—– Op-Ed by: Julia D. Maesa
Being Educated in Education
When working in the education field, it is a general accepted thought that employees are educated and are exemplary. I was astonished to realize that an entity such as the Baltimore County Public Schools (BCPS) would not employ such a crucial component of an educational leader. As an example, the Baltimore County Board of Education selected Mrs. Verletta White as its interim superintendent, and eventually, its superintendent.
Dr. Karen Salmon, Maryland state superintendent, rejected Mrs. White for multiple reasons [State superintendent declines White’s appointment as Baltimore County’s next school superintendent, cites ethics and audit], but certainly could’ve easily added the lack of a doctorate as an additional concern.
In the state of Maryland, the only school districts that have superintendents without a doctorate degree are Garrett County, St. Mary’s County, and Worcester County. These districts combined have a total of 64 schools. The 20 other school districts in Maryland have a superintendent who is qualified with a doctorate degree. Baltimore County, the 25th largest school district in the nation, has an interim superintendent without a doctorate degree. Now the rumors are that White is a doctoral candidate at Morgan State University. That’s great, Mrs. White. The question is when will White finish the doctorate? One would think this would have been her highest priority if she aspired to be the actual superintendent. It is difficult for a leader in education to garner respect when they have not reached the highest level themselves.
Obviously, education is important in Baltimore County. Just ask former County Executive Dr. Donald Mohler, III. We can even ask the current 36-year-old Baltimore County Executive Dr. John A. Olszewski, Jr.
BCPS, you deserve better. Do better!!! Get a properly qualified candidate to lead the school district back to prominence.
-Julia D. Maesa, Hunt Valley
The writer is a former adjunct professor at Montgomery County Community College.