Announced via press release:

Howard County Executive Calvin Ball has released the following statement on the Howard County Public School System’s Board of Education redistricting vote:

“The redistricting proposal by Superintendent Martirano, and the subsequent debate, leading to the Board of Education’s final approved plan was challenging for our community and caught the attention of national media and academic experts. I share the concerns of many in our community about the Board of Education not reaching a stronger consensus and clarifying data provided by HCPSS.

Throughout this process, I purposely did not get involved, weigh in to the details, nor take a side, to ensure the integrity of the process and keep it as free from political influence as possible. I believe school redistricting, which is exclusively under the purview of the Board of Education, should be separate from the office of the County Executive.

Redistricting within a school system is one of the toughest processes for any local Board of Education to undertake and the process impacts many of our families and communities.

However, this is a necessary process for counties, like Howard County, in order to better manage class sizes and capacity rates, balanced with our long-term plans for building new schools and providing the proper public facilities to serve our population.

Although I wish this process would have been less contentious among our residents, I do appreciate everyone’s passion and engagement on this issue – no matter their opinion on the proposed plan or final product. I want to thank everyone who was engaged.

It is now time for us to begin the healing process and start coming together as a County. Moving forward, it is my hope that we continue to share a common goal – to provide all our students the best public education possible and foster the best teaching environment for our educators.

Let us commit to using our passion for educational excellence to collaborate, partner, and innovate to ensure that every Howard County school represents an exemplary and diverse community of achievers, built on shared values of inclusion, civility, and opportunity for all.”

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Scott E

3 COMMENTS

  1. Calvin, if you think for one minute that ANYONE is buying that nonsense you just wrote, you are sorely mistaken. You will be voted out of office in 2022. You can count on that!

    #droptheball2022

  2. I am glad that Dr. Ball finally commented on the sad events in our county both in terms of the anger and contention internally and the ugly press in the national news, including the front page of the NYT.
    Instead of doing their jobs of addressing the root causes of the problem (pathetically low levels of impact taxes for HC developers and too little low income housing across the county), members of the County Council saw fit to jump out and insert nasty racial language into Dr. Martinaro’s proposed plan. For his part, Dr. Martinaro proposed a plan with goals not supported by the data he presented. Goals:
    1. Address overcrowding in schools
    2. Advance socio-economic equity based on FARM qualification- equalizing % FARM students
    3. Plan ahead for High School #13 in Elkridge, due to be built in 3 years
    Regarding Goal #1 At the end of the 3-year period, there is a net increase of four schools over-crowded, and in the red-zone!
    Goal #2 The farm percentages in 8 schools go down and 6 schools come up. However, some testing scores go down. In fact, 2 of the 3 top high schools’ scores go down-in both math and English. Altholton HS math base score is 57%; after the intervention, it drops to 41%; Clarksville Middle’s scores are projected to go down from 84% to 73%. In the schools whose scores improve, are the students understanding more? Or are different students, having been bussed in, taking the tests? Yes, the cohort is different! What does this prove or improve?
    Goal #3 ‘planning ahead’ In 2024, Howard county will open a new high school and there will be redistricting again!
    The data do not suggest improvement for the now 5,000+ students and their families who will be bused to new schools. Yes Dr. Ball, we want to heal but let’s do so by supporting the data based Kirwan proposals ( mandatory pre-school increased resources for kids and teachers) to make all Howard County schools better and really help kids in all socioeconomic strata achieve their potential.

  3. This guy must be from a different planet. Is he actually talking about healing?
    First, there is footage out there showing him visibly nod in approval to a pro-redistricting speech. So he cant be impartial. His council is on record for voting for this so he is guilty by association.

    What shouldve been routine admin work was turned into a charade with special interest groups vying for their agendas on the expense of tax paying citizens. I think this is where they went wrong. There was still time to steer things in the right direction by choosing the professionally created plan, but they veered so far off this and then did so in a non-transparent manner. Even a 5th grader can see it was just random at certain points when the Mallo BOE plan came into play.
    I think the republicans are in lol mode over this and seeing the opportunity to swoop in. Unless of course this was always their plan. Bring in a very poisonous pill, that the public couldnt swallow and emerge as the alternative. How could the dems have run such a sloppy campaign?
    I agree with the other poster, the guy should be out. He is way over his head and does not even have the instinct to call a failure a failure and cut his losses. Instead he has doubled down and brought the stakes that much larger.

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