Having a parent who excels at local public-school politics shouldn’t be a precondition for a child to get a good teacher
Op-ed published in The Hechinger ReportRead More
Comment published in Education WeekRead More
Comment published in the Capital.Read More
Comment Published in the CapitalRead More
Comment Published in the CapitalRead More
Comments published in CapitalRead More
Excerpt published in the CapitalRead More
Published in the CapitalRead More
Short report published in eLighthouse.infoRead More
Comments published in the Washington Post and Baltimore SunRead More
Comment published in the Washington PostRead More
Comment on Capital ArticleRead More
The Board of Education has taken to using pseudo public meetings to discuss the public’s business. In this particular case, the meeting is technically open the public and there is a brief public presentation, but the rest...Read More
During the past week, the Capital reported the seven questions on this year’s ballot as though there was no controversy surrounding them. But the recommendations of the Capital, County Executive Steve Schuh, and County...Read More
Snider comment in the CapitalRead More
*The Capital has no such mottoes, let alone any formal ethics policy, published on its website.
*The Times policy of acknowledging errors is exceptional. As one newspaper scholar notes: "Many news outlets have ceased apologizing for errors altogether."
"A flagship local newspaper... plays a critically important role in its city and state: It provides a public record of the good and the bad, serves as a watchdog against public and private corruption, offers a free marketplace of ideas and stands as a lighthouse reflective and protective of — and accountable to — a community’s values and goals. A news organization like ours ought to be seen, especially by our owner, as a necessary public institution vital to the very maintenance of our grand democratic experiment."
*The NPR policy of acknowledging sources, including competitors, is exceptional. As one local news editor acknowledged in a scholarly study: story ideas are never attributed "except that a news organization will give themselves credit for their idea."
Howard County Public School System
violations of the Public Information Act
The foregoing history demonstrates multiple PIA compliance problems and incorrect or unsubstantiated responses by HCPSS. Among the areas of concern are: HCPSS’ failure to respond in writing to the September 2012 and April 2014 PIA requests for student records; HCPSS’ unsubstantiated assertion that the vast majority of records it produced to the requestor for the first time in February 2016 had been produced in 2014 and earlier; and the repetition of this unsubstantiated statement and concomitant representation later in 2016 by the Director of Communications that all disclosable records had been produced to the requestor. In fact, HCPSS’ own counsel demonstrated that the latter comment was not the case when an additional record was provided for the first time on November 28, 2016.... (pages 3-4)
HCPSS’ multiple failures in responding fully and accurately to this requestor have severely undermined the ability of this requestor to have any trust or confidence in the integrity and validity of HCPSS’ responses to her PIA requests. Likewise, failures of this magnitude, persisting for more than 4 years, have an obvious impact on the level of trust and confidence that HCPSS can expect in the wider community. Perhaps most troubling of all is that, even at this late date, HCPSS seems unwilling to give a candid accounting for these failures. Apart from the persistence of certain unanswered questions concerning the withholding of other records not yet produced, but which may be subject to disclosure in redacted form, HCPSS has taken no steps to acknowledge and take responsibility for the very real injury to this requestor.... (page 29)
--Maryland Public Access Ombudsman's Report Concerning the Howard County Public School System's Handling of Requests Under the Public Information Act, December 30, 2016.
A Survey of Journalists on the
Freedom of Information
--National Freedom of Information Coalition's
2016 Open Government Survey, March 17, 2016
"He who controls the past controls the future."
"Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it."
The Life of Reason, 1905
As applied to the Anne Arundel School Board Nominating Commission, see J.H. Snider's blog post from May 12, 2008 in light of his Washington Post op-ed from January 14, 2016 and the Capital's news story on January 27, 2016.
"What's past is prologue."
"Only about two-in-ten Americans (22%) trust the information they get from local news organizations a lot, whether online or offline."
--The Modern News Consumer, Pew Charitable Trusts, July 7, 2016
"The public’s right to information about government activities
lies at the heart of a democratic government."
--Maryland Public Information Act Manual,
Preface (13th ed., October 2014)
"The Maryland Public Information Act establishes a public policy and a general presumption in favor of disclosure of government or public documents."
--Office of Governor v. Washington Post Co.,
360 Md. 520, 544 (2000)
"Education is the most important thing that county government does. This is reflected in the fact that education constitutes 51 percent of the county budget."
--Steve Schuh, Anne Arundel County Executive
Composition of school board unavoidably a political issue,
Capital, May 1, 2016