Erica L. Green
2:22 PM EDT, October 15, 2012
The Baltimore city school recently elected David Stone, who once headed up the city's charter school office and is serving his second term as a commissioner, second-in-command of the district last week.
He takes over for longtime board member, Jerrelle Francois, as vice chair of the board.
“As a city resident, a former employee and, most of all, as a parent of three Baltimore City Schools’ students, my commitment to the system is strong," Stone said of his appointment.
"This is a time of great importance for our schools, and I believe that my experience will be of value as we continue to reform City Schools. I recognize how essential a successful school system, with strong academics, civil environments, well-managed operations, and buildings that respect the work of all who use them, is to the success of our city."
Stone, who has livened the city schools board room in recent years by daring to dissent, ask questions, scrutinize spending, and challenge policies, works for Kennedy Krieger Institute, the non-public school for special education students.
Of his style, Stone said he brings to the new post, "an ability to analyze and use complex educational data to improve the Board’s decision-making and a commitment to asking the tough questions."
Stone is among a handful of board members who have ever cast 'no' votes--at least that this reporter has observed in 2 1/2 years of Tuesday night meetings--which come very few and far between.
He also frequently champions charters, special education, enrichment for advanced students, and the integrity of process. He's also known for his criticisms on the city opting into federal programs, like Race to the Top, that dictate mandates he believes infringe on the the system's philosophy of autonomy.
"The opportunity to observe Jerrelle Francois in the role has given me a blue print for what is expected, and I certainly hope to maintain the level of excellence she provided. I am, of course, honored that my colleagues saw me fit to serve. I intend to meet their expectations, as well as provide whatever support the Board Chair and the CEO need to continue to be successful."
The mayor and the governor have yet to announce a new appointee to replace Francois.
Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun