Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Navarro: MCPS must stop congratulating itself

Montgomery County's new school board chief says the board and MCPS must resist the urge to congratulate themselves and spend more time talking about continuing challenges and how to fix them.

Board of Education President Nancy Navarro says in the Gazette, "We need to present the human face of what we're doing and connect the dots so the public can understand the challenges we face."

In a pointed shot at the previous board, whose slavish loyalty to Superintendent Jerry Weast had made it an object of ridicule, Navarro said that all the self-congratulation made it difficult to seek state funds for disadvantaged students.

‘‘It’s hard to make your case when all you talk about is how great everything is,” says Navarro. "Why give any more money?”

A local education leader agrees. ‘‘There’s a certain amount of cheerleading that has to go on,” says Montgomery County Civic Federation Education Committee Chairman Mark Adelman. But he adds, in the words of the Gazette, "that rah-rah attitude cannot take the board away from its mission."

‘‘My perception is that there’s too much time spent talking about how great a job is being done and not enough time spent with the public at the table in a dialogue of how do we get the job done better,” says Adelman.