Montgomery Blair High School's Online Student Newspaper
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Jan. 26, 2008

Budget cuts may hurt Magnet

by Maya Calabrese, Online Managing Editor and David Meyer, Print Managing News Editor & Print Ombudsman
Montgomery County Public Schools (MCPS) budget cuts as a result of the county's $400 million deficit could lead to Magnet courses and teacher positions being eliminated next fall, according to Magnet Coordinator Dennis Heidler. The Board of Education will vote on the fiscal year (FY) 2009 budget Feb. 5 and send their proposal to the county executive on March 1.

The FY 2009 budget includes provisions to terminate six to 12 teaching positions from the three magnet programs at Blair, Poolesville and Richard Montgomery, according to Marshall Spatz, director of the MCPS Department of Budget, Management and Planning. Spatz said the number of positions being removed from each school is still uncertain.

Some magnet teachers have expressed concern that some specialized Magnet courses could be eliminated in the process. Magnet science teacher Angelique Bosse said that these exclusive courses define the Magnet and losing them could alter the program's curriculum and reputation. "What's nice about the Magnet program is that we offer special courses that no one else does," she said. "If they cancel these, I think it will affect a lot of people's decisions in signing up for the Magnet."

But Kay Williams, MCPS director of Accelerated and Enriched Instruction, noted that the cuts could have very little effect on the Magnet at all, though the final decision will not be made until the budget is finalized. "We have no idea what is being cut right now other than what is listed in the budget book," she said. "There's no truth to [any specifics] because we just don't know what will happen."

For the complete story, be sure to check out the next print edition of Silver Chips on Jan. 31.

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  • senior magnet on January 27, 2008 at 11:09 AM
    "very little effect on the Magnet at all" ?!?
    could you give a more blatant lie?

    if this happens, the Magnet is over -- it'll be meaningless vestige of what it used to be...

    i'm just glad i'm graduating this year and won't have to see the Magnet actually crumble
  • Cappie on January 27, 2008 at 2:32 PM
    MCPS is kind of falling apart...and I'd really hate to see the Magnet program take a hit.
  • Another senior magnet on January 27, 2008 at 3:45 PM
    Ms. Bosse is right - the most important part of the magnet (aside from the research project) is the electives during junior and senior year.

    Nevertheless - a $400 million deficit is a pretty bad situation.
  • Magnet Junior on January 27, 2008 at 3:59 PM
    This defeats the whole purpose of the Magnet. I can take "regular" classes at my home school. I don't need to commute an hour each way to take classes that are offered at a school within walking distance of my house.
  • Ha! on January 27, 2008 at 4:38 PM
    "Heidler said that the position cuts may force Magnet teachers to teach regular classes"

    Oh the horror! Having to teach non Magnet kids! Could there be a worse punishment?! Because everyone knows Magnet kids are better in every single possible way . I guess having to teach regular students would be an insult to any Magnet teacher.
  • yeah on January 27, 2008 at 5:16 PM
    CAP doesnt get any funding...i doubt the magnet will completely "fall apart"...
  • Dantes on January 27, 2008 at 9:54 PM
    The magnet program can burn for all I care. They're the reason the administration doesn't care about on level classes, which is where the majority of Blair's population resides. A pox on the magnet program; I would enjoy its downfall.
  • re: Ha! on January 27, 2008 at 10:02 PM
    Ha!, you should actually watch a Magnet class and a vaguely equivalent regular class.
  • Another senior on January 27, 2008 at 11:14 PM
    To Ha!

    You do realize non-magnet kids take magnet classes, right? So that makes your point about a condescending attitude moot.

    What's really troubling is that the regular classes don't do a lot of the stuff that the Magnet classes do. Some classes are ok (physical/analytical vs. AP chem, AP stat vs. Applied Stat - Applied stat is twice as fast). Other classes, though, have a huge difference (Genetics vs. Biology - genetics is more in-depth but doesn't go into botany, Analysis vs. AP Calculus BC).

