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State of Maryland’s Educational System

Maryland State Superintendent of Schools Nancy Grasmick, the longest-serving appointed head of state schools in the country, announced yesterday that she is retiring after 20 years.

Good for her. And she probably did a great job (I’m in no position to access). I don’t like parsing the words of someone I don’t consider a public official. But this line concerns me a little bit: “I just want more flexibility in my life, and I love leaving on top because I think it’s fair to the next person.”

There are three parts to this quote. The first is that she wants more flexibility in her life. She’s earned that for sure. The second part is that she loves leaving on top.

On top of what? A soldier in Afghanistan fights beyond admirably over the past 8 years. He (or she) leaves to come home today. That soldier deserves medals, benefits, hugs, you name it. But he really can’t claim to have gone out on top. His team has not won. Maryland’s educational system is not in great shape.

The third part is that she “owes it to the next person” for her to go out on top. I really don’t understand what that means exactly.

Again, please don’t read this as a slight to Nancy Grasmick. Please read and/or watch this editorial from WBAL. I have a hard time taking editorials from WBAL seriously (next up: WBAL supports good, renounces evil), but these are kind and probably very deserving words. I still think it is dangerous to suggest Maryland’s education system is on the top of anything.