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Time for Grasmick to go

December 14, 2007

In November 2006, The Herald-Mail advised Maryland State School Superintendent Nancy Grasmick to step down when Gov. Martin O'Malley was inaugurated.

We took that stance because if the two, who don't see eye to eye now, continue in their present positions, opportunities for progress will be lost and the governor will have an excuse if things don't get better.

O'Malley's opposition to Grasmick's continued service comes because two years ago, she tried to get a judge to approve a state takeover of 10 failing Baltimore schools.

In a 2005 Herald-Mail interview, Grasmick said she was tired of the Baltimore school system officials' unkept promises and said that school system's own audit showed that it had failed to deliver mandated services to special-needs children.

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Few will dispute that despite spending more money per-pupil than any system in the state, Baltimore schools aren't getting the job done.

The record shows that Grasmick has tried ? and failed ? to get that system to perform for more than 10 years. Can citizens really expect that another four-year term, with a governor and legislative leaders who are openly hostile to her, will offer a different result?

What it will yield, as we said in 2006, is a battle that will occupy a lot of everyone's time, but which isn't likely to result in improved education.

We respect Grasmick's service and her dedication, but she is in a situation in which she can't win. By staying, she increases the chances that children will lose, too.

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