The biggest opportunities for Democrats, the poll suggests, are in the areas of the environment and education. The latter comes with a tailor-made platform for bold policy initiatives in the form of the report of the Maryland Commission on Innovation and Excellence in Education, better known as the Kirwan Commission. It confronts the reality that while Maryland has many excellent schools, its overall performance is middling by national and international standards. The report proposes detailed remedies for expanding early childhood education, boosting the quality and diversity of teachers, establishing clearer pathways to college and careers, supporting at-risk students and improving governance and accountability. Its ideas are neither necessarily liberal nor conservative, and it will take some political courage to campaign on a plan to implement them — and pay for them.