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J.H. ("Jim") Snider, PhD

J.H. Snider, a political scientist and democratic reformer, is a student of local politics. For updates on his local and state articles, like this page. (This Facebook page is an experiment and may be discontinued.)

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J.H. ("Jim") Snider, PhD's Latest Posts

Alleviating the school board’s special interest politics

Alleviating the school board’s special interest politics

| January 28, 2015, 11:21 AM | 1 Comment

Between now and July 1, 2015, Governor Larry Hogan will appoint to the Anne Arundel Board of Education a majority (five of eight) of its adult members.  In doing so, he will be limited to choosing from among those nominated by the Anne Arundel School Board Nominating Commission, which is required by statute to submit […]

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On Landmark Media (the Capital’s Owner) Cashing Out

On Landmark Media (the Capital’s Owner) Cashing Out

| May 05, 2014, 12:01 AM | 1 Comment

Since January 2008, Landmark Media has been trying to cash out its investment in the Capital-Gazette, but could not get the price it wanted.  Finally, on May 1, 2014, more than 2,000 days since it was placed on the market, Landmark Media announced the sale of the Capital-Gazette to the company that owns the Baltimore […]

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Expected $2.4 Million ‘Signing Bonus’ For Chosen AACPS Superintendent

Expected $2.4 Million ‘Signing Bonus’ For Chosen AACPS Superintendent

| April 06, 2014, 01:42 AM | 1 Comment

The Anne Arundel County Board of Education is currently conducting a search for the next superintendent to replace interim Superintendent Mamie Perkins.  As has been widely reported, the three finalists are George Arlotto, Maureen McMahon, and Francisco Duran.  The Board plans to appoint the next superintendent at its April 23, 2014 meeting. Two of the […]

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How the Next Superintendent Will Really Be Selected

How the Next Superintendent Will Really Be Selected

| March 15, 2014, 02:31 PM | 0 Comments

We have recently observed Russia’s “democratic” takeover of Crimea.  As a democratically elected Crimean parliament holds a democratic referendum to join Russia, the stage-managing has been superb.  However, AACPS has demonstrated its ability to stage manage even more discreetly, which is very helpful in manipulating a supposed democratic process.  By contrast, Russia looks like a […]

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Our Highly Politicized Board of Education

Our Highly Politicized Board of Education

| March 02, 2014, 02:21 AM | 0 Comments

Members of our Board of Education love to pretend that they are above politics; that such behavior is reserved for County Council, General Assembly, and other public officials.  As for themselves, they claim all they care about is what’s best for Anne Arundel County Public School (AACPS) students. But their track record running for higher […]

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Court Likely to Let Leopold Run for Public Office

Court Likely to Let Leopold Run for Public Office

| February 11, 2014, 01:21 PM | 0 Comments

In January 2013, a local court convicted former County Executive John Leopold on two counts of misconduct in office.  In addition to requiring him to serve jail time, it banned him from running for elective office for five years.  In September, Leopold appealed the lower court’s ruling, and last week Maryland’s Court of Special Appeals […]

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Two General Assembly Bills to Democratize the AACPS School Board

Two General Assembly Bills to Democratize the AACPS School Board

| February 02, 2014, 06:32 PM | 0 Comments

Last Wednesday the Maryland Senate’s Education, Health and Environmental Affairs Committee held hearings on two bills to create a more democratically accountable system for selecting school board members in Anne Arundel County.  One bill focused on fixing the electoral system for the eight adult members of the AACPS Board of Education; the other on fixing […]

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Explaining the Capital’s Inane Political Reporting

Explaining the Capital’s Inane Political Reporting

| January 20, 2014, 07:59 PM | 1 Comment

Campaign finance articles are a staple of good journalism, as campaign contributions may signal to the public more credibly than campaign promises the type of interests a politician will represent once in office.  But good campaign finance reporting requires that a newspaper be willing to invest in investigative reporting and report the results even if […]

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More Misleading Education Reporting From The Capital

More Misleading Education Reporting From The Capital

| January 10, 2014, 04:25 PM | 0 Comments

Yesterday the Capital ran a story on the results of the superintendent survey designed to elicit feedback on the characteristics the public wants in its next public schools superintendent.   From November 22 to December 12, 2013, AACPS encouraged the public to fill out the survey (I reported on that here).  On December 16, 2013, it […]

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Superintendent Search Update: AACPS Answers Capital’s Criticism

Superintendent Search Update: AACPS Answers Capital’s Criticism

| November 24, 2013, 11:03 AM | 1 Comment

Last summer the Capital criticized AACPS for a lack of public involvement in the interim superintendent search (see Capital-Gazette Takes On AACPS).  AACPS promised to address that issue in its search for the next fulltime superintendent.  It has now taken its first major step to fulfill that promise. On November 22, 2013, the AACPS PR […]

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Getting What We Pay For: Are our school board members underpaid?