    We should have gotten Mr. Walstein's take on this (we may need to censor part of it :) )
  • '08 Blazer (View Email) on January 28, 2008 at 1:56 PM
    If our magnet program is having such a budget issue, then why did we start another at Poolesville?

    The magnet here is going downhill. I think our year is the last who have it good. Think about it. After we had them, some really great teachers started to leave (Bishop, Torrence), no offence to the newer staff. But 5 Intel semifinalists compared to the 12 of previous years? It might just be luckk, but I think the program is going downhill.
  • Dr. Miller (View Email) on January 29, 2008 at 7:34 AM
    The juxtaposition of this article on proposed budget cuts for the magnet with the article naming six Blair Magnet students (including one former magnet) as candidates for Presidential Scholar is particularly ironic. Last year, Kathleen Jee, MBHS Class of '07, was named one of the two academic Presidential Scholars from the State of Maryland. Perhaps we could link the story on proposed budget cuts to recent articles about the National Merit semifinalists, Intel Semifinalists, Siemens semifinalists, and regional JSHS winner as well.
  • Magnet Freshman on January 29, 2008 at 8:50 PM
    I understand where people are coming from on both front, but to the comment about teachers teaching non-magnet classes, the problem isn't that it will insult them. The problem is that the will be teaching those classes INSTEAD of the magnet electives. Personally the only reason I go to Blair is because of the magnet program, and everyone in it worked their butts off to get there. We don't want what we've worked so hard to get into and succeed in to fall down around our knees before we get a chance to gain everything we can out of it.
    I'm sure the magnet program could continue with less funding, but the Blair Magnet Program is defied by the courses offered. If the courses that define us are no longer offered, then what are we?
  • Michelle Lopez on January 29, 2008 at 9:03 PM
    I can't speak for Ha! but I can say that the idea of a magnet teacher having to teach non-magnet classes should not be a punishment. If they're there for feeling accomplished at getting to kids, it shouldn't matter whether the kid is magnet or not. The loss of certain classes is bad to put it lightly, for magnets and those who take the classes and aren't magnets themselves. Point is, if a magnet teacher can take a chance to inspire kids in a non-magnet class in a subject...I don't see the problem. If anything, the magnets seem to want an education where as some could use more inspiration from teachers who have taught such unique courses in the Magnet Program.
  • Eli Barnett on January 30, 2008 at 11:14 AM
    Crud, what horrible timing.

    I was planning to take several magnet electives next year.

    Origins of science better stay around for second semester next year.
  • Magnet Sophomore on January 30, 2008 at 5:29 PM
    I'm am really against anything bad happening to the Magnet. Losing Magnet teachers and classes may help the county's budget deficit, but it will certainly take a very heavy toll on the quality of the education that we Magnets receive. It doesn't look like the county is looking at and respecting the huge amounts of prestige that the Magnet has produced over the years. They should look at the number of Intel semi-finalists and finalists we have had over these years. They should look at the number of national international competition that Magnets have competed in and won. The teachers also deserve to have a place in such a prestigious program as many of them have been teaching effectively for 10, 20+ years.

    IMO, the county's policies over the past few years have really made the education go downhill. I am also seeing that the Magnet has gone downhill and that the county wants it to go down farther.
  • Chester Lam (View Email) on January 30, 2008 at 9:41 PM
    I am also against the removal of any courses from the magnet. The reason why students come to the magnet is because of the unique courses that it offers. Removing courses deprives students of opportunity to take these courses, and, in my opinion, denying opportunity to students who are willing and able to take advantage of it is a poor choice.

    What the county people do not seem to realize is that this country is a democracy, meaning that the people will take part in leading the country (in theory, at least). Thus, students and schools can be considered a foundation for this society. This society can also be compared to a castle. Let's say that there is a budget issue, and the decision is made to remove material from the base...not a good idea.

