Thursday, October 05, 2006

Education for Washington Post opinion editors

Here's another easy way for Washington Post editorial writers to de-mystify what they call the "thinly disguised hostility" directed at our marvelous school superintendent.

They can read the community newspaper that their company owns: the Gazette.

More often than not, the Gazette runs letters to the editor and guest opinion pieces from ordinary members of the community who are angry, outraged, or just plain demoralized about the superintendent and his policies.

In this week's issue, the Potomac Gazette runs a letter by Ginger Baran of Bethesda, who accuses MCPS of dumping so much stressful work on the kids that the schools have become "factories." (For more on her letter, see the following article.)

Also in this issue, public school mom Beth McLean of Gaithersburg expresses a years-long "rage" about MCPS.

"I have been in a rage for the past several years regarding the school system’s calendar," she writes in response to a September 13 op-ed by Peter Dressner. "I comment to parents, co-workers, neighbors, even my children. The Montgomery County Public Schools’ calendar is flatly 'a nightmare!'"

"Mr. Dressner," Mrs. McLean continues, "you could not have written your point more articulately. I know that there are thousands of other parents who feel the same way we do. I have spoken with dozens of them myself."

I bet the Post editors could, too.

Last week, Marla Neustadt of Bethesda wrote a letter expressing similar opinions, advising school board candidates to take heed to public anger.

And then, there's Peter Dressner's original contribution that kicked off the start of a new school year. The Bethesda dad took the trouble to compare the MCPS calendar with those of other school districts, and found: "After comparing about 30 schools with MCPS, I have come to the conclusion that MCPS has without a doubt the most family-unfriendly and meanest academic calendar in the United States."

Gotta read Dressner's piece, folks! Click here for the full text from the Gazette.