-advocacy organization to make sure that the interests of school-system employees and their friends don’t trump those of children (and taxpayers). Today it doesn’t have one—nor, to my knowledge, does it have anyone to point out the things that aren’t working, the kids who are badly served, the schools that are poorly led, the choices that don’t really exist, and all the other things that the system is not keen to make known."
Wow. He also raises a few questions that need answering:
But in those situations, it’s vital to impose transparency via external audits and comparisons that such districts aren’t apt to do for themselves. How do 8th graders in Montgomery County compare—not just with each other or with Baltimore, but with Korea and Finland? Which schools are working well, and which really aren’t? Which truly “add value” to their pupils, and which just take smart, well-parented, upper-middle-class kids and keep them that way? How much per pupil does this system spend on special education versus the national average, and how many special-needs kids graduate from high school? How many of the kids taking AP courses then pass the AP exams? How many minority students are enrolled in the district’s International Baccalaureate program, and what is their rate of success? How many graduates of the county’s high schools must still take remedial courses in college? How many “eligible” students cannot get into “gifted and talented” classrooms due to the paucity of such programs? How many are turned away from the county’s acclaimed Montgomery Blair magnet high school program (which takes just 100 kids per year)? And much more.
Read the whole blog article by clicking HERE.