Harford school board member condemns arrest [Letter]

The following comments were sent to the Maryland Superintendent of Schools, the President of the Baltimore County Public School Board, the President of the Maryland State Board of Education, and the Director of Maryland Association of Boards of Education. A copy was provided for publication.

I was deeply disturbed by the arrest of a citizen who dared to ask unscripted questions about Common Core at a meeting in Baltimore County [recently].

As the former President of the Harford County Board of Education, I myself have serious questions regarding Common Core and the accompanying PARCC [Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers] assessment tests.

It is frustrating and difficult for me to get answers about these sweeping changes, and I can only imagine how difficult it is for a parent.

What is the point of holding public sessions if you have no real desire to listen to what the public has to say?

One of my main concerns is that Common Core will eliminate parental input and control over their children's education.

[Last week's] events make it clear that my fears are not unfounded.

Why are you so afraid of any unscripted public discussion regarding Common Core?

I understand that the Superintendent or one of his staff gave the orders to have this man removed.

The BCPS BOE [Baltimore County Public Schools Board of Education] should issue a statement condemning this action; silence will be interpreted as an indication that this was done at their direction.

MABE [Maryland Association of Boards of Education] and the MSDE [Maryland State Department of Education] have a responsibility to issue similar statements.

The tyrannical actions of a few public officials can seriously damage the credibility of all Maryland public school system officials.

As an elected member of the Harford County Board of Education, I call upon the [Baltimore County Board, the Maryland Association of Boards and the State Department of Education] to publicly apologize to the gentleman that was arrested.

I call on them to make a sincere effort to hold honest open public forums regarding the Common Core and PARCC assessment testing.

Rick Grambo

Vice President

Harford County Board of Education

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