Below is the text of an April 18th letter from County Executive David Craig to Harford School Board President Rick Grambo in response to a recent press release from Harford County Public Schools. The press release noted that seven county high schools made the “Challenge Index” list compiled by the Washington Post, which identifies schools with high numbers of students taking Advanced Placement or International Baccalaureate tests. Craig also sent copies of his letter to Gov. Martin O’Malley, Maryland Schools Superintendent Dr. Lillian M. Lowery, and selected members of the Harford Delegation and County Council, among other recipients.
“Dear President Grambo:
I read with joy on one side and dismay on the other, the press release “Seven HCPS high schools among most rigorous in nation.” I am proud that five of those seven schools were rebuilt while I have been county executive.
The dismay is about two of those not on the list – Havre de Grace High School and Joppatowne High School. Both are in a sad state of construction. Both have been included on my budget for capital projects. Unfortunately neither has had the strong support of the Board of Education.
It is also unfortunate that while several of the ones on the proud list have signature or magnet programs which have assisted them in obtaining the “Challenge Index” goals, one does not – Havre de Grace High School. Many of the students of HHS who could help reach this goal are pulled away because there is no magnet program. I am actually highly offended by this inequality.
The time is now to change this situation. If children and students in Joppatowne and Havre de Grace are to be treated equally with the rest of Harford County, action needs to be taken. The capital projects need to move forward, the scope study needs to be completed and the magnet program needs to be expanded.
I would like someone from your staff to inform me where Havre de Grace High School and Joppatowne High School are on the Washington Post list. I would also like a time frame on when this status will change.
David R. Craig
HARFORD COUNTY EXECUTIVE”