An Albanian Sojourn: A Staffer Recalls an Unusual Odyssey

I was looking for something in my basement the other day. As is so often the case, I did not find what I was looking for. But I did find something better – two photo albums filled with snaps I had taken during a trip to Albania in 1987. This prompted a frantic search for […]

Lowered Expectations in Baltimore

A great swathe of the intellectual establishment has come around to viewing Baltimore through Calvert-colored glasses. Now that he need no longer fear the electoral wrath of the unions, even Mayor Kurt L. Schmoke (D) is making approving noises about adopting privatization as one means of introducing an element of value for money into the […]

The Baltimore Forum: Would-Be Mayor Addresses the Issues of the Day

As Baltimore’s disappointing Schmoke era draws to a close, Calvert recently attempted to elicit answers from potential 1999 mayoral candidates to some key questions. Surveys were mailed to seven people, either announced candidates or folk whose names have been mentioned as possibilities. These were Lawrence A. Bell III, the city council president; Mary Conaway, the […]

Focus on the Facts: NTU Brands Md. Senators Most Spendthrift in Congress

The National Taxpayers Union, a watchdog group in Washington, D.C., has just released its annual rating of the “taxpayer friendliness” of all members of Congress. Maryland’s U.S. Senators, Democrats Paul Sarbanes and Barbara Mikulski, ranked absolute bottom on the NTU scale. Between them, Sarbanes and Mikulski scored a combined average of 8 percent, out of […]

Private Sector Public Schools: Fiscal Responsibility Dictates It, Says Nova Scotia

There is a widespread perception that there is a nationwide shortage of classroom space. Education proved to be an issue of serious voter concern in Maryland’s 1998 election, with both gubernatorial candidates feeling compelled to make promises to hire at state expense over 1,000 new public school teachers (despite spotty evidence that reduced class size […]

Much Ado About Nothing: Fuss about Certification Protects Closed Shop

Five minutes into any discussion on the subject of teacher certification you’re bound to hear the analogy: “If you needed heart bypass surgery, wouldn’t you insist on having a licensed surgeon perform the procedure? Well, then, you certainly wouldn’t want an uncertified teacher instructing your child, would you?” But is an uncertified teacher with a […]

Good Credit: A Step Toward Education Freedom

Serious school reform is no longer a train that can be stopped. The groundswell of public opinion is on the side of reformers. Certainly, there are bureaucratic and special-interest obstacles to be cleared. But the people have spoken. They want more say over the education of their youngsters. A bill currently before the Maryland General […]

Focus on the Facts: Going Private, Dropping Out

Analysis of Census Bureau and other statistical data from this decade reveals that Maryland’s public schools are relatively under utilized, at least in comparison to many other states. as shown in the table, in 1994, only 15 states saw a smaller proportion of school-aged children enrolled in the public schools. That year 89.5 percent of […]

Emily: Why Strong Charter-School Legislation Is a Must

Marjorie lives in Montgomery County, having moved there a number of years ago in part because the reputation of the county’s school system. Marjorie’s daughter, Emily, is what is known as a “GT/LD” student in bureaucratese. That is to say that she is a gifted and talented student, but also learning disabled. The public schools […]

Troubled Waters: PTA Bureaucrats Silence Reform Efforts

Last fall, Montgomery County activist Sylvia Fubini established a committee within the Montgomery County Council of PTAs to examine serious school-reform ideas – school choice, charter schools and so forth. In other words, she proposed the sort of debate the educracy generally goes to almost any lengths to avoid. Ms. Fubini’s plan got off to […]