Alonso's Enoch Pratt welcome
Andres Alonso has been the CEO of Baltimore's schools for more than four months now, but the Enoch Pratt Free Library waited until this week (which just so happens to be American Education Week AND Children's Book Week) to present him with a welcoming gift. And it was a big one.
The library has purchased 6,000 copies of one of Alonso's favorite books, "The Three Questions," and handing them out to all the teachers in the city.
The book, by Jon J. Muth, is based on a short story by Leo Tolstoy. I've never read it myself, but reading a synopsis online, it's easy to see why Alonso likes it. It's the tale of a boy named Nikolai who wants to be a good person, but he needs help from his animal friends in answering these three questions: "When is the best time to do things? Who is the most important one? What is the right thing to do?"
I don't know Alonso's thoughts on timing, but the second two questions are ones I've heard him pose and answer a lot in the last four and a half months. He says, of course, that the children are the most important, and the right thing to do is always what's best for the children. Whenever he's making a controversial decision (angering a politician or the teachers union or both), he reminds us that the children are more important than adults and says he's acting on their behalf. It will be interesting to see how that logic holds up over time.