Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Montgomery County Board of Education: Michael Durso vs. Martha Schaerr

Traffic to this site is up heavily as the election approaches so I'd like to take some time be clear about my intentions for readers who might approach this blog with something of a healthy skepiticism.
1) I believe voters should make educated decisions in the upcomming elections.
2) I do not believe the Apple Ballot encourages citizens to make independent decisions- especially given that  MCEA did not interview any of the challengers for Board of Education.
3) I am a member of MCEA.
4) My primary agenda item is improving education- namely through the creation of a new more robust teacher evaluation system that more readily identifies and removes ineffective teachers.

Onto the elections:

Michael Durso has proven to be the one current member on the Board of Education willing to question the policies of Superintendent Weast and the other generally supportive members of the Board.   He was also one of two Board members to ask for more time to consider an MCPS parternship with Pearson Education.  The Board was provided 48 hours notice to vote on this contract- a contract with the potential to have lasting impact on the county and the way it does business.   Healthy discord on a Board of Education is a must, and Michael Durso does not appear shy about voicing his opinion.

Durso's responses to the MCEA questionnaire prove he is a reflective practitioner that he does not reject ideas out of hand.  He serves on the board of a DC charter school- proof positive that the charter school movement does not have to be the front line enemy of public schools.   In my estimation, these are the type of thinkers our county needs on the Board of Education.   He appears driven by ideas rather than politics.

Challenger Martha Schaerr has some excellent ideas about how to reform evaluation systems in Montgomery County.   I'd like to put aside her apparent social conservative history as it would likely be a singular and dominated voice on the Board of Education, but that's not in my make-up, and Durso has already proven he can be a powerful minority voice when he deems it appropriate. 

Durso earns my unequivocal support.

1 comment:

  1. Note the Washington Post endorsement of Mike Durso this morning.

    In District 5, incumbent Mike Durso is the better choice over Martha Schaerr, a stay-at-home mom and PTA activist. Mr. Durso possesses valuable insights as a former high school principal; as for Mrs. Schaerr, we are troubled by her involvement in a group hostile to gay rights. She is also member of the board of the Family Leader Network, one of the groups that sued Montgomery school officials in an unsuccessful effort to block a new sexual education curriculum that dealt forthrightly with sexual orientation.