- We should develop a hiring plan to ensure that every school has an instructional team that reflects its diverse student and community population, while balancing the need for teachers with experience and innovation.
- Instructional staffing should be deliberate, intentional, and strategic.
- We should examine the execution of discipline for African Americans in the wake of the disproportionate and troubling number of African American students who are suspended from county schools each year.
- We should look at the discretionary spending in the schools given the inability of some to raise adequate funds.
- Technology is not going away. Female participation in technology classes is inequitable. We need to promote the equitable enrollment and higher level of engagement among girls in STEM classes.
- Redistricting is inevitable. We must approach with consideration to racial and socio-economic concerns.
- Courses offerings between different high schools are not equitable. Every course needs to be offered in person or online.
- We need a strategic plan to reduce the school department’s budget deficit through careful examination of the numbers and a collaborative partnership with county leaders.
- Our strategy for alleviating the deficit cannot be requiring staff to pay a disproportionate share of their health care costs. And we need to ensure that the county is a strong steward of our instructional professionals’ health care fund.
- Planning must be collaborative with Howard County’s administration as well as with its County Council.
Swansfield Elementary School
Carson Reading Room
- We, in this county, are fortunate to receive thousands of teaching applications each year. As a result, we have access to the best of the best, which means we can thoughtfully and deliberately select those teachers with the skills and experience necessary to succeed in our increasingly diverse community. In fact, we have been so successful in hiring talented staff that we should endeavor to trust in their ability to meet the learning needs of all of our students.
- One of the ways we can unlock teachers’ potential and allow them to do what they do best is to reduce standardized testing to legal minimums, and those that work to recognize gaps in identifying student potential.
- We need to begin to provide wrap-around community services, to include mental health services, in our schools so that our teachers can focus on teaching in the classroom in a safe and secure environment.
- Passing a budget is not sufficient. There needs to be a comprehensive plan for developing a spending plan that takes into account the district’s broad funding needs rather than just an annual one.
- The new board must define goals for the district and quantifiable metrics for determining what success is.
Transparency is a necessary first step. We are headed in the right direction, but we need openness. That is, we must be open to ideas, and to community voice, innovation, the sharing of information, and equity throughout all of our schools. Moreover, we must be open to taking necessary steps towards being the premier education system that we know we can be.