Friday, March 31, 2006

MCPS damages self with 'scorched earth' retribution policy

PTA and community leaders took Montgomery County school officials to task for waging psychological warfare to pit one community against another, and for threatening retribution against citizens for opposing MCPS plans.

MCPS came under a barrage of criticism at the March 21 County Council session. The Almanac reports that "speakers at the hearing increasingly called MCPS to task for what they called an antagonistic, 'divide and conquer' attitude.

"'It’s almost like a scorched earth policy. I don’t understand what the [school] board is doing,' said Mark Adelman, chair of the Montgomery County Civic Federation’s Education Committee. 'The minute you are perceived to be threatening that one school is going to be closed . . . you’re sending a message to the citizens whose kids go to that school that there’s going to be retribution.'

"Adelman said he feared that the school system is digging in its heels over a single issue rather than focusing on global principles."