Table 1 Summary-2016 BOE Candidate Forum

November 5, 2016

Kirsten Coombs

  1. What programs do you want to improve?

    1. Focus money more on teachers

      1. Spending money unnecessarily on gallup surveys such as if teachers have a friend

    2. Teachers feel bullied

      1. Principals have micromanaged teachers and told them that they’re doing everything wrong

      2. Teachers Union is overwhelmed with complaints, there’s a grievance procedure with the Union contract

    3. Principal hopping is not good

  2. What teacher evaluation system should be used?

    1. Performance improvement plan

      1. A teacher takes a break from teacher and becomes consulting teacher

      2. Give teachers tips and help with planning

      3. Montgomery County uses this

      4. Plan of how to improve

    2. Teacher evaluation

      1. Lots of extra work for teachers

      2. Should have students and parents evaluate teachers in a survey

      3. Get input from everyone

      4. Teachers say they don’t care; are fed up with teaching

      5. Balanced evaluation

    3. Some principals don’t take complaints about teachers very seriously

    4. Need money to do evaluate teachers

      1. But, county is using money inefficiently for pointless things

        1. $160,000 used for law firms, $100,000 used to fight parents of special needs kids; used in July and August

        2. Around 12% of children have special needs in Maryland

        3. Got rid of qualified special education staff

        4. Predicted increase in special needs kids, didn’t increase special needs budget

        5. Help special needs w/o wasting money

        6. Dr. Foose got rid of in-house attorney, costing the board lots of money

Janet Siddiqui

  1. What has changed in the public school system?

    1. Continued to eliminate achievement gap

    2. Made secretary jobs easier

    3. Infrastructure investment

    4. Dr. Foose developed elementary school model

    5. Put funds into most needy schools

    6. Full day Pre-K

    7. Have teachers teaching what they’re best at

    8. 32 million pension is taking a lot of money

    9. Technology and the way people communicate

      1. Facebook pages

      2. Canvas

  2. Surprising deduction in pay check?

    1. Changed to new system

    2. Miscommunication

  3. How to meet the needs of special ed students?

    1. Should we build special needs school?

      1. Inclusion is best for special education

      2. But we need to either lower class size or put professional development for teacher or make sure special ed teachers are qualified

  4. Standardized tests

    1. Teachers don’t really know how to use the tests, so are they necessary

      1. Howard County has lowest amount of testing in the state

      2. PARCC is needed or we lose 200 million in funds

      3. MAP is only the local test;  is guiding instruction, teachers need to be properly taught as to how to use the tests

    2. Does school system use tests to evaluate teachers

      1. Not really, Every Child succeeds act, lots of different measures as to how to evaluate teachers

  5. Evaluation of teachers

    1. Principal is responding to parent complaints about a teacher’s teaching methods with “It’s up to them”

  6. Second language

    1. Immersion is very important

  7. Affirmative Action

    1. Montgomery is letting students into GT programs based on race

      1. 40% of students are in GT, perhaps not necessarily meeting needs of students, higher level of education/new structure

  8. Is investing in technology something the school system is planning to do?

    1. Yes, and multiple ways of communication

    2. Teachers need multiple ways to communicate with parents

Robert Miller

  1. Tell us more about being a teacher

    1. Band director at Hammond

    2. Decided to retire and run for BOE

      1. Teaches private percussion lessons

      2. Running for BOE is quite time consuming

      3. Majority of time if elected would go to BOE

  2. How to improve system?

    1. Restore sense of trust and honesty in system

    2. BOE, teachers, and public should get answers


    1. Teachers that said something against company policy could get into trouble

    2. Teachers need more 1 on 1 time, taking students out of class is not really allowed

    3. Reduce standardized testing time

      1. Teacher evaluation system needs to go away

        1. Students and parents should evaluate teachers

        2. Cannot really be done well, no validity

        3. Using a baseline test makes students feel bad, and is really unnecessary

        4. Should be more anecdotal

    4. Administration should serve teachers

      1. Teachers shouldn’t have to do excessive stuff unrelated to teaching their classes

    5. Not make everything so grade based in elementary school, have students go with hierarchical ability (math and reading) group they are in

