In news that rivals our recent piece about a Palo Alto principal outlawing extra credit for bringing tissues to the teacher (TQB, March 19, 2004), Montgomery County, Maryland's board of education is poised to radically overhaul the means by which teachers line up their students. In an action that will surely reverberate throughout the educational universe, the school board may vote to eliminate a policy that for years has demanded that teachers and principals "allow for students with surnames at the end of the alphabet to be in other than end-of-line positions." 11-year old Adrian Zlotescu was outraged by the Montgomery County action. Speaking for thousands of children across the United States who had no input in their given surnames, he lamented, "I wish I could be first."
The resolution had been put into place 23 years ago by a board member named Zappone (honestly) who was concerned about her child graduating last. Michael Zarkin (we're not making this up), assistant principal of Kingsview Middle School in Germantown claimed not to have heard of the proposal and in a clear show of denial of the pain and anguish he endured throughout his academic life asserted, "I don't think it will be missed." No word whether President Bush or Senator Kerry have taken a stand on this politically sensitive question. Then again, they wouldn't understand.