Monday, September 10, 2012

Board to Tears (Monday LINKS)

A local political watcher and I were discussing what we were going to do on election night.  Noting that there was no real purpose in watching the Howard County rolls come in like in 2010, he added "We've got nothing going on.  Except the Board of Education, I guess."

There is nothing exciting about the Board of Education.  Their powers are limited.  Most significant policy changes are prompted by Staff.  Despite our wildest concerns, no real harm can produce from their actions on any given night.  (As I've recently said - we had someone on the Board that was in litigation with the Board while serving, yet the lights stayed on).  And for similar reasons, the number of people that are truly interested in this election are slim.

However, I would like to offer a slightly different perspective.  While there is an absolute floor for how much the Board could hurt our education system (in this County, the Executive/Council would intervene and/or circumvent misguided decisions), there is no ceiling.  Good ideas on education policy by smart people can dramatically improve our education system and make it a premiere program in Maryland, to the extent it is not already.
  • The use of technology to foster and promote individualized learning.
  • New efficiencies in the way we spend County dollars to enhance education while controlling costs.
  • Refining processes of citizen engagement on topics like redistricting and curriculum development to manage expectations and minimize strife.
These are aspirational focuses that can, and should, be developed at the Board level, should they ever be allowed to move beyond the time-exhausting conflicts of yesterday's Board.

I say all of this because anger, no matter how good it feels, is no way to premise a vote.  Rejecting the "status quo" is fine, so long as you are truly interested in wiping out the successes as well as the failures.  I am much more interested in candidates that will look at the problems facing today's Board as a matter of process rather than policy.  "What are we doing now that we could do better?" not "We're doing it wrong."

It is September 10.  You have eight weeks to figure out exactly what your Board of Education vote means to you.  I recommend you use it, if for no other reason than so many other people do not.


New polls came out over the weekend showing a significant bounce of about 4-5% for President Obama after the convention, with additional polls giving him the lead in Ohio and North Carolina, two "must wins" for Mitt Romney.

Team Romney is reporting that they will no longer be buying ads in Wisconsin, Michigan, or Pennsylvania.  (As Trevor politely noted below, there is a dispute as to whether there has actually been a hold on ad buys in these states or whether the writers linked herein were jumping the gun).

Del. Emmett C. Burns, Jr. (D) has eased off his demand of Ravens Owners Steve Biscotti to silence Brendan Ayanbedajo, noting that "the football player and I have a right to speak our minds."

Featured Blog Post of the Day: I had a great time on And Then There's That last Friday.  I felt like I was a little wound up, but thankfully did not spill anyone's drink.

That's all for today.  Moving a little slow this Monday after a busy weekend.  Have a great Monday doing what you love.

Ravens 27, Bengals 13.