    Anyways, the magnet will fall apart because it is likely to loose its appeal to incoming students if its unique courses are removed. Non magnet students will also be hurt, as they are no longer able to benefit from magnet courses that they can take. Cutting teachers will mean larger class sizes, and teachers will be able to do less for each student.

    The real reason, I believe, is that since Montgomery County students as a whole have scored better than the national average on many tests, the county thinks that they are already too good on education, and that funding and courses can be cut with little consequence. Anyways, I feel very strongly about this.
  • Junior Magnet on January 31, 2008 at 10:10 AM
    In regard to the correction:

    How do you change the number of course sections without eliminating courses?

    They they certainly are not going to add courses.
  • student on January 31, 2008 at 11:31 AM
    chester lam. you make little, if any sense. County ppl do not realize that this country is a democracy? what's your basis for that assumption?
  • A magnet student on January 31, 2008 at 8:24 PM
    I am absolutely horrified by this comment below:

    "The magnet program can burn for all I care. They're the reason the administration doesn't care about on level classes, which is where the majority of Blair's population resides. A pox on the magnet program; I would enjoy its downfall."

    The administration does care about on level classes -- perhaps too much. Given the budget cuts, the average magnet class size will soon exceed the average non-magnet class size. Plus think of all the time Blair spends on HSA prep, etc. The administration _does_ care about non-magnets!

    So the non-magnets who are on- or below-level can take non-magnet classes, and the non-magnets who are above-level can sign up for certain magnet classes. Thus, the regular teachers can focus on teaching regular students and the magnet teachers on teaching gifted students. This method works and should be kept. Magnet teachers should not teach non-magnet classes!
  • Dantes on February 1, 2008 at 9:38 AM
    The administration only care about on level classes because of they are required to pass the HSA. They care about money from AFG and not falling below AYP. In the end, all that matters to them is money and the image of their school. The HSA is simple to most magnet students, so not much prep is given to them. The magnet is this school’s flagship program. By its very nature, it receives far more attention. The county assumes the intelligence of an on-level student is far below that of a magnet. The weight of that assumption carries to our own administration, our teachers, even to our students. And it's a poor assumption. Many kids could be in the magnet program, but they are deterred by this stigma that magnets are so much better. And their not.
  • Magnet Graduate (View Email) on February 1, 2008 at 9:03 PM
    The original purpose of the Magnet program was essentially to bribe intelligent and hard-working kids to go to attend the horrible, low-scoring, poor education giving school that was Old Blair.

    While it might be a stretch to claim that the Magnet program single-handedly made Blair what it is today, it is obvious that without the Magnet program's rejuvenation of Blair the school would have been no better than the standard New York inner city learning factory.

    So take the Magnet away. Blair's quality of education has already been slowly decreasing over the past few years. It seems that now MCPS want to survive on the Magnet name alone, without the actual substance. This is truly depressing.

    I'm glad I got my degree while MCPS and the Magnet still had good reputations and standing.

    Good luck to the rest of you.
  • To yeah on February 1, 2008 at 11:09 PM
    I knew that CAP doesn't get funding. I just used the name as a form of identifying myself in my comment, so I don't know where you got that. Also, I didn't say the Magnet Program was falling apart, I said MCPS was, with their ever growing budget deficits and other issues, I can't see them maintaining their high-and-mighty status as a school system. I realize that the Magent Program will not implode upon itself, but I would consider this to be a significant turn for the crappier.
  • Magnet Class of 2007 Graduate on February 2, 2008 at 4:46 PM
    The magnet program has been consistently going downhill since the implementation of Dennis Heidler(just using his name as reference to time, not to mar his ability as the administrator of the Magnet Program. First, the re has been a cheating scandal that resulted in many students suspended and one student being recommended for expulsion. Second, the poolesville divide removed alot of high potential students that could have contributed to the Blair Magnet Program. Now this? Let the magnet program burn for all I care because I graduated already, but its sad to see that there won't be any lasting legacy of it. Final word, to the current students in the magnet program who haven't applied to colleges yet, good luck, cuz you'll need it if the magnet programs shut and you'll realize that you could have gotten a better education at your home high schools.
  • mag08 on February 3, 2008 at 4:14 AM
    Mantas is absolutely right. Principal Williams loves to call Blair a "flagship". Without the Magnet, Blair would just be another inner city school struggling to meet AYP. I'm not saying all on level course kids are dumb, but probably 95% of magnets outperform any kid in a Regular Geometry course. Taking attention away from Magnets is going to hurt the Magnet program - after that, it's going to hurt all of Blair, because the Magnet is a huge contribution to Blair in terms of competitiveness and national attention (much more than its 1/8 of the school population) and by association that contributes to the education of nonmagnets.

