I admire the erudite and public-spirited members of the Montgomery County Board of Education. Their superintendent, Jerry D. Weast, is one of the best in the business, a national leader with a smart staff.
So why are they so frightened of two little charter schools?
The Maryland State Department of Education shares my puzzlement. It looked carefully at the two most recent Montgomery charter applicants, Global Garden Public Charter School and Crossway Montessori Charter School, and promised them a $550,000 grant each once they got their charter approved. The charter groups had fresh ideas, energetic supporters and experienced educators, including two members of the Global Garden board who worked in Montgomery schools.
That was not enough to quell the fears of Weast’s staff and an assortment of internal and external advisers. Weast’s nine-page summary of their worries reads like a neurotic mother’s letter to her son at summer camp, bemoaning all the terrible things that might happen to him.