Disputing Top High School Rankings, Council Rejects 9% Raises, Lunch Deliveries to Students Curbed

Disputing Top High School Rankings, Council Rejects 9% Raises, Lunch Deliveries to Students Curbed

A sampling of reader feedback on Bethesda Beat stories

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A weekly sampling of reader comments culled from most-read Bethesda Beat stories.


MCPS Cries Foul Over Magazine’s Top High School Rankings

The Montgomery school system is contesting a national list released this week that ranked just one county high school among the best in the country, saying key data was missing from the profiles of four schools. In the list released by U.S. News & World Report on Tuesday, Walt Whitman High in Bethesda was ranked as the top school in Maryland and 93rd best school in the nation, with nine schools placing in the state’s top 25. A school spokesman said Walter Johnson, Poolesville and Winston Churchill high schools were missing reading proficiency data and John F. Kennedy High was missing mathematics proficiency data, adversely impacting their ranks.


  • These lists are bunk (says someone in a high-ranking school neighborhood). Too much rank-changing year to year for it to possibly mean anything — no school changes that dramatically that fast, and they certainly all don’t. It makes for convenient headlines on local news sites, but otherwise, let it go.
  • It’s been a long slow decline.
  • These scores also don’t take into account the disadvantage many of these schools have when trying to achieve student proficiency ratings with large foreign born populations.
  • Everyone already knows the good schools. Debating which are ever-so-slightly better is silly. These lists are simply to drive page counts on media websites.


Council Rebuffs County Union’s Contract, Calls for Parity in Raises

In a rare decision, the Montgomery County Council said raises negotiated for some union workers of more than 9% are financially unrealistic. The council’s straw vote, which came during a review of the county’s proposed budget, will send the county government and largest workers union, MCGEO, back to the bargaining table.


  • Who gets a 9% raise? That is an outrage.
  • Maybe the Council is starting to get the message that taxpayers are fed up. 70% voted for term limits – shocking in MoCo. Maybe next go around they will boot [County Executive Marc] Elrich.
  • Elrich’s proposed raise is unsustainable and I’m glad the council voted against it. I don’t understand why Elrich proposed a 9%+ raise but also proposed to cut the bus routes and other important services. Bottom line: We don’t need another tax increase.
  • Must say, I was shocked it got rejected. Happy, but stunned. But, consider that recent countywide polling shows the top concerns for MoCo residents to be traffic, taxes and education… And so, maybe the County Council is growing a pair and realizing there are real issues to solve instead of throwing money at the same special interests?


Rockville Council Approves $650 Million Housing, Commercial Project

The Rockville City Council this week approved plans for the multi-year, $650 million  redevelopment of properties on its northern edge at Shady Grove Road. The Grove – Rockville, a mixed-use development on 31 acres at the crossroads of Shady Grove, Gaither and Choke Cherry roads, will bring hundreds of townhouses, more than 1,000 multi-family dwelling units and a combined 560,000 square feet of commercial and retail space.


  • There is no rhyme or reason to this. No careful planning or rational thought. They just build and build and build and build. And with all of that crazy over building comes more and more congestion until it’s utterly intolerable. Come to think of it, it’s already at a point where it’s intolerable, but the Socialist Marc Elrich doesn’t care.
  • Great to see all the acres of surface parking going to better and higher use. Surprised they have so much retail, though, considering this is very close to Crown, Rio, King Farm, and all the existing retail along Shady Grove Rd. Hope they’re able to lease it all. Start running the [Corridor Cities Transitway] already.
  • I’d be curious to know at what stage of development they are actually at. Is this just an “blessing” from Rockville City Council or have they started to actually do the initial planning for this site. For example, has an environmental assessment or environmental impact assessment been performed. I would think this study would show that this particular area is not suitable for the numbers that would be expected, especially when considering issues like traffic congestion and schools. For instance, the article mentions entrances onto Gaither Road and Choke Cherry Road. How would you place an entrance onto Gaither Road, presumably with a traffic light, without impacting the intersection at Shady Grove Road? Shady Grove Road already has issues dealing with the traffic load in that particular section and, if I understand correctly, whatever version of the CCT is developed will not significantly reduce that load.


High School Turning Away Lunch Deliveries to Students

Albert Einstein High School in Kensington has established a checkpoint on the driveway leading to the school with a school security guard stopping “all traffic coming onto the property during lunch” in an effort to ban food deliveries ordered by students. With the rise of businesses such as GrubHub, DoorDash and UberEats, students are able to order food via the internet and smartphone apps.


  • No policy on food deliveries. Shocking. The lunatics are running the asylum. How bout no outside delivery of any kind? How bout let’s go to school to learn? How old do these kids (and they are) think they are, 25? They order food and can’t pay. Classic. Bag lunch, walk to the Georgetown Square shopping center or grab a tray at the cafeteria line. There are clearly plenty of options. This is absurd that this even goes on but nothing surprises me.
  • Food deliveries for HS kids is ridiculous.
  • Too many rules. Just say no because food delivery apps to schools is ridiculous. It’s that simple. Adults are allowed to use reasonable judgement once in a while.


Full text and additional comments accompany the individual online stories and updates.

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