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Marks: 3 Priorities for Superintendent Dance

The new Baltimore County school superintendent should focus on making the school system more accountable to taxpayers, raising achievement among all students, and modernizing our facilities.

Congratulations to on being named to lead the Baltimore County public school system.  As the first member of the Baltimore County Council born in the 1970s, I am particularly proud that someone of my generation will be in this position.

I know some people have focused on Mr. Dance's age, to which I say: give him a chance.  There are Fortune 500 executives, members of Congress, and many other successful leaders who are also in their thirties. Mr. Dance has thrived in challenging situations, and I look forward to working with him.

I believe Mr. Dance should focus on three important priorities.

First, continue to advance reforms that make the school system more open to the public and accountable to taxpayers.  Over the past year, the Board of Education has taken some important steps, such as .

Second, Mr. Dance should work with our teachers to raise achievement among all students, but particularly the county's burgeoning minority population. Under Superintendent Hairston's watch, the school system was credited by the Schott Foundation for having the third highest graduation rate for African American males among large school districts.  

Third, develop a strategic plan for modernizing our schools. During tough times, the county has found the resources to deal with overcrowding in its most overcrowded region, the York Road corridor, but let's never forget the need to reduce enrollment at places like Perry Hall High School and in our eastern communities. Now is the time to develop a plan so we spend future surpluses wisely, on school modernization, expansion, and land acquisition. 

I know that all education stakeholders are ready to work with Mr. Dance to improve an already strong public school system.

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

JDStuts March 28, 2012 at 02:14 PM
If he is 30 he was born in the 80s and isn't in your generation. But it's not the age it's the track record. Yes you can have Fortune 500 execs under thirty but it is because they've improved profit margins by 70% or earned shareholders a 2 billion increase in market value. Mr. Dallas has nothing, nothing in his work history that suggests his thinking is revolutionary or that his direct hands on management lead to improvements and results that would have been unachievable without his involvement. Credit to Marks going chips all in on this hire but once the travel issue comes to the forefront he's lost his moral authority to become a watchdog for his constituents.
Ben Boellner March 28, 2012 at 02:21 PM
I Think it is time for some fresh blood in the superintendents office, I too am just a bit concerned being a Secondary teacher education major, knowing that arts and music are being cut from schools will he be fixing the major budgetary issues in bcps. ?. who knows lets give him a shot.
Tim March 28, 2012 at 02:54 PM
Exactly right Bart. Irrational, typical, and sad. Concerned parents: if you're so disappointed, I suggest you move. See how much better you can REALLY do (here's a hint: it won't be much better). Outside of the fact my wife and my jobs are here, the #1 reason we live here is the public school system in Maryland is top notch. Sure, some spots are better then others within the state, but Maryland's better school systems compete with any in the country. It's even worth tolerating Owe'Malley. That's not opinion. It's proven, year in and out, in all educational rankings I find. Again, JD, obviously people more in the know completely disagree with you. ...
JDStuts March 28, 2012 at 03:06 PM
If it's change for change's sake that might as well give you the position. It boils down to three things: 1. Dance is a rare shooting star in the field of education administration, a true blue chip that every school district in the country would give away the barn for. He has produce extensive amounts of research and position papers that have turned the field on its head. That's not him, his dissertation is unimpressive and he hasn't a pedigree of published articles in any academic journal. 2. He is prepped and experienced with a track of record of success management and proven concepts for improving school systems. His body of work includes lessons learned from failed programs and tweaks in successful ones no one foresaw but him. Definitely not this guy 3. The board's decision was to hire someone they can manipulate during the coming elected board fight with the legislators. Can certainly wait and see on this one but that's the antithesis of expected result from this process. Exactly how does hiring someone like above guarantee improved classroom conditions? Do you give an unknown 7 or 8 years to figure out what he is doing and then just write off the kids going through the system at the time. "Sorry I screwed up your education, but hey, I got a lot of hands on training and think I might know what I am doing now."
Sam man March 28, 2012 at 07:14 PM
If he taught in Baltimore County he wouldn't have gotten his tenure!


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