Monday, October 02, 2006

Washington Post editors fear Weast's vulnerability

Washington Post editors devoted a third of their space today to an editorial in support of Superintendent Jerry Weast - giving signs that they fear his demise as head of Montgomery County Public Schools.

The editorial cited the issues we've been covering here at

* Weast's loss of his "reliable partnership" with retiring County Executive Doug Duncan and ousted County Council Education Committee Chairman Michael Subin; and "reliable backer" Steve Silverman, whom voters rejected to replace Duncan.

* Public calls for greater scrutiny of the school system.

* Weast's own secrecy and the lack of transparency under his administration.

* The public's "thinly disguised hostility" toward Weast.

* The fact that he "comes across" as a bully.

* Public outrage over his $350,000-a-year salary and tax-dodge perks.

The editors tip their hand at the beginning of the editorial, when they note how the upcoming "marked changes in Montgomery County's political leadership" are likely to affect our "hard-charging superintendent."

They're trying to frame the issues for the campaign, noting that "none of the leading candidates for County Council or school board have come out publicly against Mr. Weast," then spend the last four paragraphs of the six-paragraph editorial explaining why the secretive superintendent is such a great guy.