Interview questions with BOE candidates

September 19, 2016

Main interviewer:

We represent Chinese American Parent Association of Howard County, Howard County Chinese School at Columbia, Howard County Chinese School at Catonsville, Columbia Chinese Language School and Peiying Chinese School.

We have solicited the questions from our community, even from our kids. These questions cover variety of topics that Chinese families would like to hear your opinions. This interview will help our community to make an informed decision in November’s election.

  1. CAPA and other community organizations would like to initiate an Asian American Community Roundtable. We would like to invite local elected officials and community leaders to meet with Asian Americans in our community on a routine basis, for example, quarterly. Would you like to participate? Any other thoughts on increasing open communication between HCPSS and the Asian community parents?

  2. In the past years, it seems that increasing numbers of students are placed into GT programs. The size of the GT classes is forever growing. At some schools more than 40% of students are in GT Math. There're also some schools that try to place more students into GT English. The teachers have to slow down the pace to accommodate the students who are struggling in the GT classes. On the other hand, some students feel the class materials are repetitive and they are not being challenged enough in the class. What are your thoughts on this issue?

  3. We believe the school system should raise the floor without pulling down the ceiling. It benefits everybody in our community when each student can achieve his/her highest potential. To raise the floor, the school system needs to invest more in the programs helping kids who are lagging behind, such as the morning program and the summer program.  We would like to hear your plan to improve these programs or introduce new initiatives.

  4. Many research shows that socio-economic status, instead of race, has bigger impact on a student's academic performance. What are your views? If you are elected, how would you evaluate the situation and how would you make policies to direct the resources to the students and families in need?

  5. The school system conducted a survey on religious/cultural holiday observance. If you are elected, how would you like to use the results of the survey to benefit the HCPSS community?

  6. Do you support closing schools on Lunar New Year/Eve, Rosh Hashanah, Yom Kippur, Eid al-Adha, and Dewali, Christmas and Easter?

  7. How do you plan to increase Chinese language service and support in Howard County public schools?

  8. Recently the River Hill High School canceled its 2017 Chinese AP IV in-class teaching which has a huge impact on the students taking the class and students who plan to take the class in the future.  Just for your reference, over 66% percent students taking Chinese AP classes there do not have Chinese culture background.  The school system is quickly moving to online teaching, even for world language class, or with computerized teaching. How do you view this?

  9. What's your plan to increase the transparency for our budget plan and the general decision making process?

  10. How many schools and teachers have you visited in the past 12 months? How many parents or parents groups have you met in the past 12 months? In your assessment, what are their main concerns?

  11. There are many Asian students and Latino students in our school systems. Some schools have high proportion of Asian students and some have high proportion of Latino students, outside school time, their foods are primarily the food associated to their culture, do you know whether school meals have these options? What would you do if the meals do not have such options?

 

Ask if you have time:

  1. HCPSS gives out 3 PARCC tests and 2 or 3 MAP tests each year. It consumes many hours of instruction time. What are your views on these standardized tests?

  2. What is your opinion regarding voucher programs and charter schools?

  3. What is your plan to promote the quality of HCPSS and differentiate it from other counties?

  4. The lunch time seems short. Some elementary school kids have lunch at as late as 1:30 PM. The main issue is there is no enough space in the cafeteria. Do you think it is possible to  have lunch in the class for certain grades?  It is not healthy for children to have lunch so late. It affects their study efficiency too when they are hungry. Do you have any suggestions on this issue?

 

  1. Would you support to have a short break between classes?

 

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