by James C. Sherlock
I try to keep up in the field of education.
That led me to read “Exploring New Frontiers for K-12 Systems Transformation” produced by the UVa Partnership for Leaders in Education (UVA-PLE), a long-existing joint project of the Darden School of Business and the School of Education and Human Development.
I read it hoping to see if perhaps Darden could rub some of the rougher edges off of the uber-progressive ed school and offer some good ideas.
What I found instead would have passed for a satire on educational journals. Not the Bee could have published it. Only much shorter.
There she was, Sonja Santelises, on page 18 smiling out at me on an entire page titled “Expanding High Quality Learning: Baltimore City Schools.”
She has headed up that school district since 2016.
Those are the same Baltimore City Schools which:
- recently made national news by reporting that not a single student in any of 23 of its schools passed the Maryland version of the math SOLs. Not one. And 20 more had one or two students pass;
- were the subject of a 2021 story headlined “City student passes 3 classes in four years, ranks near top half of class with 0.13 GPA;”
- got caught in a major grade-changing scandal in 2020;
- caused a mother from the Baltimore projects, the parent of a 4th grader who could not read at all, to call on “someone, anyone to fix city schools; and
- had a high school in which 77% of those students tested read at an elementary level or below.
There is lots more, but you get the drift.
Mr. Jefferson’s University, perhaps dazzled by Ms. Santelises race, did not.
Bottom line. Baltimore City Schools is a contender for the worst school district in the entire United States.
Yet Ms. Santelises, who the city of Baltimore pays more that $445,000 for her leadership, was given an entire page to express her views on “Exploring New Frontiers for K-12 Systems Transformation.”
UVA-PLE has embarrassed itself. Those otherwise very bright people need to get a clue, or better researchers, or both.
On second thought, Not the Bee might have rejected that story.
This column has been republished with permission from Bacon’s Rebellion.