CHALLENGES AND OPPORTUNITIES
There is no specialized curriculum or instruction designated for students with dyslexia. This learning disability has been overlooked when designing curriculum, and children with dyslexia can be held back. It is has not been taken seriously, and it is time for that to change.
Testing is too early and too often. My understanding is, in Maryland, the PARCC assessment (which has been riddled with issues since implementation) is due to be done with in 2 years. As a parent and a future public servant, I understand the need to have a child in 2nd grade able to have the same basic knowledge in Maryland as in, for example, Wisconsin. The issue has been how much time has been dedicated to testing, and testing kindergarteners, where the focus used to be on social skills- which, in my opinion, is desperately needed.
With my visits to schools in Howard County and Baltimore County, the discrepancy is clear. Lansdowne High School is a 54-year old building. A renovation was recently voted down by the Baltimore County Board of Education, which leaves an opportunity for the area to receive a replacement school. The average new high school will cost $100 million to be built. As your future Delegate, you will have a strong voice in Annapolis and to the School Board, advocating for a new school.
The students at Lansdowne High School are extremely talented. Classes of all trades are offered, as well as cooking classes and graphic design classes. The graduation rate is low (~30%) for that school, and 90% of those who graduate go on to the local community college. With a focus in this long-neglected part of the district, over the long term corrective measures can be taken to increase wealth and opportunity in the area. One thing that can be done is to provide an economic stimulus through the state. More of my fiscal platform and ideas are on my Tax page.
Due to the excellent reputation of Howard County schools, everyone is moving there. This is leading to overcrowding concerns that need to be addressed. Interestingly, the class sizes in Baltimore County and Howard County in our district are very similar. According to the APFO School Capacity Chart, a few of our Howard County schools are projected to reach capacity within the next 5 years. HS #13 is expected to be open by August 2023 to address the overcrowding at Howard High.
Readiness has been a concern in Baltimore County. Due to recent changes in regulations, there is a tie to funding and graduation rates. This disproportionately hurts a few schools in Baltimore County that are in areas with special challenges. It also encourages the graduation of children that then go on to college without the proper fundamentals of reading, writing, and arithmetic. By working with administrators and scaling back these regulations at a State level, we can put the emphasis on children getting the most benefit out of their classroom time, and graduating with higher levels of preparedness for higher education.
I want to fight for our children's futures, I feel this is the most important investment we can make and our biggest responsibility as lawmakers. There are a lot of reforms that can be made legislatively, and other initiatives I want to introduce, but it starts with education.