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July 14, 2016

'Neutrals' Fooling Partisans

Harry M. Covert

So, according to a peculiar tradition, the Frederick County Board of Education election is nonpartisan. For the naïve and innocent, this means members are neutral, or eunuchs, when it comes to partisan politics. They are elected supposedly as non-Democrats and non-Republicans and other political influence.


Stop chuckling gentle readers. This is a true observation and a powerful consideration that those leading education for the young, truly innocent and aspiring smart people try to pass off as good for the boys and girls.


I noticed this week that one candidate for a "neutral" seat on the board, is dropping out of the campaign, to prevent another hopeful, from winning election in November.


That sure was nice to see a political person fall on her sword. No greater love than to sacrifice for the party, which isn't supposed to be involved. Balderdash, bull hockey and complete dishonesty in the public interest.


It appears that of the six combatants for the school board in November’s election five are practicing Democrats. The lone outsider is a well-known citizen, a longtime thorn in sides of the current board members and school superintendent. I really wanted to describe her as a "rose between thorns."


The candidate is Cindy Rose, an outspoken opponent to Common Core and for returning academic control to the local board and school system.


Did I mention Ms. Rose is a Republican? I am now. She has been a vociferous and determined spokesman for good education. I can say, too, she is a dedicated boat rocker and obvious threat to those who prefer the status quo.


The candidate withdrawing from the electoral race finished last in the primary. For the record Lois Jarman got 12,294 votes in April.


The indefatigable Ms. Rose finished an impressive second with 18,796 votes. Incumbent member Joy Schaefer took first with 21,934.


Ms. Rose has been a good campaigner and certainly could break up the "good old girls and boys club" so prevalent in the local public school system.


All the ugly talk around the nation has reached locals. Ms. Jarman says Ms. Rose is "dangerous." I say that is a good thing, but dangerous is incorrect. Ms. Rose is a breath of fresh air. Public education needs new thinking, not merely in Frederick County, but nationally. Please, stop rewriting history.


The county's board of education should stop hiding behind its alleged nonpartisanship simply because they are dogmatic animals. They may think education is non-political; but, in these days, it is not.


Personally, boards of education should not be elected but appointed. Neither should the boards have any taxing authority.


The question? Who should make the selections? County councils, supervisors or aldermen? Since school administrators have gone off half-cocked so many times, I'd support appointments by the head Circuit Court Judge of the county. Answering to judicial authority would keep things in perspective. Everybody would learn about honesty and veracity and penalties for violations in and out of legal authority.


(Editor’s Note: Prior to 2000 the Frederick County Board of Education was appointed by the governor of Maryland, as some local boards of education are still today. The primary reason Frederick County voters chose the election process was that the governors infrequently appointed Republicans to that board. And Frederick County was majority Republican at the time.]


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