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 […]

High School Science and Mathematics in Maryland: A Discussion

MR. GEORGE LIEBMANN (moderator): Roughly 10 of 35 respondents to Calvert’s survey of public college science and math professors referred in one way or another to the problem of recruiting and retaining qualified high school science teachers. The other comments were also very interesting. It is rather commonly put forth as part of an agenda […]

Voucher Politics

The condition of Baltimore’s schools, together with the fact that more than 40% of the parents of Baltimore schoolchildren applied for a limited number of private scholarships would suggest that Baltimore City is a jurisdiction politically ripe for the introduction of vouchers. Several Baltimore political leaders have lent their support to voucher proposals. In 1994, […]

Baltimore’s Jarndyce v. Jarndyce

Your editor had a look at the federal case file in that most macabre of all cases, Vaughn G. v. Board of Commissioners, involving special education in Baltimore City.(84 Civ.1911 (D.Md.)),which has lasted for 18 years, created two new bureaucracies, cost an estimated $50 million,and provided a Special Master with a $200,000+ salary (To assuage […]

High School Science and Mathematics in Maryland: A Study in Failure

This is the first Calvert Institute study to be issued in 18 months, and reflects the work of a reconstituted Board and new Executive Director. The Institute intends to continue to reproduce in Maryland proposals for market-based reforms that have not received serious discussion, though its basic thrust will seek to promote better government by […]

Costs of the Vaughn G Lawsuit

Kalman R. Hettleman is an independent Baltimore education consultant. He was Secretary of Human Resources during the Hughes administration, and is a former member of the Baltimore City School Board. The following discussion of the costs of the Vaughn G. lawsuit is excerpted by permission from a 55-page report, “Still Getting It Wrong: The Continuing […]

Smarter than the French: A Review of Reitz’s Moral Crisis

The French are smart. They have two words for education, not one. One word means “instruction.” It is what people get when they go to Harvard law school or a school for hairdressers. At both places, people are taught facts, concepts and useful skills. The other word means “education.” It suggests the training one gets […]

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 […]