Candidate Survey: Rob Anthony for Prince George’s County Board of Education
Bachelor’s Bowie State University
Worked for PGCPS in Media Department in the past, Currently Education Lead for Progressive Prince George’s. Committee Leader Delegate Darryl Barnes newly formed Education Committee
This is my first time running for office
Why are you running for office?
I want to be a force for good in my community. I see Education as a weak spot in our county. It’s one our achilles heels. Perspective residents turn away from Prince George’s because of the reputation of our school system. That needs to change. I feel like I could be a part of that change.
Who do you consider your political role model, and why?
What is your favorite book about politics and policy, and why?
Being Right is not enough What Progressives must learn from Conservative Success by Waldman. It taught me alot about the inability of Dems/Progressives to message to voters ineffectively even if they were “right”.
What is your favorite book about education, and why?
The Death and Life of the Great American School System: How testing and Choice are undermining education. by Diane Ravitch This book’s revelations are coming true as we speak and has shaped my view of the current education system in Prince George’s County and at large nationally.
What will be your top priority on the Board of Education?
What is the biggest issue facing your county schools?
Making sure that our schools have the resources that they need. Which would start by making sure we are fully funded at the state level. Currently we are getting the bare minimum as mandated by an outdated Education formula (Thornton Plan). Hopefully the Kirwin Commission plan is instated and that brings an influx of new funds.
What are the three biggest issues facing Maryland schools?
1. School systems are being underfunded at the state level.
2. Needs are changing for students as we are seeing an influx of students that are learning English as a second language so resources for ESOL need to be greatly increased.
3. Our teachers are woefully underpaid in some of our jurisdictions, they are also under resourced and have to go into their pocket to provide resources to our children. We have to fairly compensate teachers as well as make sure they have all the tools needed to educate our children.
Have you read your county schools curriculum? If so, which parts do you like and which parts do you dislike?
I haven’t read our county’s cirriculum per se but I have seen the results. The results we have children that are going to college without the bare requisites needed to succeed. Many students need to take remedial courses if they can make it through 4 year school at all. I would like to see a full audit of our cirriculum to ensure it’s rigorous enough to make our kids competitive with not only children from the state but Nationwide and globally.
What is your position on school spending?
Far too much money is spent on Administration that’s an issue not just in Prince George’s County but nationwide. We also have teachers that are a few steps behind in their pay. I’d like to see more money go to compensating our educators and less to Bureaucrats that arent’ in the classroom that in the Ivory Tower in Upper Marlboro. I’d like to see spending done from the Classroom Up. Not the other way around.
Please identify the three areas which you believe should be prioritized when it comes to school funding
Curriculum Development, New School Construction, Teacher Pay
What is your position on teacher tenure?
I believe that teacher tenure is an important protection needed for our educators. While it’s not 100% protection guaranteeing teachers jobs, it helps to ensure a due process when a teacher is threatened by allegations. In Prince George’s County there over 800 teachers that were on Administrative Leave due to Sexual harassment/Inappropriate behavior accusations. Many of these accusations were misunderstandings. There was a backlash due to a pedophile in the school system making big news so there was a system over correction in discipline in this area. Having teacher tenure doesn’t make a teacher unfireable but a degree of some security. I’m ok with the practice. I believe our educators deserve the benefit of the doubt and due process.
What is your position on standardized testing?
We do far too much of it, and not enough teaching. Not a fan of standardized testing, it’s also very costly to conduct.
What is your position on classroom size?
I think teachers are more effective when they are in front of classrooms of 25 or fewer children. There’s bills in the General Assembly to reduce class size that will have my approval and support.
Do you believe the Board of Education should have taxation authority?
No i don’t believe the Board of Education should have taxation authority. We s hould leave that to our county councils and General Assembly to figure out.