Saturday, September 18, 2010

Washington Post- Letter to the editor

Sent this to the Post last week.   I'm assuming it didn't make it.

When voters head out to the polls to cast their vote in the coming months they will be bombarded with signs, pamphlets and even perfectly outlined apples. Printed atop atleast one of those apples in Montgomery County will be the following title: "Teachers Recommend." The Apple Ballot, which exists in Montgomery as well as other counties across Maryland, has become one of the most successful marketing strategies ever employed. Vote for the following names, in elections even some of the most informed voters know little about, and support teachers. A simple and noble message. However, its important that voters understand what this means.

In my ten years as MCEA member and MCPS teacher, I have never been asked which candidates I believe warrant the endorsement of MCEA. Not an email. Not a, "please fill out this survey." Nothing. I appreciate much of the work done by my employee association, but standing in the way of educational reform that creates incentives for teachers to perform at their highest level is not one of them. The Apple Ballot may very well represent the rank and file teachers accross Montgomery County, but I'm not sure how the MCEA elite would really know, as the rank and file are not involved in the process. But I do know this: the list of candidates I recommend, and the list of candidates MCEA recommends, are two different lists.

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