    The Magnet is falling apart. Even many of the Magnet teachers say so to their students. Most of the current upperclassmen, who were around in 2005 and before when things were still better, realize that things have gone down in a few short years. I feel sorry for current freshmen and incoming freshmen Magnets, who never got a chance to experience what this program was once like. I feel like things have peaked for the program. Like most seniors I know, I'm glad I'm getting out of Blair before things get even worse for the Magnet. The Magnet Program as we knew it can't continue on much longer like this. There's a lot of turmoil and unhappiness within this system. I think the county is making a huge mistake.
  • mag08 2 on February 9, 2008 at 12:45 PM
    From where I'm standing, Magnet teachers aren't there to inspire students. They're there to teach really, really damn smart students, and watch them handle material at a rate very few students in America can.

    Making Magnet teachers teach non-magnet classes can only be a punishment.
  • Anonymous on February 19, 2008 at 9:28 PM
    Magnet teachers currently have 2 planning periods. It's my understanding (feel free to correct this) that the exta period was designed to help set up the program and was just never removed. If they need to teach non-magnet classes, that's fine. But why not just teach it in the extra period? It can't be twice as hard to plan lessons for the magnet, in fact, from my experiance as a student aid to an on-level class, it's much easier to teach students who are higly motivated, so there shouldn't be any reason why they can't sacrefice that extra period.
    • CAP 92 graduate on May 24, 2010 at 1:50 PM
      While it may be true that a Magnet (or CAP, or "gifted" in general) student may learn material at a faster rate and be more highly motivated to learn than a "standard" group of students, it is not at all easier to teach them. These students are bored easily and tend to challenge the teacher more readily than those in an on-level class. Planning time to create innovative lessons and interdiscinplinary units to engage them is absolutely necessary. That planning time was, in fact, given when the program was just starting in order for teachers to develop their curriculum for classes that are not defined by the MCPS or state standards. In fields such as math, science, technology, television, and journalism where the real-world fields are changing rapidly, those classes STILL need extra planning to maintain their quality. Requiring those teachers to to teach non-magnet classes instead of or in addition to (at the loss of their "extra" planning time) their Magnet classes simply liberates teh program of its educational impact. *sigh* All of education, it seems, is going down the drain these days.
  • Jon Phoenix Brookstone on March 1, 2008 at 9:31 PM
    One thing that I find a little disturbing about the responses to this article is that there seems to be some pervading, fatalistic pessimism in almost all of this blog's responses. From this pessimism I think comes a desire to complain, and the chance that one might not see the bigger picture. I hope that what I say here can help people clarify the issue for all involved. Secondly, I know a lot of Magnet students are all saying that "the Magnet is going down hill" or "the quality of education is getting worse." Honestly, I'm not saying whether that is or isn't true, but I would like to say that there might be a bit of bias in that. I'm not sure what that bias is called, but one may want to realize that that people have been saying that things like the Magnet have been getting worse for years. And there might be a tendency for people to see new things or changed things as worse than what they experienced. Repeating the refrain over and over again about how things are getting worse doesn't make it right. Older generations have been complaining about younger generations ever since Adam and Eve gave birth to Cain and Able, and Cain turned out to mean. This type of complaining isn't at all new. That being said, if you do say that the Magnet is getting worse, please have reasons to back it up. The Magnet I think is facing some very significant challenges, but these challenges have to be put into perspective. Saying that'll the entire program will fall apart because one teacher leaves or a class very few people take is either wrong or it means that the program wasn't very institutionally strong to begin with. Which leads to the next point ~ What does a Magnet education mean? To some, it doubtlessly means being able to take classes that they couldn't take elsewhere. To others, it might just be the opportunity to take those classes, even if one doesn't enroll in them. Personally, i don't want to see any of the Magnet's classes be cut. I never really took a lot of the really advanced ones, but I know a lot of people who did ~ even the ones that were less than 10 students. And those classes probably meant a lot to them. But at the same time, I think that the biggest thing a student can get out of the MAgnet isn't the diploma or the classes. I think it's a combination of what a student learns and how one a student learns how to learn. I know from being in college that the Magnet (or at least some of the teachers I had) were great in teaching students to learn