Platform

Stop Common Core – results in student mediocrity, stress, anger, frustration, too expensive
Our once esteemed educational system is now under assault in this country.  Our public school system is now a government school system.  The academic programs that made America the greatest country in the world, are now being dismantled and replaced by a program entitled Common Core. Common Core is a national one-size-fits-all curriculum to which no changes are allowed.  The implementation and testing required under Common Core will be quite expensive to implement with taxpayers footing the immense bill. New hardware and software will need to be purchased and technicians will need to be hired costing millions of dollars.
 
Restore local control of curriculum to parents, teachers and school boards
Parents are being isolated from their children under this educational process.  Teachers are teaching from scripts, not the lesson plans they have developed over their teaching careers. 
Common Core is a national curriculum without any local input.  It was hastily implemented with virtually no changes to curricula being allowed except for 15 percent local addition being granted.  In many cases, parents can no longer assist their children with their homework assignments.

Parents are critical to the education of their children.  Parental involvement and the input of their teachers and local school board are vital to their success.  Under Common Core, parent involvement is all but removed from their children’s education. 

Compensate teachers in a fair and just manner
The success of our children lies heavily on our teachers.  Thus, they must be adequately compensated and rewarded for their efforts; otherwise they will leave Carroll County schools in search of higher paid opportunities elsewhere.  Our teachers have only received four annual salary step increases over the last 10 years.  While they have received bonuses, the bonuses do not get included in their yearly base increase.  Teachers must receive the increases they are due to entice them into remaining in Carroll County.  By removing Common Core and the costly expenditures associated with it, millions of taxpayer dollars would be saved that could certainly be going to pay higher salaries for teachers.

Promote fiscal responsibility without wasteful spending
We spend nearly $12,500 per student per year. I am not convinced we are getting the quality education we are paying for.  Teachers’ salaries are not to blame. I believe the excesses are in administrative costs.  We must pay closer attention to the expenditures of the entire Carroll County School System, e.g. not spending tens of millions of dollars on new schools that may not be necessary.  Too many studies are funded to outside sources that could be done utilizing County assets at a lower cost.  All administrative costs need to be examined via a performance audit.  In most government agencies, there is usually some degree of waste.  We must look closely at all of our administrative costs, to provide the Carroll County taxpayer with the best education possible at the best price possible.  By scrutinizing county expenditures, we may be to free up additional monies for teachers’ salaries.

In order to combat statistically-proven middle school disinterest in math and science, teachers need professional development in some subject matter, especially in math and science.  We should be willing to provide professional development for teachers to become comfortable with the subject matter before presenting to the students in the classroom.  Teachers should be able to utilize their lesson plans they have developed over their careers, instead of teaching off a script under Common Core as they are unfamiliar with the subject matter in many cases.

Advocate excellence in education for all public, private, parochial, charter and home-schooled students
Educational performance has been suffering in recent years.  Currently, of the 32 most advanced nations in the world, America students rank 17th in reading, 21st in science and 26th in math proficiency. Other countries scored are improving steadily -many are surpassing U.S. scores, in fact.  Currently, 70+ percent of graduating seniors from Carroll County high schools require remedial Math and English to enter Carroll Community College.  We must return to teaching our children the basics, if we expect them to be able to compete in the global, competitive economies.  We lead the world in education for decades and we have now allowed those educational principles to fall by the wayside.  This must end.  As a starting point, I recommend a return to memorization of multiplication and division tables. 

Under Common Core, teachers are instructed to teach at the pace of the slowest learner in the classroom. Every school has but one goal: to meet the minimum standards, not to provide educational excellence for all students. This is just another reason to stop Common Core.  Not to mention, if Common Core is stopped, millions of dollars required for testing software and hardware could be available to advance vocational and gifted student programs. 

Evaluate facilities and redistricting
In light of looming budget cuts, all administrative  and budgetary expenditures must be scrutinized without sacrificing educational excellence.  As I am employed in the HVAC industry and as Facilities and Maintenance Chair of St. John School, I understand the importance of well-constructed and designed buildings to provide the most efficient heating and cooling and structural systems.  Important factors, such as infrastructure and building integrity, are frequently overlooked, while focusing on the less important outward appearance of the school.  Just because a school may look old, it may be the best constructed school in the county.  Structural integrity is much more important than the appearance.  School closings and resultant redistricting must be closely examined before committing the precious few dollars we have to new school construction that may not be necessary.

Protect our American traditional values and history
The new college advanced placement U.S. History Course makes no mention of Thomas Jefferson, Ben Franklin, James Madison, nor Martin Luther King, Jr.  Sadly, there has been an omission of our military history, battles, commanders and heroes in the classrooms.  The only George Washington reference is to his farewell address in fact.  A Common Core aligned history textbook stated that Americans only have the right to keep and bear arms in a state militia, which is not true.  Finally, sixth graders in Arkansas were lead to believe that the Bill of Rights in the Constitution was outdated and that they needed revision and editing, instead of being taught what they really mean.