The Maryland Way – If You Can’t Win, Change the Rules

The rules are simple – there are no rules. If you can’t win today, change the rules tomorrow and demand a rematch. This is how Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley is attempting to get rid of Maryland Schools Superintendent Nancy Grasmick.

Grasmick refuses to resign. The State Board of Education continues to have faith in her. What’s O’Malley to do? According to Senate President Mike Miller, Grasmick will not survive another term. Why not? O’Malley and the Democrat-controlled legislature will merely change the law as to how a superintendent is appointed.

For those of us on the Lower Shore, this is nothing new. We have been continually amused by the likes of Mike Dunn, Louise Smith and Barrie Tilghman (all in Salisbury) who live by this credo. However, this is a tad more serious.

O’Malley wants to be rid of Grasmick despite the fact that Maryland schools have been ranked near the top in the country. I’m sure that his motivation could have nothing to do with Grasmick’s attempt to take over the Baltimore City schools under O’Malley’s tenure as Mayor. True to form, the legislature’s response to Grasmick’s attempts to provide a decent education to Baltimore’s children was to … change the rules allowing the Superintendent to intervene.

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Yet, somehow Grasmick has been accused of “politicizing” education in Maryland. What is Eric Luedtke’s evidence for such a bizarre charge? The fact that Grasmick had the temerity to address the Republican caucus of the legislature. Gee! If the Democrats had invited her does anyone honestly believe that she would have said no. As Mark Newgent points out, Grasmick is a Democrat.

Mark poses another interesting question. Since Mr. Luedtke is a board member of the Montgomery County Education Association (read teachers’ union) and a coordinator for the Maryland Teachers Association (read bigger teachers’ union) would he support the firing of a new State Superintendent (more to his, Miller’s, O’Malley’s and the NEA’s liking) if a Republican were elected in 2010? I doubt it.

Of course we need never worry about that. The same crew would just come back and change the rules all over again.

Crossposted in Delmarva Dealings

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