Capital Editorial

Our say: Why not write goals into county schools superintendent’s contract?, Feb. 24, 2018.

Snider Comment

“[I]f this board has any reservations about Arlotto, they are deeply buried. It voted unanimously last week to give him a second four-year term.”

The politics of superintendent searches in our county is that it is not in the self-interest of school board members to publicly express dissent regardless of what they might privately feel. I can speak from personal experience. When one of my daughters was student member of the BOE, she voiced opposition to Robert Maxwell’s appointment as superintendent. Her term expired before Maxwell took office. Maxwell thus couldn’t take revenge on her. But he was able to take revenge on our family. See More generally, a politically savvy AACPS superintendent—so long as his staff is solidly behind him—has many resources to intimidate BOE members, who are dependent on the superintendent’s goodwill to pursue their various agendas.

“We think the board picked him in part because it wanted a break from hard-charging would-be innovators like Eric Smith and Kevin Maxwell.”

All successful superintendents are hard-charging with respect to some goal. With Smith it was implementing the new No Child Left Behind Act. With Maxwell, it was championing the interests of AACPS’s senior teachers, who control TAAAC and had mobilized against Smith’s agenda. With Arlotto, it is steering in the wake of Maxwell’s successful term so he can reach his pension cliff during his second term in office (worth about $2 million on top of his reported salary). The day the BOE has an honest public discussion of Arlotto’s total compensation package is the day unanimous support for his reappointment will break down. I wouldn’t hold my breath.

Capital Op-Ed

George Arlotto: Workforce recruitment, retention efforts paying off, February 23, 2018.

Snider Comment

“Overall employee turnover has dropped from 10.3 percent in 2013-14 to 7 percent in 2016-17.”

Given George Arlotto’s, the BOE’s, and the Maryland General Assembly’s policies of gross and blatant discrimination against junior teachers in both pay and work conditions, this is indeed a great achievement. Teacher turnover among junior teachers is much higher than senior teachers, especially as senior teachers near their “pension cliff.” For a discussion of the politics of AACPS’s systematic discrimination against junior teachers, see my Hechinger Report article,