School Takeover Spurs Political Questions
Even as they went on offense in the long-running battle over how to improve Baltimore schools, state education officials this week appeared a bit defensive.
Before and after the State Board of Education's vote yesterday to seize control of four high schools and order local officials to find new management for seven middle schools, board members and State Superintendent of Schools Nancy S. Grasmick were peppered with questions about their political motives.
Reporters asked whether they were undermining Baltimore Mayor Martin O'Malley's Democratic candidacy for governor--an impression O'Malley himself stoked in various public appearances.
Grasmick, a Democrat occasionally mentioned as a possible running mate for the Republican governor, denied that she was aiming to damage O'Malley or boost the reelection of Gov. Robert L. Ehrlich Jr.
She told reporters that the 11 targeted schools had been on a state watch list since 1997 or earlier--in the administrations of Democratic governors William Donald Schaefer and Parris N. Glendening.
"It spans three governors," Grasmick said. "This is not specific to a governor or a mayor." She added that Ehrlich "has nothing to do with this action."
She also pointed to the state's successful takeover of three Baltimore elementary schools in 2000, also during O'Malley's mayoralty, as evidence that intervention can make a difference. Grasmick has held her post since 1991, serving under state boards appointed by Democratic and Republican governors.
Grasmick was mentioned in 2002 as a possible cross-party running mate for Ehrlich but publicly rejected the scenario.This year she is mentioned again occasionally for the same role because Lt. Gov. Michael S. Steele (R) is running for U.S. Senate.
Posted by: D.C. Russell | March 30, 2006 4:17 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: Baltimore voter | March 30, 2006 5:10 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: Matt | March 31, 2006 11:04 AM | Report abuse
Posted by: What about the kids? | March 31, 2006 7:46 PM | Report abuse
The comments to this entry are closed.