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Paul's Big Three Issues

Academics - All of our students should be college or career ready by the time they graduate.  Did you know 67.4% of Montgomery College students take a remedial writing, English, or math class?  Many of these students are MCPS graduates.  This is inexcusable.  I will work to make sure all 208 of our schools are excellent ones.  And excellence starts at the top.  We need the best and brightest to be Principals at our schools.  And we need to give each Principal the latitude to make needed changes to tailor the curriculum and learning process for their individual school. 

Construction - I will pursue a resolution to the endless backlog of projects MCPS has been struggling with for decades.  How?  Through renovating existing buildings.  I will work with our Superintendent, Dr. Jack Smith, and my Board of Education colleagues, to see to it our Division of Construction opens up the bidding process to any and all qualified contractors specializing in school renovations.  These projects are successfully executed nationwide.  We will do them here too once I am elected.  I will also work to make sure new schools are Net Zero Energy - buildings that generate their own electricity, cooling and heating, and illumination through solar panels, geothermal fields, and solar tube lighting.  These building costs the same as regular construction to build.  I also will work to make sure solar panels are placed atop every school that would benefit from them...saving MCPS millions of dollars annually in Operating Budget costs - funds we can better use to hire more teachers and staff.

Testing - There simply is too much standardized testing.  Teachers, staff, students, administrators, and families have all complained to me about the undue burdens of all the standardized tests our students are subjected to.  I say enough is enough.  I will work with my colleagues at the local, state, and national levels to reduce standardized testing requirements across the board.  We must let our teachers do what they do best, TEACH!

 

More information about the issues I strongly believe in.

Making sure our students receive the best education possible will be my top priority as a member of the Board of Education.  We must let our teachers do what they do best, TEACH.  As your next BOE member I will work with my colleagues and our educators to reduce standardized testing, keep curriculum changes to an absolute minimum, work with the Superintendent to reduce policies that add to a teacher’s workload, and more.  As I have been doing since 2012 as a full-time volunteer advocate for our kids and schools, I will continue to seek out and learn what works best for educating our students STRAIGHT FROM TEACHERS THEMSELVES.  No one knows more about a classroom than a teacher.  I will advocate with other Board of Education members statewide on behalf of our MCEA and MSEA teachers to our leaders in the Maryland State Department of Education, in Annapolis, and in Washington, D.C., to eliminate unnecessary testing from the classroom environment.

 

School choice.  For years as a countywide PTA leader, I heard many parents and students complain about overcrowded schools.  A solution I have advocated for and will continue to pursue is school choice.  Students in buildings with an enrollment of 105% or more of capacity would be given the choice of staying at their current school, or attending a less crowded school (at 95% or below of capacity).  No boundary changes.  No forced bussing.  Just choice.

 

Less testing.  If you have ever come across one of those huge charts in a school listing the many tests, assessments, and exams given each year, you know how big a monster testing has become.  One of my goals will be to work with my colleagues here in Montgomery County, throughout the state, and nationwide if need be, to reduce the excessive amount of tests our students, teachers, and staff endure annually.

 

School renovations or “refresh” projects.  We have a hideous backlog of school construction projects that has lingered for more than two decades.  We can no longer afford to tear down and rebuild schools.  There are a growing number of firms that specialize in school renovations.  We must opening up bidding for these projects to any and all interested and qualified vendors.  This could potentially save us an enormous amount of money, well into the tens of millions of dollars annually...money that can then be used to “refresh” other buildings.  Our award winning Montgomery County Public Libraries have taken this approach.  MCPS needs to follow suit.

 

Solar panels.  MCPS has less than twenty schools with solar panels.  Even Montgomery County office buildings are under a mandate to upgrade to solar whenever possible.  It is time for MCPS to follow suit.  We have 208 schools, the majority of which have unobstructed views of the sun.  Solar panels pay for themselves in less than a decade, and can produce energy for twice that long.

 

Net Zero and green construction.  This is one of the newest and fastest growing areas of school construction.  These are buildings designed with high energy efficiency and energy generation in mind, along with an eye toward saving the environment.  Some buildings literally are Net Zero - generating as much energy as they use.  A marvelous example is Discovery Elementary School in Arlington, Virginia.  I took a tour of the school last year and was amazed by what I saw.  Kids literally want to go to school because the building is so cool.  The place is a living laboratory with interactive exhibits and energy monitors everywhere.  Best of all, these building can cost the same as normal construction, yet their annual operating costs are significantly less...money that can be put to better use by hiring more teachers.

Paul's Big Three Issues

Academics - All of our students should be college or career ready by the time they graduate.  Did you know 67.4% of Montgomery College students take a remedial writing, English, or math class?  Many of these students are MCPS graduates.  This is inexcusable.  I will work to make sure all 208 of our schools are excellent ones.  And excellence starts at the top.  We need the best and brightest to be Principals at our schools.  And we need to give each Principal the latitude to make needed changes to tailor the curriculum and learning process for their individual school. 

Construction - I will pursue a resolution to the endless backlog of projects MCPS has been struggling with for decades.  How?  Through renovating existing buildings.  I will work with our Superintendent, Dr. Jack Smith, and my Board of Education colleagues, to see to it our Division of Construction opens up the bidding process to any and all qualified contractors specializing in school renovations.  These projects are successfully executed nationwide.  We will do them here too once I am elected.  I will also work to make sure new schools are Net Zero Energy - buildings that generate their own electricity, cooling and heating, and illumination through solar panels, geothermal fields, and solar tube lighting.  These building costs the same as regular construction to build.  I also will work to make sure solar panels are placed atop every school that would benefit from them...saving MCPS millions of dollars annually in Operating Budget costs - funds we can better use to hire more teachers and staff.

Testing - There simply is too much standardized testing.  Teachers, staff, students, administrators, and families have all complained to me about the undue burdens of all the standardized tests our students are subjected to.  I say enough is enough.  I will work with my colleagues at the local, state, and national levels to reduce standardized testing requirements across the board.  We must let our teachers do what they do best, TEACH!

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