We finish off the day with this response from R. Michael Smith:
Question, "What do you think the job of a Board of Education member is?" Please address the following:
1. What power does the position convey?
2. What is the best use of that power?
3. To whom is the Board of Education member responsible?
As a member of the Board of Education, I will be able to serve as a liaison between the community and the superintendent and as the people’s voice when decisions are made regarding the school system. I can best use my position to, among other things, dispel the misperception among some Howard County residents that all is well in our schools, when in fact, a large gap exists between the quality of education provided here and in several nations, such as Finland and Singapore. That gap is much worse for children from poorer families.
Renee Foose has been telling anyone who will listen about the need for fundamental reform to rectify that situation. We must first acknowledge, however, the gravity of the problem if we are to implement a strategy that must include:
1. Establishing a rigorous curriculum for ALL students that: (1) develops their knowledge and skills, such as the ability to write, read, and think critically; and (2) equips them to earn a living and be responsible citizens.
2. Devoting sufficient resources to enable disadvantaged students to take advantage of that program.
3. Improving the quality of classroom instruction by: (1) hiring only the brightest college graduates to teach; (2) supporting teachers; and (3) paying them commensurate with their critical role in educating children.
Unless we undertake reform, we will entrench the growing disparity in income and wealth, which has serious implications for our society. By participating in this endeavor, I will satisfy my obligation to the electorate.
April 10, 2014 8:01 pm