Candidate Survey: Lily Rowe for Baltimore County Board of Education
BA in Political Science
Travel Agent part time
I have been an advocate for the last five years. www.votelilyrowe.com
I have been active in politics by advocating for school issues.
Why are you running for office?
We need more accountability in the school system and I intend to work towards that.
Who do you consider your political role model, and why?
Peter Franchot. He is sensible and bipartisan. He works for the issue not partisan party bosses.
What is your favorite book about politics and policy, and why?
Diary of a political idiot. Time and again the apathy of the public allows politics to run wild with corruption.
What is your favorite book about education, and why?
Community Schools in Action is one of my favorites. I see it as offering solutions to problems in our schools not by duplicating services that already exist in the community within the school system but by using the school system as a delivery method for the social services we already have available in our communities.
What will be your top priority on the Board of Education?
Transparency, Accountability, Facilities improvement, and reduction of fighting and violence in our schools. Right now there are no consequences for actions. However it’s also true that we have a juvenile deliquency problem that law enforcement is ignoring. Kids get repeatedly arrested with no consequences and end up in the public schools. We need law enforcement and courts to pay attention to repeat juvenile delinquency. We all need more than 245 alternative school placement seats for children who are juvenile delinquents and need public education services.
What is the biggest issue facing your county schools?
Violence in the schools. Children fighting and disrespecting authority in the schools.
What are the three biggest issues facing Maryland schools?
Violence, transparency & accountabiliyt and school facility issues. The lack of proper child protective services and juvenile delinquency action by the state is trickling into the public schools and creating a lot of problems because students can no longer be expelled in the same fashion because of state/federal regulations. Therefore we need alternative placements and we need abused and neglected children to be removed from the home and we need juvenile delinquents to be reformed not simply released to their parents.
Have you read your county schools curriculum? If so, which parts do you like and which parts do you dislike?
The actual curriculum isn’t anywhere anyone can read it. That’s the first problem. You only gain understanding of the curriculum by being a parent in the school system and seeing it unfold. I have two children in elementary and one in middle school. For the most part the curriculum is good. However I think teachers need more control over it. There are things that might not work in every classroom. We have an urban rural environment in Baltimore County and we need a flexible curriculum. Right now it’s a little inflexible. I also don’t support he digitalization of the whole entire curriculum. There is value in actual books. I also think it’s a mistake not to teach cursive writing.
What is your position on school spending?
We need fiscally responsible oversight of school spending, once that is accomplished we need to spend what is necessary to do a proper job of education because whatever child fails in being educated we will pay far more for in poverty related social consequences and ultimately prison housing. Education is the only thing with the potential to end generational poverty/crime cycles. We need to get it right. If we do we will have a generation of employable people and might one day reach a point where 50% of the student population are not living below the poverty level.
Please identify the three areas which you believe should be prioritized when it comes to school funding
School Maintenance, Security, Vocational Skills
What is your position on teacher tenure?
I don’t have problem with teacher tenure but care needs to be taked to insure tenured teachers are being held accountable as well. There are ways to do this that are not really being utilized.
What is your position on standardized testing?
I think we spend far too many days on standardized testing and we spend to much money on PARCC. We need a simply annual test that takes no more than 3 days per year to administer as a state maker of individual student growth. I don’t mind the MAP test. However we are not just doing the MAP, we are doing so many different standardized tests that students are missing class time to substitute teachers while thier teacher administer tests. This is wrong
What is your position on classroom size?
The smaller the class size the better. We know this improves outcomes. However right now we are not even fully staffing support positions in schools current class sizes so unless we are going to hire a lot more people and build a lot more buildings we don’t have a way to decrease class size without increasing taxes which is wildly unpopular.
Do you believe the Board of Education should having taxation authority?
No. I believe the County Council should have restoration authority. Right now if the Board of Education puts something in the budget and the County Executive cuts it no one can do anything about that. If the County Council had the ability to restore education budget items the board asked for then there would be a greater balance of powers between the County Council, Board of Education and County Executive. They would all have to negotiate instead of the County Executive controlling everything.