From Carroll Values Education member Susan McNulty:
When I learned that the Commissioners’ weekly agenda included a “Common Core” meeting at the Mount Airy Inn with Commissioner Frazier, I emailed her to inquire if the meeting was open to the public. I stated that since it was on the official agenda (and it dealt with education, and it was in a public place) I assumed that it would be an open meeting. Commissioner Frazier responded by saying that she was invited to the meeting, so I should contact her assistant (Shawn Reese) in order to get the meeting organizer’s contact information. Ms. Reese gave me the name and phone number of Linda Pallay, and I called her.
Ms. Pallay told me that though there weren’t calls for the public to attend, there would be presentations and time for questions and discussion, and then stated, “there is no reason why you can’t come”. I explained that I was a former teacher, and that though I had my own concerns with the CORE and the PARCC, I felt that many of the concerns “out there” were overblown and not an issue here (in Carroll County). I told her that I was more concerned about what is actually happening in my children’s classrooms, rather than hearing stories from other states that simply don’t apply here. I said that I would come to the meeting to listen. Ms. Pallay repeated that there would be time for questions and discussion, and I repeated that I would be there to listen. I was very up-front about my thoughts and intentions from the beginning.
I then learned that Senator Brinkley, Commissioner Frazier and Commissioner Rothschild would be in attendance, as well as members from a local Tea Party affiliated group “Carroll Values Educational Freedom”. [This group was founded (and named, and re-named) with Commissioner Rothschild listed as an administrator after the non-partisan group “Carroll Values Education” began to gain traction.] Ms. Pallay stated that they were working to change state legislation with regard to educational reform. (I especially wanted to listen to what Senator Brinkley had to say.) We finished our call with the understanding that we would see each other at the meeting.
Very shortly thereafter, I received a call from Commissioner Frazier’s assistant stating that Ms. Pallay had just called her co-organizer and they agreed that I should not attend today’s meeting. I stated to Ms. Reese that an open meeting had just become closed. She said that it wasn’t her (Commissioner Frazier’s) meeting, and that she (Ms. Reese) hoped I understood. I told her that I understood “completely” what was going on.
Thoughts to ponder…
If it wasn’t Commissioner Frazier’s meeting, why did HER assistant call me to disinvite me? (I have no ill will toward Ms. Reese, as she was simply doing her job.)
I was very upfront about my thoughts and intentions, so why was I invited and then disinvited? Did the organizers and Commissioners not want the potential for Senator Brinkley to be exposed to an alternate point of view from district 4?
Commissioners Frazier and Rothschild have been calling for open meetings, so why was this one closed to me after it was open?