Why I'm running...
Our children's health and safety should be the BOE's highest priority and I will be a voice on the board to ensure this is the case. I have two children currently at MCPS and two that have graduated. I have had kids at MCPS schools for over 15 years now and I know only too well that kids grow up fast. The BOE needs to respond quickly to the challenges they face. Kids can't afford to wait years for change, especially when it impacts their health and academic success.
One of the most important issues for me is excessive screen use in the classroom. Research has shown that too much screen-time has a negative impact on students' physical and mental health and academic success. Chromebooks and smartphones have become particularly troublesome in the classrooms for teachers. Kids are accessing inappropriate content, being distracted by social media, playing screen games, and having trouble focusing.
We must find the right balance, minimizing adverse health and developmental impacts and only using screens when they are proven to truly add value to a child’s education. We live in one of the the most affluent counties, with schools among the best in the nation, but in our pursuit of the latest technology fad, we should not be cavalier with the health of the children and take unnecessary risks. Technology in the classroom is helpful, but it is just one of the educational tools and has shown to not be a panacea for providing a 21st century education.
I support and would work towards:
* More transparency.
* Greater effort put into eliminating the achievement gap with more creativity and bold solutions such as changing the incentive structure for teachers in the most difficult and challenging environments.
* Fostering a culture in which teachers are encouraged to speak their minds and to provide input and solutions to difficult problems.
* Greater emphasis on programs for at risk students, including increasing mental health support.
* Less focus on standardized testing.
* Providing more options so that all needs of students are met whether they are college-bound or heading straight into the workplace.
* A school system that puts the safety of children first.