everything they can, in basing their ideas on reason, rationality, and fact rather than on superstition or the ghosts of public opinion. And I also know that I came to college knowing how to write a major research report and apply for a job beyond the basic retail-box operations. So I guess what I really got out of the Magnet was the confidence to look deeper into things, and in the process not to accept the world and your situation so much as to question them. Question them to see how you can create a better, happier world and a better happier life. Now as long as the Magnet ~ or any school ~ continues to do that, then I think they'll have done an amazing thing, and that's what'll matter more than the prestige or the number of Intel semi-finalists. And if the Magnet loses its inspirational\highly competent people and turns into an institution promoting rote memorization of facts or blind obedience, then it'll have become the nightmare many will be worried it's turning into. But please, if you think the Magnet is getting worse or better, do not judge it on the basis of test scores or trophies. Measure it by whether it makes a difference in the lives of its students and whether it teaches people that the sky is and ought to be the limit. Because we're talking about people's lives here, and those are ultimately more important than grades or class sizes. That being said, I don't think that magnet teachers teaching non-magnet classes is a bad thing. First off, many already do or have, and second off, if a teacher is inspirational, he or she won't lose the inspiration based on who's in the class with them. And I don't think that the school administration cares more or less about non-magnet students compared to magnet students so much as I think that the administration sees the two groups in hugely different ways. In third grade, all county students take a test, and the top half of test scorers go to Honors classes while the bottom half goes into regular courses. The top half of students are assumed to be smart enough to go to college while the bottom half are assumed to be too dumb to do so. This assumption being made, let alone being made based on an 8 year old's test scores, is a horrible idea that leads to an astounding number of self-fulfilling prophecies every year, when students assumed to be dumb are taught less in lower-quality ways and in the process become what people say they ought to be. At Blair, I think the school administration makes this assumption about Magnet and Cap students all the time. They don't enforce the ID policy as strictly among magnet or cap students because they assume they're all be smart people who never get in trouble, while they similarly assume that that non-magnet or cap students are more likely to be rowdy, dangerous, ganglords or something similarly idiotic. That's also why there's so much defacto discrimination at Blair from the staff and administration ~ because admittance to the magnet and cap program falls really heavily along class and racial lines. The problem is I think these horrible assumptions are made by a significant number of magnet students (Cap students I can't really judge given that I didn't know many of them). A lot of magnets see non-magnets as inferior, sometimes even if they don't realize it, and that's why they think that having Magnet teachers teach non-magnet classes will be punishment. Or why they think think that just because other classes don't travel at as fast a rate that the student's are somehow dumber. Because if we went back in time and swapped the children of 400 to-be-magnet students with 400 to-be-regular tract kids, probably their situations 15 years later would be significantly different. Now the reason why I bring up the point about magnet and non-magnet assumptions is because I don't really like the responses to this article that much. I think they're fairly misguided, and in the barrage of magnet or non-magnets complaining about the other group, we're missing the much bigger issue: that the state of MAryland has a 1 billion dollar budget deficit while the biggest corporations in the state of Maryland have skipped off paying their taxes for years. And because so many politicians have been unwilling to deal with this issue for such a long time, this deficit has grown gets paid for at the expense of ordinary Marylanders who by and large aren't wealthy. Now the good news is last that November Governor O'Malley and the MD state legislature recently passed a major tax law overhaul, which should bring in 1.3 billion dollars of new revenue. This should fix the problem somewhat, but there is still a long way to go, given that the reforms didn't fix the loopholes which allow just about every large company in the state to get out paying income taxes. So maybe, instead of slinging mud against one group or another, let's unite against the people who are the real trouble makers here ~ the corporations who care more for profit than the public good, and the wimpy legislators who are too scared to confront them!!! ~ PS ~ I sent the BoE two emails trying to tell them to vote against the budget cuts, but they kept on getting bounced back to me. Did that happen to anyone else?
  • Just another '07 Magnet Gradu (View Email) on March 19, 2008 at 4:45 PM
    There was a lot of truth in what both Mantas and Jon said.