      1. Putting kid on 5th grade math level with 2nd grade math level is ridiculous

  1. What do you do during professional days

    1. Congregate together, given information, workshops

    2. School would receive training, meet to do problem solving

    3. Grades after reporting period

    4. Is it sufficient?

      1. More time could be put in, but lots of things need to be looked at, such as if county would be willing to pay teachers extra time during summer/outside of school time, if parents can get sufficient day care

Mavis Ellis

  1. Evaluations

    1. Not just test scores, multiple methods

    2. Evaluate administrators

  2. Class size?

    1. Budget issue

      1. Need teachers

    2. Recommended 4th grade class size?

      1. Elementary school should have smaller class sizes

      2. 30-35 kids is crazy

  3. How to support teachers so they can have an equal amount of time with each student?

    1. No need for equal amount of time for each student

      1. High achieving students: could just tell them what to do to improve

      2. Students that need help will be given help; equity

  4. Teachers get assessed and are told what to improve and are given 1-2 years to ‘achieve proficiency’

  5. Not for online instruction

  6. As board hears information, parents should hear information

  7. Should not be quotas, hold lottery if necessary, but should not be quotas as to how students get into GT

Christina Delmont-Small

  1. How did you work with school system to make parent voices heard?

    1. Over time, PTA and parent voice was not welcome anymore

    2. Feels it’s important for parents to have information

    3. Parents are experts of their children

    4. School system didn’t like PTA giving parents information

    5. Board is supposed to represent community, not the superintendent

    6. Children are getting short end of stick

    7. Focusing on each kid would make the county better

    8. Decisions are being made that are not in the best interest of the students

  2. Asian males and getting into college

    1. Is AA really doing what it needs to for students?

    2. Provide education in areas that are not strictly academic

      1. More internship things

      2. Everyone has test scores and GPA, we need something to make them stand out

      3. Help them to be adults, need to be more in touch with the community

      4. Students need love of learning and ability to think and communicate

      5. Every group in GT being equal sounds nice, but isn’t all that great in reality

        1. Test students with CoGAT in 3rd grade, and that’s that

        2. Teachers know when students are bored; should have more input as to how to which students get into GT

        3. Decisions are being made as to what is better for system, not students

  3. Evaluation of teachers

    1. With current system, anyone can make themselves look good, makes no sense

    2. Input from parents and students

      1. Should be going to board

    3. Principal should not evaluate teachers; could be friends, thus biased

  4. Board isn’t listening to teacher, parents, or students

  5. If a decision is wrong, the board needs to own it and correct it, but that’s not happening

  6. Spent millions on technology infrastructure, and need it to work with us

  7. We need to keep improving, we can always improve, we can’t just say “we’re the best” and not keeping changing

  8. Transportation is a huge part of the budget

    1. Not really efficient

    2. 60 different bus companies that are providing service

    3. Spent a lot of money on a fancy bus routing system

    4. Should be routing students based on what’s best for students and educators, not the system

      1. This would impact school start times

Vicky Cutroneo

  1. Transportation isn’t efficient

    1. Not most efficient bus routes

    2. Some buses are overcrowded, others are practically empty

  2. Safety

    1. Water isn’t great

    2. Water fountain testing in every school, even if well is tested, water still needs to be tested in the fountain

  3. Communication

    1. Emails about mold were dismissed

    2. Lots of other parents advocacy groups were dismissed

    3. Board shouldn’t be getting permission from Central office as to how to talk to the parents

    4. Lots of closed meetings that shouldn’t be closed

      1. Since Dr. foose, number close meetings has increased

    5. We need a BOE of independent thinkers

      1. BOE doesn’t question things

  4. Substitute teachers

    1. Not enough oversight

      1. Better training

    2. Not making it pleasant for teachers, and they leave mid-year, thus ending up with long term substitutes

  5. Morale is very low in the teachers now

    1. Fear of retribution

    2. Teachers Union evaluated, it’s at an unprecedented low

  6. Teacher evaluations

    1. Basing it off of student test scores is dumb

    2. Not evaluating based on relationship between teacher and students










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