Not to spoil the readers’ celebration of the New Year, I am disappointed to report the dismal state of Montgomery County schools does not appear to be improving. In fact the entire system is in a freefall. A system that in 2017 was the 14th largest in the nation and in fiscal year 2019 had a $2.6 billion budget has not allowed the doors to its school buildings to open for education in more than 200 days. This is a sad, depressing, and embarrassing situation that cries out for outside intervention before the entire system collapses.
The problems are numerous and most are self-induced and correctible with the appropriate energy and commitment. What are the specific problems facing the 14th largest school system in the country?
- In direct contravention of the “science” that most members of our ruling class so love to fall back on, the entire system has been shut down and not allowed the doors to its school buildings to open for education for over 200 days;
- Enrollment is plummeting; two weeks into the virtual learning experience school officials are reporting that enrollment was down by over 3,300 students;
- Academic performance is collapsing; failure rates in math and English increased SIXFOLD for some of the most vulnerable students; in one example 36% of ninth-graders from low income families failed the first marking period in English; nearly 45% of those with limited English proficiency failed the first marking period in ninth-grade math. So the answer from the School Board – lower the standards and give 50% credit if nothing was done!
- Principals are for most part timid and passive and, rather than showing appropriate leadership in the community and advocate for opening, act as if their only role is to forward messages from the central administration at MDPS headquarters;
- School Board seems to do nothing more than ignore public complaints and refuse to respond to parents and citizens who raise concerns or ask questions that don’t comport with the Board’s world view;
- Administrative Headquarters has become bloated and ossified and prone to issuing “one size fits all “directives that satisfy no one;
- Teachers; “A union representing Montgomery County Public Schools teachers tore into the district over its school reopening plans, saying they are unsafe. The plan “is wholly inadequate to protect the health and safety of students and staff,” the Montgomery County Education Association said in a recent statement. This despite the fact that there is zero evidence that the virus will spread among school age children in the classroom;
- Indoctrination; despite these problems and the failure to actually teach the basics, reading, writing, and arithmetic, the system has magically found time to begin to program our children in Marxist ideology under the watchwords; equity, 1619 project, social justice, racism, police brutality, cancel culture and social reform to name a few. This has to be stopped if we have any hope of our younger generation standing up for our Republic and freedom.
It is time that Republicans and conservatives in Montgomery County stand up for our school system. That begins by cleaning the leftists out of the elected school board, finding a patriotic and brave Superintendent and teachers with the courage to provide our kids with a “classic” education that teaches not only the basics, but the real history of our Republic and the courage and commitment of those who founded and those who died for our freedom.