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September 25, 2009

Montgomery County superintendent in Ireland

A Montgomery County parents group that is vigilant about keeping track of what goes on in the school system there sent an e-mail message out yesterday morning saying that Jerry Weast is in Northern Ireland advising the school system there. They are asking why he isn't in his office in Montgomery County doing his job.

They provided a video of him being interviewed as an education expert on the Belfast evening news as proof. County taxpayers are not footing the bill for the trip, says a Montgomery County spokesman. The Northern Ireland government is paying for the weeklong trip.

In any event, I thought readers might be interested in the video.

Posted by Liz Bowie at 6:00 AM | | Comments (14)
Categories: Around the Region
        

Comments

An education expert? Maybe someone should ask him why Montgomery County Public School's graduation rate is the lowest it has been in over a decade (as reported by the Post and Examiner)!!!!

The superintendent is taking personal leave(which he is allowed to do) and expenses picked up by Ireland (also allowed)

A non starter for a story the parent group knew to contain the above leave and cost payer information

Anonymous, do tell! You have the inside scoop?
Personal leave? Really? On what authority do you have that information?
This was the second trip to Belfast for Jerry Weast planned for this year. Were there more trips?
When the Belfast contingent came to MCPS in August who spent time with them? Not any MCPS employees, right? Just a bunch of MCPS people who volunteered to spend their vacation with a delegation from Belfast? And Weast didn't take time away from his job to spend time with them, right?

Anonymous, do tell! You have the inside scoop?
Personal leave? Really? On what authority do you have that information?
This was the second trip to Belfast for Jerry Weast planned for this year. Were there more trips?
When the Belfast contingent came to MCPS in August who spent time with them? Not any MCPS employees, right? Just a bunch of MCPS people who volunteered to spend their vacation with a delegation from Belfast? And Weast didn't take time away from his job to spend time with them, right?

Anonymous, this visit goes beyond a personal trip. In the interview, Weast states he is an 'unpoaid employee' of Northern Ireland. Those of us paying Weast's salary, bennies, and the rest, expect a superintendent of one of the largest sububran school districts in the country to devote his energies to OUR school system. If he is bored with our children, who he refers to as 'cream of the cramp,' he should quit his position and move f/t to N. Ireland. How does it beneift our children when the superintendent of our schools is an employee of another school system? What does it say about hs interest in our children? We need and our children deserve a superintendent who wants to better OUR school system. Weast as usual is MIA.

These are the kind of stories so-called-papers are stooping to in order to sell papers. So sad with all the important education issues that go uncovered! And as you can see, there is no interest,anyway.

@wise educator - If an absent Superintendent isn't an important education story then what is?
How about the same Superintendent allowing his assistant to sign a lease for $14 million without Board of Education approval? Does that one rate for you?
First and foremost a Superintendent needs to be on the job, paying attention to the day to day operation of the school system. Hard to do that from another time zone.

I guess my presumption is/was that there was some logical explanation. Is there one? Does anyone really know? School systems working together worldwide(esp a developed and developing system) is not uncommon and can be beneficial for all involved. But what do I know? My point was that so often the press covers the off beat, somewhat sleazy topics rather than day to day good work by kids and educators or stories about increasing student achievement in any way possible. Those are topics I want to read about. All the he-says,she-says should be reported when there are actual facts. Otherwise,it all seems like the National Enquirer.If there is no valid explanation for this trip, I take it all back. BTW, I am not in your county..just voicing an opinion in general. Know nothing about your superintendent.

OK, OK, so he went to Ireland for a time and left the Montgomery Schools "unsupervised." Did he take the whole administrative building with him? I doubt it. A good administrator delegates authority whether he is there or not. Janis, you might be surprised at how many decisions (day-to-day) are merely rubber stamped by the superintendent. I would think that you would be glad he is held in high regard by a system other than his own.

@wiseeducator - Without anyone knowing that the Superintendent is taking these trips how can anyone know if there is a logical explanation? The Superintendent's calendar is a secret as are the deals he cuts with tax dollars. Without the "sunshine" taxpayers don't know what is going on.

@veteran educator - Glad? This is a school system. It's not about feelings, its about educating children.
Our children, by the way, who have dropped out of after school activities by the thousands leaving them with no activity. Maybe Belfast educationalists will come here (again) and explain how school fees box children out of opportunities.

http://parentscoalitionmc.blogspot.com/2009/09/20-drop-sports-with-50-fee-increase.html

And if the Superintendent is just a "rubber stamp" then that is clearly one position that can be eliminated in tight budget times.

This "story" is a non-story. The superintendent has a contract that spells out his role and what he can do. Taxpayers overall are not saying much so let's get real. A handful of people complaining on every blog and list under the sun does not a story make.

Tabloid blogs are just that. This blog needs to move on to more important education stories and not emulate the group posting here.

Obsessed-"To have the mind excessively preoccupied with a single emotion or topic:"

I think the real question should be, how much time is wasted by our school system officials dealing with the nutcases of the Parents Coalition? This group is run by a handful of obsessed, vindictive people, and they spend their time harassing our school system employees and interfering in the performance of their jobs. Right on Anonymous, in your defining "obsessed!"

So, after all the brouhaha, (sp?) was there ever an explanation for the trip? A report, an outcome, whatever?

Here is a June 30, 2009 Press Release from a group of educators that came to Montgomery County from Northern Ireland. They wrote up what they "learned" - like how the "Seven Keys" were working! Which is INCREDIBLE since they were just introduced earlier this year! What incredible results!!

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