    For me, this is a question I've been asking ever since I found out about and got into the magnet: Is it right for smarter kids to receive a better education just because they are smarter? The normal kids' parents pay the same taxes, why should the schools provide a better education to magnet kids than non-magnets? I joined this conversation a bit late but I think it would be interesting to hear answers to that question from the various responders.

    Secondly, I didn't think the teachers, or the classes, or the material, or anything like that made the magnet truly special. I thought it was the kids. How many normal high schools could you be talking about a math concept at lunch just for fun and have several people interested? There were kids who cared about learning and understanding not just what would be on the next test, but as much as they could. It was great the discussions I had with other magnets. I'm not going to name names, but I didn't think the magnet teachers were actually that much better than the average teacher. Sure the ones teaching an advanced topic knew the stuff about it, but in terms of teaching ability there wasn't a huge step. There were a few magnet teachers that were truly amazing while some I thought I could teach the class better than they could. I will say though that I think the average magnet teacher was better than the average non-magnet teacher, but that could also have to do with the fact that they were teaching the subjects I enjoyed more.

    But to Jon, you make some extremely unsupported claims at the end of your posts. The evil corporations that want to make a profit? I've yet to meet a person who doesn't want this. Let's use an example: you're a smart guy, I'm expecting you'll get a good job out of college. Now the median salary in the US is around $40k/year and the median starting salary even less I'm sure. So when you are offered something which no doubt will be over $40k/year I challenge you to say "I'll take the job, but I'm not greedy, I care more for the public good, I'll just take $40k this year, do whatever you want with the rest of the money". Corporations are not big abstract things that live to screw people over. They are owned and run by people just like you and me, and their goal is to make money just like any of us. Sure there are some bad corporations that exploit workers and such and perhaps you're right here in this specific example, but to trash a corporation for caring about maximizing profits is silly, taken an econ course yet?

