BCPS Appoints New Superintendent. Some Say There was Lack of Input from Stakeholders
Baltimore County Public Schools (BCPS) has recently appointed Dr. Myriam Yarbrough as the new superintendent. However, the decision-making process did not involve direct input from the public. The selection of Dr. Yarbrough was solely made by the eleven members of the Baltimore County School Board, who conducted their discussions behind closed doors.
It is my personal opinion that BCPS will appoint whomever they choose, regardless of genuine community input. The efforts made to engage the community appear to be more of a gesture to appease parents rather than a sincere attempt to involve them in the decision-making process.
Dr. Yarbrough, who previously served as a Baltimore County teacher and later as a principal in Montgomery County, is set to take over as the superintendent on July 1. She currently holds the position of Deputy Superintendent under Dr. Darryl Williams, who is leaving after a tumultuous four-year tenure.
The track record of the previous superintendents appointed by the board in the past decade has been less than satisfactory. Dr. Williams, the outgoing superintendent, had his first contract as superintendent also be his last. Before him, there was interim superintendent Verletta White, who was found to have violated ethics rules. And prior to White, Dr. Dallas Dance served a jail sentence for lying on financial disclosure forms.
The selection of Dr. Yarbrough has raised concerns due to her recent involvement in a wrongful termination lawsuit filed by the district’s former Chief Human Resources Officer. The lack of transparency in the process has led to questioning of the board’s decision-making.
While BCPS issued a press release thanking stakeholders for their participation, it is my belief that the public’s involvement was limited. The community was invited to fill out surveys and attend meetings with a recruitment company involved in the search, but most parents were not given the opportunity to meet the finalists.
The Baltimore County Board of Education conducts the selection of a new superintendent in secret, with the finalists’ names not being made public. The actual vote takes place during closed meetings, further hindering transparency.
BCPS plans to hold public meetings to introduce Dr. Yarbrough to the community, but the decision has already been made, making these meetings more of a formality. The real question now is whether Dr. Yarbrough will be more transparent than her predecessor.
In the past, Dr. Darryl Williams, the current superintendent, had limited interactions with the media, and the availability of Dr. Yarbrough for interviews remains uncertain. BCPS has stated that Dr. Yarbrough’s plan to improve the school system will be released when it is complete, and they will keep the public informed about potential interview opportunities.
As a parent and the president of the Baltimore County Parent Coalition, Amy Adams emphasizes the importance of prioritizing the best interests of the children and ensuring a high-quality education system. However, she feels that the current state of affairs does not align with these goals
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The MEN was founded by John Huber in the fall of 2020. It was founded to provide a platform for expert opinion and commentary on current issues that directly or indirectly affect education. All opinions are valued and accepted providing they are expressed in a professional manner. The Maryland Education Network consists of Blogs, Videos, and other interaction among the K-12 community.