April 24, 2012
Baltimore County Board of Education President Lawrence E. Schmidt's recent letter ("Selecting Dance," April 21) is as notable for what he did not include as what he stated.
Mr. Schmidt did not mention that S. Dallas Dance did not meet the Maryland requirements for teaching experience and that a waiver had to be requested from then interim state Superintendent Bernard J. Sadusky. This waiver was granted in two days. It could hardly have been granted because Mr. Dance had such extensive experience in all other areas because Mr. Dance has never held another job for more than three years. Mr. Sadusky stated in the waiver that Mr. Dance could fulfill the teaching requirement through a few guest lectures in classes next year, as if decent teaching experience could be picked up in such a way. A waiver granted within such a short time to an inexperienced candidate strongly suggests that other major pressures were at work here.
Mr. Schmidt also did not bother to state that one of the major criteria emphasized by the search committee in their statements to the board was that the public, and people inside the school system, wanted someone with extensive experience in dealing with aging infrastructure issues. It is not possible for Mr. Dance to have acquired that kind of experience in his short career either.
In short, the current all-appointed Baltimore County school board continued with its unapologetic, customary secrecy in dealings with the public. We must now all hope that Mr. Dance will be the "star" promised by Mr. Schmidt. Otherwise, we will know what group was responsible.
Laurie Taylor-Mitchell, Towson
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