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O'Malley Wants Better "Alignment" With Superintendent

The chilly relationship between Gov. Martin O'Malley (D) and State School Superintendent Nancy S. Grasmick shows no signs of thawing.

Last week, O'Malley said he was caught flat-footed by Grasmick's proposal to allow Maryland high school students who are unable to pass a set of exams required for graduation to instead submit projects to demonstrate their mastery of academic subjects.

"This is a new one on me, the new policy," O'Malley said when asked about it a couple of hours after Grasmick presented the proposal to the State Board of Education.

Grasmick reports to the board, whose members are appointed by the governor to staggered terms. It will be next summer before a majority of the appointees are O'Malley picks. The governor has previously said he believes it is time for the long-serving superintendent to step down, and last week's episode did nothing to change that.

"I think with better executive and superintendent alignment, there would have a been a little more collaboration and a little more of a heads' up," O'Malley said. "We had one conversation where we talked about this several months ago. ... . I think Dr. Grasmick has held that position for many years, and I certainly would like to see a much better working relationship than currently exists."

The relationship between O'Malley and Grasmick soured during his tenure as mayor of Baltimore, a period when O'Malley accused Grasmick of trying to politically embarrass him over the state of the city's schools.

By John Wagner  |  September 4, 2007; 11:31 AM ET
Categories:  John Wagner  
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