Thursday, May 4, 2017


I saw this question yesterday in a music teachers' group on Facebook:

If you could only ask one question to prospective superintendent during an interview, what would it be?

Given the context, this is obviously a question from a music teaching job applicant heading into an interview. But, given recent events in Howard County, I saw it in a completely different light. As our Board of Education looks ahead to choosing a new Superintendent for our school system, what kind of questions will they ask? Do you have any questions that you think should be asked?

Yesterday Acting Superintendent Michael Martirano held a meet-and-greet event for teachers. He walked away from the podium and stood in the midst of them. And then he took questions. All questions. Difficult questions. Spontaneous, unfiltered questions.

If this doesn't seem exceptional, you may not have been following this story very closely.

While we are asking questions:
  • Why is Maryland the only state that doesn't allow their Boards of Education to both hire and fire Superintendents?
  • Why did members of our former Board of Education vote to approve a Superintendent's contract which legally obligated the current board to such an outrageous payout? 
In recent years the freedom to ask questions and get straight answers has been increasingly discouraged. I would argue that it's a large part of where we are today. If I had to submit a question right now it would be: how do we take steps to make sure that this doesn't happen to us again?

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