Science Technology Engineering & Math (STEM):
Today our kids compete on a global platform. Our kids compete not just against kids from other schools or other counties or other states, but with children from other countries like India, China, Korea, Japan and all the other countries. Science Technology Engineering & Math or STEM is the current global language. I would like for our kids to have more opportunities and exposure to STEM throughout K through 12 to better prepare them for the real world. Studies have shown girls are on par with the boys in STEM till middle school, but in high school the ratio shifts towards the boys. Let’s reverse this. I would work very hard to encourage girls to be involved in STEM.
Today it is easier to find a CEO rather than a plumber. Skilled workers are important to our economy. Let’s support vocational training let’s create a path for those who would like to learn a trade.
I would like to see businesses in Howard County expand internship opportunities to high school students. Let’s bring them together to create a win-win situation for all by building an Internship Portal.
Studies have shown that an early start to education goes a long way. I support universal Pre-K in Howard County. I would like to hear from you if it would be efficient to have it as part of the school system or if the county should manage it or if it should be managed in some other way.
Life Cycle cost contracts:
I would like for the school system to bring in a culture of awarding contracts based on the life cycle costs rather than the lowest technically accepted bid. It is penny wise and pound foolish to focus on just the short-term costs.
Increase Educator’s engagement:
I would like to increase educator’s engagement in the school system by treating them as professionals and giving them the resources to succeed and not micro manage them.
Issues That We Need To Address
Today an African American student in Howard County has 7 times more likelihood of being suspended as compared to rest of the students. This gap starts from kindergarten all the way to the senior year. A lot of concerned parents, individuals and organizations have been trying to work with the school system for the detailed data on the suspension rate in an effort to address it, but the school system has been refusing to provide the information for over 2 years now.
Multiple teachers and students have been taken to the ER due to the mold related health issues and the school system continues to stonewall information on this issue.
Disbanding of the budgetary oversight committee:
The budgetary oversight committee has been disbanded for the last couple of years and in effect the community has no input or oversight on the how our tax dollars are being spent in the school system.
Inefficiencies in the system:
The central office has more than doubled in size over the past 3-4 years and the salaries of a select few have gone up substantially over the same period. I fail to understand on why we need a branding expert for a public school system? I fail to understand why we need to pay over $150K per year to a media consultant to take pictures for a school system?
A recent survey sponsored by the HCPSS shows that only 46% of the educators in Howard County feel engaged, and majority of educators feel unengaged with the school system. Our students cannot thrive when our teachers aren’t engaged. We need a Board of Education that will step up and bring about a cultural change to engage and value the educators and provide them with the resources they need to help them succeed instead of micro managing them.
Watch the Educational Town Hall Meeting held on 8th December, 2015 at https://youtu.be/ah9R73epuzc