    And I was able to write to them, my email didn't bounce.
  • 07 Magnet on March 30, 2008 at 4:51 PM
    I just want to clarify something that Mantas said, originally the magnet program was not meant to bring smart kids to a dumb school, it was meant to bring white kids to a school that was in danger of having too many minorities, that having been said, I do not think this affects the argument, since the issue is not about the magnet of the 80s but about the magnet now.
  • Jon Phoenix Brookstone on May 23, 2008 at 1:23 AM
    WRITE EDU POSTS ON SILVER CHIPS!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Public education, in general, offers a lot of things, as it should. It offers an amazing chance for social interaction, a chance to learn how to learn, a chance to delve into knowledge in a search for truth and find deep and lasting meaning. Those who want to reduce school performance to mere academics, test scores and intel awards forget that there are all these other crucial parts of the educational experience, that aren't and shouldn't go away. Some people, including me, found all of the amazing things in public school that a public school ought to provide. But a lot of people don't, and I think part of that has to do with certain systemic problems in how US public education has been structured since the 1800's. Now one of the systemic problems with public education is not that the quality of education is bad, but that it's latent functions aren't exactly what a lot of people realize or want. Public education is one of the biggest agents of socialization in this country, where young kids are essentially thought to accept the values of their culture ~ to blindly learn how to live in our society without fundamentally questioning it. That's why, not just in the US, but in almost all countries, history textbooks leave out the stuff that makes our country seem anything less than saintly. And this isn't exactly a secret. Horace Mann, often called the father of American public education, was quite public in saying that he wanted public schools not to teach most American children how to think, but rather how to pledge allegiance to a government and a country even when that government does horrible things to screw them over. According to Mann, only a few select children of the wealthy deserved any type of educational system that taught them critical thinking ~ because after all, they're elites. Woodrow Wilson, president of the US, echoed Mann when he said, again, publically, that there ought to be one educational system for the elites that teaches them how to think, and another public educational system for everyone who isn't an elite that teaches the non-elites to accept their inferior place in society and essentially, not rebel. Now there are some people who think that smarter people deserve a better education. But that belief makes a FUNDAMENTAL MISTAKE: Knowledge is not zero-sum!!! Just because I know something doesn't mean that someone else can't learn it. Just because I had a really amazing high school education experience doesn't mean that other people can't have one too. And just because some children, by luck of where they're born, do well in school doesn't mean other people can't. When someone says we have to choose between a select few students doing well and bringing up everyone up to an equal level in education, that person introduces a false dichotomy that comes right back to the fundamental problem underlying American public education: The Medieval idea that the right to think only belongs to the elites. And that thinking is flat out wrong!!! We could have an education system which encourages people to love learning and look at everything, including their own country, critically. We could have an education system where all students are able to enjoy education like I did to its fullest potential. Education can be a process where by students and all children gradually awaken to the wonder that is our world, and find how to best be themselves and be happy in it. And to accomplish that, we have to stop running a lot of public schools like they're test score producing prisons and start realizing that STUDENTS ARE HUMAN BEINGS!!!!! All students, by virtue of existing, have a right to think, and a right to learn, and a right to learn to think openly and critically. All children have a right to have all paths open to them so that they can ultimately which path they would like to pursue. For happiness is a right, not a privilege. Whether our public schools are able to be that amazing experience for children is what ought to be measured ~ not stupid HSA scores or SAT scores or how many fancy awards a school wins. To Libertarian: As to what job I get after college ends ~ I'm looking for a job that will make me happy. Sometimes that coincides with making a lot of money, with other people it doesn't. And it's not that I intend or don't intend to make money, it's just that I learned from high school not to look at things that way. Happiness is more important than money, and it is our job as a democratic society and county to make sure that happiness for one doesn't make other people less happy. Because it doesn't have to. That's why it irritates me when any golf course in Maryland can claim it's land is "environmentally endangered" and get a half million dollars in a tax write off, while every middle school in Baltimore is currently in the process of being closed down. And that's why it bothers me when a school board thinks putting a new bathroom in the office of the superindendent is more important than funding for teachers. Yes, I've taken an econ course. And what I learned in it is that money a means to an end, never an end in itself. The economy should exist to serve society, not the other way around. Thus, when a desire to make a profit gets in the way of social good, the social good takes precedence. Yes, it would be more profitable to not have a minimum wage, but I don't think most people here would want to work at $2 an hour.
  • Hector Barrera (View Email) on April 14, 2009 at 1:36 PM
    man, i just got accepted to the magnet program for the upcoming freshman year! i hate that i might have to reject it and go with CAP. what's the difference anyways! between Cap and magnet! do magnet students get better treatment?
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