Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Poor Outlook for Transparency for Upcoming MCPS Superindendent Search

The stars are not aligning properly for parents and taxpayers in Montgomery County, Maryland, who are hoping for a different process to pick the replacement for (now fallen) Starr as Superintendent.

Just yesterday (Tuesday), Board President Patricia O'Neill announced that the interim superintendent had to be approved by Dr. Lillian Lowery, the State Superintendent of Schools.

Could parents or taxpayers weigh in?

Apparently NOT.

The selection of Larry Bowers as interim superintendent of MCPS was a done deal.  No questions asked.

See below.

Transparency?  Nope.

Are you happy with the process to date?  Let Dr. Lowery know.  Again, her email is:


  1. MoCo and transparency are mutually exclusive events.

  2. This is an interim appointment. 3 1/2 months. Appointee has almost 40 years experience in MCPS. What was the Board supposed to do, hold meetings with various groups that would leave the district without anyone in charge?

    Is there anything MCPS does that this blog approves of?

    Looking forward to the attacks on whomever becomes the new Supt. come July...

    1. @anonymous - Umm someone is supposed to be in charge until June. His name is Joshua Starr and he is going to be paid until then. What's up with him not finishing out his contract?

      As for Larry Bowers, so ignorance is bliss, right? Apparently you aren't familiar with what Mr. Bowers has done during his time in MCPS? He's cost taxpayers millions and millions of dollars in unapproved purchases. The documentation is right here on this site. See, we believe that major multi-million dollar purchases should be discussed and voted on by the Board of Education after a public procurement process that includes RFPs and bids. Weird, right? We have documented where Mr. Bowers has signed his name on documents on behalf of the Board of Education without board votes. We think that's a problem.

      So to answer your question, yes, we would like to see some actual public discussion of the selection of the interim superintendent. It's a big budget. A lot can happen in 3 1/2 months.

    2. This interim appointment is from Feb. 16-June 30. That's 4 1/2 months!

  3. I need to know exactly what power this interim appointment will have. Does he have the same level of power as if he were the permanent hire?

  4. Please direct your questions to Lillian Lowery or Patricia O'Neill. We will share with our readers.

  5. Janis, why don't you apply for the position? You seem to know all and have all answers. I appreciate the value and advocacy of the parent coalition but negative criticism of everything and everyone doesn't bring us solution to our problems. Let's not focus on Mr Bowers who is only going to be interim on the position, he is about to retire and I am sure he doesn't want to be on this position any more than you do. He has been in the system for 37 years and not once applied to the sup position. Let's focus our energy on being part of the selection of the new leader to our school!

    1. Facts are facts. You would prefer to ignore facts? That's your choice.

      Sorry, Mr. Bowers will have to be watched. He will have extensive power without anyone over him for the next 4 1/2 months.

      Oversight has and does bring changes. There have been many, many changes in MCPS over the years due to the oversight provided by the Parents' Coalition.

      Let's take another example from Mr. Bowers. Back in 2009, the Parents' Coalition discovered that MCPS had a slush fund of millions of dollars from unreported E-Rate rebates. The Parents' Coalition exposed these rebates and the County Council held a hearing on MCPS' failure to report them to the Council as part of the annual budget process. Mr. Bowers response was that MCPS didn't have to report those funds. We have that on video tape.

      The Council disagreed with Mr. Bowers and for the last few years (need to pull up exact year) E-Rate Rebates have been included in the MCPS Operating Budget.

      Yes, in 2009 we found $21 million in unappropriated rebate payments to MCPS.

      Again - that was $21 million of funding for the MCPS Operating budget that we found.

      So quit whining and start paying attention to the MCPS budget. The devil's in the details.

    2. "There have been many, many changes in MCPS over the years due to the oversight provided by the Parents' Coalition." HERE HERE! Keep up the great work!!!!


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