Maryland’s ‘Race to the Top’ Application: Failure Revealed

The Obama Administration’s education reform effort continues Washington’s enthusiasm for intellectually bankrupt ‘top-down’ reforms. As in foreign policy and policies relating to financial regulation, there is essential continuity between the Obama and George W. Bush administrations. The Obama reform approach essentially abandons any significant effort to alter failed grant in aid programs. The Individuals With […]

Move Beyond School Voucher Fantasy to Focus on Real Reforms

The recent, ringing defeat of a referendum on school vouchers in Utah – generally thought of as America’s most conservative state – should be a wake-up call to critics of our public school system. The proposal failed for several reasons apart from the might of the teachers unions. Chief among these is that it was […]

Educational Follies

The Baltimore Schools Readers of the Baltimore newspapers have been regaled by a series of advertisements placed by the Baltimore Teachers’ Union, which has reached an impasse in contract negotiations with the school board. The school board proposes to slightly reduce the allowed weekly amount of what is quaintly called ‘preparation time’, in order to […]

The Governor’s Educational Design

The only indication of the Governor’s thinking, if it can be called that, about the school system, is that supplied by his task force on education, whose report was publicized by, and not repudiated by, the Governor’s office. The three co-chairmen of the task force were selected so as to be totally protective of existing […]

“Think Again: A Decade of Calvert Institute Colloquies”

Think again George Liebmann hopes his book will give new life to a decade’s worth of Calvert Institute colloquies BRENDAN KEARNEY Daily Record Legal Affairs Writer August 19, 2007 6:39 PM Established in 1995 as a conservative counterweight in left-leaning Maryland, the Calvert Institute for Policy Research ruffled feathers and got people talking with reports […]

Contract holds back city schools

A new schools chief has come to Baltimore. Andres Alonso’s arrival coincides with the last stages of negotiation of a multi year teachers union contract, which will effectively tie his hands if its provisions are unwise. There is much in the current contract that was carelessly accepted, and much that needs revision. Political realities preclude […]

George Liebmann: Ask Gubernatorial Candidates About Schools and Education

BALTIMORE – Voters must ask the two main candidates for governor these three questions about schools before they vote for either one: Do you favor: Opening up teaching to people not trained in education schools? Pay structures resembling private labor markets, where schools compete? Building-level management of schools? Why are these reforms needed? Schools are […]

The Candidates and Education

The Candidates and Education The Sun and other publications have compared the views of Governor Ehrlich and Mayor O’Malley on education issues, but the comparisons for the most part miss the point. Fundamentally, there are three questions to be asked politicians about school improvement: Do you favor opening up teaching and administration to persons not […]

Martin in Wonderland

The popularity of Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland has lasted for nearly a century, and elaborately annotated editions of it have been published to expose its subtle points to the uninitiated. In Baltimore, an equally classic teachers’ union contract has been maintained intact and virtually unamended throughout the six years of the current O’Malley administration.

Thornton’s False Hope

The five-year Thornton program, which would enhance Maryland’s public school appropriations by $1.3 billion, is a big mistake. The inadequacy of public high school education is the most serious problem this nation confronts, but Thornton is a case of more means worse. Appropriations for future years should be stretched out and conditioned on reforms. Every […]