Candidate Survey: Dana Schallheim for Anne Arundel County Board of Education, District 5
At-Home Mom, Volunteer
MBA, BA Business Administration
20 ish years of volunteering off and on for candidates or in single issues
Why are you running for office?
I am running to bring much needed fiscal oversight and accountability back to the AACPS Board of Education. I want a seat at the table to advocate for all AACPS students, support our teachers and staff, and ensure equity across all schools.
Who do you consider your political role model, and why?
I would say JFK because of his ability to unite the country.
What is your favorite book about politics and policy, and why?
To be honest, I don’t really enjoy reading books about politics.
What is your favorite book about education, and why?
I tend to read articles about education rather than books and therefore do not have a favorite book about education.
What will be your top priority on the Board of Education?
Supporting our teachers and fiscal oversight are my top two priorities.
What is the biggest issue facing your county schools?
Teacher recruitment and retention and unacceptably huge class sizes, especially in high school.
What are the three biggest issues facing Maryland schools?
Teacher recruitment and retention, unacceptably huge class sizes, equity between schools.
Have you read your county schools curriculum? If so, which parts do you like and which parts do you dislike?
I have been so focused on the budget that I haven’t yet been able to focus on reading the entire school district’s curriculum beyond paying attention to what my daughter is learning in her first grade class. I do know that a lot of weight is placed on testing, something I disagree with. When I was going through school the focused was placed more on learning various subjects and less on testing. I believe we need to strike a better balance between subject mastery and testing.
What is your position on school spending?
If we don’t fully fund our schools, graduation rates will fall, crime will rise, unemployment will rise, and our property values will fall. Investing in our schools is crucial to thriving communities and saves taxpayers an enormous amount of money in the long run.
Please identify the three areas which you believe should be prioritized when it comes to school funding
Classroom Technology/Computers, Curriculum Development, School Maintenance
What is your position on teacher tenure?
Tenure should be earned based on performance and exceptional evaluations not just based on length of service, similar to a university professor tenure track.
What is your position on standardized testing?
I believe that students should be taught the subjects and skills they will need to be successful and productive adults. When we teach solely to the test, our students loose.
What is your position on classroom size?
Larger class sizes equal a less healthy learning environment. Class sizes should reflect MSDE guidelines.
Do you believe the Board of Education should have taxation authority?
I believe that Board of Education should not be pressured to ask for anything less than the resources needed for the school district to be successful and turn out students who are prepared for any path they choose, whether that be a two or four-year university or a vocational school. Our local and state law makers have a fiscal responsibility to ensure our schools remain amongst the best in the country. Anything less is unacceptable.