The education system in eastern Baltimore County is failing our children.
Not a single elementary, middle, or high school in Councilmanic District 6 had a majority of students pass the PARCC standardized tests in 2016. While I don’t believe that we should teach to a test, it’s difficult to expect our children to be prepared for college or a career when we aren’t able to demonstrate proficiencies in basic skills such as math and English. In addition to failing test scores, there are significant infrastructure issues in the Baltimore County Public School System. Overcrowding in our schools is rampant and there is currently no plan to construct a new high school in our part of the county. In fact, we haven’t built a new high school or middle school in our district since John F. Kennedy was President in 1961. These troubling trends need our immediate attention.
With four small children, I understand the critical importance of having a strong education system. Every child deserves a world-class education that will prepare them to achieve their dreams. Our public schools are the foundation of our community and their quality is an issue that affects every family.
As your County Councilman I will:
1. Take an active role in our school system. We can not have leaders who pass the buck and leave this key issue only to the Board of Education.
2. Call for a full and independent audit of our school system. With the recent ethics violations of current Superintendent Verletta White, the conviction of former Superintendent Dallas Dance, and indictment of BCPS official Bob Barrett, we need to restore the public trust in our school system. Accounting for every dollar is a key step in that process.
3. Fight for the construction of a new high school in eastern Baltimore County to alleviate overcrowding in our classrooms. We deserve an equitable allocation of our tax dollars.
4. Place a stronger focus on vocational training in our schools. We need to prepare our students for the many skilled-trade opportunities that desperately need qualified employees. We should also foster a spirit of entrepreneurship and innovation by creating partnerships between our schools, business, and universities.
5. Increase safety inside our schools so all students and teachers have a constructive environment to learn. We have had serious incidents of violence, bullying, and other criminal activity in our schools. We need to work to restore discipline. If a child brings a weapon to school, they shouldn’t be able to simply to return to class after a short suspension. There needs to be real consequences for violence in our schools.
6. Begin discussions with the community about utilizing metal detectors in our schools so that students and teachers are afforded the same safety measures that our elected officials have at their offices.