Friday, March 6, 2015

Roger Berliner's Saturday Farce

On Saturday, March 7th at a location we won't mention, Councilmember Roger Berliner is holding a PR event.  The claim is that the event is to "engage" community members on school planning issues.

The "engagement" for this event requires that if you have a question, you must submit it in advance!  Your question can then be screened and the "appropriate" questions will be selected for presentation at the PR event.

The event takes up an entire Saturday. Parents, you have an entire Saturday to spend sitting in a room waiting to see if your question is deemed appropriate for this panel, right?

Here's what the sign up form for this PR event states: 
Do you have a question about schools and transportation? We want to hear it. Add it to our list of questions from Forum registrants. At the Forum we will draw from this list, answering as many questions as time permits.

Thanks Councilmember Roger Berliner for providing a concrete example of what is wrong with the public school planning process in Montgomery County!  Parent voices are not being heard! Parent voices are screened, silenced and muted!

The PUBLIC is no longer a part of the PROCESS! Click here to read about the Lost School Planning Process.


  1. It sounds like a staged screenplay farce.

  2. I have a question, but I don't know if this is where to ask it. I was curious after reading Superintendent Bower's memo about school weather closings. He mentioned that he keeps administrative offices open because of child care programs in schools. Does this mean that taxpayers are footing the bill for people's personal child care when we pay for public school? Maybe I don't understand because I don't know why administration has anything to do with child care services.

    1. A number of child care providers rent school space in order to provide before- and after-care for school-aged kids, and all-day care for younger children; closing schools completely would shutter those programs for the entire day. Presumably the rent paid would offset the cost to keep open? That's a good question.

  3. I attended most of today's PR-athon. OMG....

    (Thanks to the MCPTA for the coffee!)

    But about the event: Very structured, not so informative, and totally produced to give Roger's Bethesda peeps a warm and fuzzy feeling that he responds to "their" issues. The morning presentations were more rants/dreams/opinions than actual informational policy presentations. And at that they were abbreviated because they were running late... The afternoon topics, intended to provided some options for consideration, were rather weak.

    It is clear that the county politicians respond to numbers---not to logic, or any in-depth reasoning of policy directives. Numbers scare them. But now they understand how to tame the numbers---hold a day-long, self-serving, PR-athon.

    Now all they have to do is to crank up the e-newsletters and that pesky planning issue is over!


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