Wednesday, September 12, 2007

The Status Quo Continues In Baltimore City

If anyone was watching in earnest last night, not only did the establishment win in Baltimore City but the people elected it or allowed it to happen, depending on your opinion.

It was expected for Sheila Dixon to win the race for mayor, but it was completely surprising that Stephanie Rawlings-Blake won the with the margin that she did. On top of that, the Governor is Martin O'Malley. Congratulations to the 28 percent that turned out to vote, they are allowing the status quo to continue.

Here is where the city is as of this moment. Modest gains have been made in education, but with O'Malley trying to get rid off State Schools Superintendent Nancy Grasmick, you have no idea whether or not a bigger imprint on achievement can be reached. I am convinced that O'Malley with help from Team Baltimore City (the delegation) will block any attempt for a state takeover. Any attempt at a takeover in all honesty should have happened way before 2006. The city-state partnership will continue with the current bureaucratic structure. Children will be sentenced to at least four more years in an incomplete education.

Crime will continue. As of this morning according to The Baltimore Sun, there has been 215 homicides this year in the city. We are still on pace to come near, crack or break the 300 mark. I have a feeling this trend will continue unless Dixon makes to correct choice in hiring former DC Metropolitan Police Chief Charles Ramsey as the next commissioner.

In addition to picking Ramsey as police commissioner, Dixon would also be wise in doing away with the earlier stated partnership when it comes to the schools, it is not working at all. At this point, nothing less than a complete blowing up of the Baltimore City Public School System is unacceptable. By blowing up, I mean blow out the partnership and the school board and literally start from scratch. This way, you can be positive in exterminating the bureaucracies.

Outside of that, that does not excuse voters from being apathetic. Each voter who registers and cares, must do their due diligence in picking who they want to run their city. Voters must get past the candidates skin color, party and perception of the candidate and hear their message. For example, if they disagree with anyone that agrees with Bush, that is fine. But if they disagree because of letter and skin color, that's not cool. Listen to the message and don't look at the messenger.

Outside of those three factors, the status quo will indeed continue in Baltimore City and for longer than it should, not that it already has.

P. Kenneth Burns is the Editor and Writer of Maryland Politics Today. He can be reached at kennyburns@marylandpolitics.us.

2 comments:

Andrew Kujan said...

I agree completely. The City-State partnership is a joke, and has only added more bureaucracy to the equation. Doing away with the influence of North Avenue and returning the accountability and planning to teachers and principals "in the trenches" is the key. Of course, doing this would require new leadership and a willingness to audit school funding to see just how much money North Avenue has blown on projects that do not improve instruction. This appears to be something the apathetic voters of Baltimore are not interested in.

streiff said...

The District seems to be taking the view that the school bureaucracy in necessary and reforming that bureaucracy is a prerequisite to improving the situation in classrooms. Opinions?

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