Educating Montgomery voters on teacher endorsements

Saturday, September 11, 2010

A pamphlet from the Montgomery County Education Association endorses several political candidates with a banner reading: "See Who Teachers Have Recommended." The full import of the pamphlet should not be lost on thoughtful voters.

An MCEA endorsement raises serious concerns about any candidate for the Board of Education. Board members oversee education in Montgomery County and bargain with the MCEA regarding teacher employment. Candidates who curry favor with the MCEA before an election cannot be expected to deal at arm's length with the MCEA after the election. Such candidates (particularly incumbents) have signaled a preference for satisfying the demands of the union rather than the interests of the public.

The collusion between the MCEA and these candidates probably will have the effect that both sides intend. The endorsed candidates probably will win and then will reward the MCEA at taxpayer expense. It should not be asking too much, however, for them to advertise the unseemly deal in a way that reflects better on the MCEA's educational mission. Perhaps next time the pamphlet could read: "See Whom Teachers Have Recommended."

Michael Doran, Bethesda

The writer, a law professor, is not related to Wootton High School Principal Michael Doran.

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