Getting What We Pay For: Are our school board members underpaid?

| October 12, 2013, 11:25 PM | 1 Comment

Should we apply to the Anne Arundel County Board of Education the maxim that “you get what you pay for”?  Regular school board members earn $6,000/year (the president earns $8,000/year) to oversee an operating and capital budget of over $1 billion, one of the fifty largest public school districts in the United States out of […]

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Capital-Gazette Takes On AACPS

Capital-Gazette Takes On AACPS

| August 11, 2013, 02:30 PM | 0 Comments

In the last few weeks, the Capital-Gazette (Capital) has flipped from years of mindlessly repeating AACPS talking points to a critical stance, including a news story with multiple, competing sources.  How well did it do? Consider, first, where it is coming from.  During the past year it has printed more than a dozen of the […]

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School Board Pays Maxwell $4,582/Day In July; Maryland Taxpayers Pay Perkins $410,018 Signing Bonus on Top of $249,735 Annual Salary

School Board Pays Maxwell $4,582/Day In July; Maryland Taxpayers Pay Perkins $410,018 Signing Bonus on Top of $249,735 Annual Salary

| August 02, 2013, 11:40 AM | 3 Comments

The Anne Arundel County Public Schools (AACPS) Board of Education has been generous to outgoing superintendent Kevin Maxwell for his last month of employment ending July 31, 2013.  Excluding his health benefits and the increase in his pension, which is paid for by the State of Maryland, I estimate his daily pay at $4,582/day.  Assuming […]

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Poll: Media Coverage of Superintendent Maxwell

Poll: Media Coverage of Superintendent Maxwell

| July 30, 2013, 05:48 PM | 0 Comments

Superintendent Kevin Maxwell’s last day in office is tomorrow, July 31, 2013. On August 1, 2013, he takes over the helm of the Prince George’s County Public Schools. The Anne Arundel County Public Schools (AACPS) spends a large fraction of County taxes and receives a corresponding amount of print press coverage. What are your thoughts […]

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Maxwell’s Political Legacy: Not Pretty

Maxwell’s Political Legacy: Not Pretty

| July 27, 2013, 09:48 AM | 2 Comments

After more than seven years at the helm of the Anne Arundel County Public Schools (AACPS), Superintendent Kevin Maxwell will resign and become head of the Prince George’s County public schools, effective August 1, 2013.  What is his AACPS legacy? Many encomiums have been written about Maxwell’s AACPS legacy as a champion of children.  Those […]

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Understanding The Capital Gazette’s Political Biases

Understanding The Capital Gazette’s Political Biases

| July 21, 2013, 12:01 AM | 4 Comments

My Ph.D. is in the field of political communications, and I’ve worked in various capacities covering media policy, including as an American Political Science Association Congressional Fellow in Communications and Public Policy, a Senior Research Fellow at the New America Foundation, and a fellow at the Harvard Kennedy School of Government’s Joan Shorenstein Center on […]

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Maxwell’s Unreported $1 Million Signing Bonus with Prince George’s County, Courtesy of Maryland Taxpayers

Maxwell’s Unreported $1 Million Signing Bonus with Prince George’s County, Courtesy of Maryland Taxpayers

| July 13, 2013, 01:25 PM | 3 Comments

Prince George’s County has hired Anne Arundel County Public Schools (AACPS) Superintendent Kevin Maxwell for a reported annual salary of $290,000, a $33,000 year increase on his $257,000 current salary from AACPS.  (See Capital, Baltimore Sun, and Washington Post coverage of his pay increase.)  Although the $290,000 figure isn’t technically a lie, it is highly […]

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Governor to reappoint two incumbents to AACPS school board

Governor to reappoint two incumbents to AACPS school board

| June 29, 2013, 02:12 PM | 5 Comments

In the next few days, Governor O’Malley will reappoint two incumbents, Andrew C. Pruski (Board President) and Teresa Milio Birge (Board Vice President), to the Anne Arundel County Public School System (AACPS) Board of Education.  One can make this prediction with absolute certainty not because the Governor has already announced his appointments (which he is […]

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Anne Arundel’s Next Superintendent Should Restore Integrity to SMOB Elections

Anne Arundel’s Next Superintendent Should Restore Integrity to SMOB Elections

| June 27, 2013, 03:20 PM | 1 Comment

In 2012, the Anne Arundel County Public School System spent more than $1 billion, employed more than 10,000 individuals, and taught more than 75,000 students–and its student member of the Board of Education (known as the “SMOB”) had the same voting rights as the adult board members. Unfortunately, due to deficient electoral safeguards, elections for SMOB […]

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AACPS School Board Nomination Applications Due May 24

AACPS School Board Nomination Applications Due May 24

| May 21, 2013, 11:09 PM | 3 Comments

This year the School Board Nominating Commission (SBNC) of Anne Arundel County must nominate candidates for two seats on the Anne Arundel County Board of Education.  Candidate applications are due by the close of the business day on May 24.  Hearings for the candidates will be held May 29 and May 30 at 7:30 pm […]

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Shame On Maryland’s State Board Of Elections

Shame On Maryland’s State Board Of Elections

| March 15, 2013, 03:20 PM | 3 Comments

Have you observed how a politician often answers a reporter’s question that he doesn’t want to answer?  Instead of truthfully replying that he doesn’t want to answer the question, he may pretend to answer the question while in fact answering another question that puts him in a more favorable light. Unfortunately, Maryland’s State Board of […]

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Fourth of July Cruises
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