Maryland, America’s wealthiest state, took a
long, hard look at its overstretched budget. It dissected every line of
public-education spending—which accounted for 47
percent of the state’s total outlay in 2009—and searched for places where
it could make the hard cuts needed to save its school system. And what did it
finger? Perhaps its generous teacher pensions and healthcare benefits? Its
onerous rules and regulations? Nope. Instead, on the chopping block is the
state’s recently created American government examination (passage of which was
soon to be a requirement of high school graduation). In reference to the
decision to axe the U.S. government exam, a spokesperson for the governor called
it “one of those difficult cuts [that] became necessary to address the
deficit.” Really, Old Line State? Of all the potential budget tweaks and trims,
the one necessary to address the deficit was a cut that would undermine U.S.
government and history education while saving a measly $1.9 million? Nice
high school test may be eliminated,” by Jason Felch and Jason Song, Los Angeles Times, January 21, 2011.