Capital Commentary

Arlotto, George, Superintendent George Arlotto: Our students can be our best teachers, March 19, 2017.

Snider Response

“[C]urrent and past student members of the board have not only contributed to discussions about key issues but have been leaders in them.”

This is a red herring argument. As I argued in a series of opeds published in the Capital and Washington Post, the key issue with CRASC and the electoral system nominating the SMOB is that insiders, notably the superintendent, have too much control over the process. The reason for Delegate Howard’s amendment seeking that CRASC’s proceedings concerning the SMOB election be subject to the Open Meetings Act and Public Information Act is that the current reign of secrecy has facilitated such control and made the SMOB vote the superintendent’s most reliable vote on the Board of Education. That is the political reason why the school board and superintendent opposed making CRASC and the SMOB election subject to the same rules we expect of all other electoral bodies. The current SMOB election process far more resembles Tammany Hall than anything the public has come to associate with contemporary American elections. For a description of how corrupt the SMOB election process has become in the absence of sunshine, see “The SMOB Election and Riva Road’s Culture of Intimidation” at

“Our students are not swayed by politics and are not shy about standing up for their beliefs.”

You mean the same students the CRASC advisor, who you and your assistant superintendent hire and closely monitor, addresses as her “bambinos” and “minions”? This use of “politics” is shameless, reminding me of Samuel Johnson’s famous aphorism about “patriotism.”