Gov. Martin O’Malley was misinformed. How else to explain the letter from his education adviser explaining it was O’Malley’s job to pick the candidates “he believed were the most highly qualified” for the Harford County Board of Education?
If the Governor thought his selections were the most eager, or had rallied the right political support; fair enough. But the most qualified?
Dagger readers got to see some of the candidates’ resumes, including one from an O’Malley appointee. Any objective analysis shows a disparity in qualifications. One candidate who was overlooked was a Distinguished Principal, earned both the Maryland and National Blue Ribbon School of Excellence Awards and consistently led students to achieve top scores on state-wide tests. Another candidate the Governor passed up was a leader in education on two continents, won national awards for contributions to technical and vocational instruction and is a published author in that field. Both candidates had long careers in education, but more importantly, they had a record of success.
This is not to knock the newest members of the board; they have all our best wishes. But the public deserves a better explanation as to how they got there. Del. Mary-Dulany James may not think the public is smart enough to elect the school board, but we know a dodge when we see one.
Harford County Councilman Richard C. Slutzky has asked the Governor’s office to release any information relating to his decision that can be made public. Governor O’Malley, why not release the names of local officials who asked you to appoint the newest school board members? In a democracy, there is no valid reason to hide recommendations made by public servants to fill open seats on a public board. The public has a right to know who’s really pulling the strings.