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NEA names O'Malley education governor of the year

Aaron C. Davis

The teachers' vote was never much in doubt, but Gov. Martin O'Malley (D) is certain to trumpet a new, union-designated governor-of-the-year award in seeking a few more votes heading into November.

The National Education Association has announced that it plans to honor O'Malley on Monday with its not-so-modest sounding "America's Greatest Education Governor Award."

Without naming the award, O'Malley himself has already hyped the impending announcement on his campaign Web site, Facebook, Twitter and in an e-mail to supporters, saying, "the news expected this week may be the biggest of all for ... building a strong and growing workforce in Maryland for years to come," the campaign touted. "The news could be a game changer, and it will set off a series of announcements by the O'Malley-Brown campaign."

So, if nothing else, expect an announcement later Wednesday or this weekend about how O'Malley is the best education governor, and one to follow laying out all the ways he would be a better education governor than former Gov. Robert L. Ehrlich, Jr. (R).

The announcement comes at interesting point for O'Malley's challenger. Ehrlich has spent the last two weeks attempting to remind Marylanders that he, and not O'Malley, was the one who started the state's expansion of what have turned out to be mostly high-scoring charter schools. He's also attempted to gain traction with voters by saying he would give those schools more power to innovate (including by nixing a requirement that charter school teachers be unionized).

Will Ehrlich attempt to change the subject, and turn to another topic? Or use the announcement to talk about O'Malley's relationships with unions? We'll see.

In any event, the three-day blank spot on O'Malley public schedule for the rest of the week now makes sense. He will spend at least the latter part of the July 4th holiday weekend at NEA's annual conference in New Orleans to receive the award.

In announcing the award on Wednesday, NEA President Dennis Van Roekel said that O'Malley believes "as we do" that education will lead to a brighter future.

"He has made great strides in improving school funding, expanding school programs, and taking the needs of the whole child into account in education policy decisions. ... Lots of governors like to think of themselves as education governors, but Governor O'Malley has really earned that accolade."

By Aaron C. Davis  |  June 30, 2010; 1:30 PM ET
Categories:  2010 Elections , Aaron C. Davis  
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Am I the only one that remembers that O'Malley was attempting to oust Dr. Nancy Grasmick from her role as head of Maryland schools (see "Bill Would Rescind Gramick's Reappointment as Schools Leader" Jan. 31, 2008)? It seems somewhat disingenious that O'Malley now claims responsibility for the good work that SHE has been doing. This is just another example of the unethical patting the back of the morally corrupt. I'm surprised that he hasn't won an Oscar or Peace prize by now.

Posted by: dbetzel | June 30, 2010 3:32 PM | Report abuse

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