Meanwhile, in Annapolis...
Yesterday, the State School Board rejected Howard County’s Request for a waiver and that means that, despite giving up their Spring Break, students and teachers will be going beyond the June 15th date decreed by the Governor. There’s eight million reasons why this is a bad idea and you probably already know them.
Let’s look at the players:
- The Governor and the Comptroller, who thought it would be a simple thing to start school after Labor Day and end it June 15th to benefit Ocean City merchants
- The State Board of Ed, who intends to adhere religiously to 180 days of instruction
- Local school systems throughout the state, each with their own particular calendar needs and requirements
- Parents, students, teachers, and staff
Oh, and let’s not forget Maryland weather, which looks at this entire scenario and says, “hold my beer.”
This just feels like a classic example of what happens when men come in saying, “I’m going to fix this for you; it’s no big deal” and then proceed wreck the whole thing. And then, while surveying all the broken pieces, they say, “Hey, maybe this had more moving parts than we thought...”
School calendars are complicated things and there are actually people whose job it is to understand them and do the very best they can to make them work. If one does not have that kind of expertise it takes a special kind of hubris to come in with some scissors and scotch tape and “fix” them.
Local school systems are left holding the bag and parents, teachers, students, and staff are both inconvenienced and ill-served.
As an educator, I’m hoping that somebody somewhere has learned a lesson from all this. I know I’d like to send a couple of fellows in Annapolis to summer school this year based on their lack of mastery in this subject.