Candidate Survey: Peter Beilenson for Baltimore County Board of Education
B.A.– Harvard College 1981; M.D.– Emory University School of Medicine 1987; M.P.H.– Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health 1990
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Physician, Public Health Official (former Baltimore Health Commissioner (1992-2005); former Howard County Health Officer (2007-2012; former CEO Evergreen Health (2012-2017)
Former Teacher; Former Public Health Official, with 20 years of extensive experience in children’s health and school health
Congressional Candidate in 2006 (came in second out of eight in primary)
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Why are you running for office?
To ensure the Baltimore County School System better serves its students.
Who do you consider your political role model, and why?
Robert Kennedy, because he epitomizes the George Bernard Shaw quotation he used often: “Some men see things as they are and ask why; I see things that never were and ask why not.”
What is your favorite book about politics and policy, and why?
Robert Kennedy and His Times, by Schlesinger; I am a big admirer of Bobby Kennedy’s, and this book covers his transformation from a Senate staffer to a broad-minded politician.
What is your favorite book about education, and why?
American Teachers: Heroes in the Classroom, by Fried; describes the dedication of great teachers.
What will be your top priority on the Board of Education?
Ensuring fiscal and administrative accountability of BCPS
What is the biggest issue facing your county schools?
Overcrowding of schools
What are the three biggest issues facing Maryland schools?
1. Overcrowding 2. Large percentage of students (45%) living in poverty 3. Finding a top-notch Superintendent
Have you read your county schools curriculum? If so, which parts do you like and which parts do you dislike?
I have read parts of it–I like the reduced focus on homework. I dislike aspects of the Core Curriculum and the overuse of testing.
What is your position on school spending?
A better job needs to be done at balancing school funding between technology/infrastructure and teacher/professional staff salaries. This will allow students to benefit from both the new technology and smaller, more manageable classroom environments.
Please identify the three areas which you believe should be prioritized when it comes to school funding
Special Education, STEM Programs, Teacher Pay
What is your position on teacher tenure?
What is your position on standardized testing?
I think there is far too much standardized testing
What is your position on classroom size?
Smaller classroom sizes would be great, but also need more professional staff to address students with behavioral and disciplinary problems to free up classroom teachers, leading to more manageable classroom environments.
Do you believe the Board of Education should having taxation authority?
Don’t have a strong feeling either way.