Candidate Survey: Timur Edib for Montgomery County Board of Education
J.D.: Business Law from Univ. of Balt.; MPA: Public Policy from Arizona State, B.S. Biology from SUNY Binghamton
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Commissioner: City of Phoenix Excellence in Education Commission, Master in Public Administration degree with a public policy concentration in Education Policy, Adjunct College Instructor teaching Chemistry and Environmental Science, Legislative Analyst overseeing Department of Education programs, Substitute Teacher in multiple school districts. General Counsel to a DC University.
Civic community leader for over 30 years. I helped empowered neighborhood associations (formed them as 501(c)(3) organizations) as part of my legal internship in Baltimore. President of my HOA for over 10 years. Member of the Bethesda Green Round table of community leaders.
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Why are you running for office?
I want the option of Vocational Education to be part of the mission and vision of the Board. Every child has a right to fully be engaged in school and education in a career path that makes them productive members of society. I want the choice of artisan or tradesman to be as much a goal as Ivy league graduate. I want “critical thinking” to be a core value of teaching. The ability to inherently apply the scientific method to every appropriate consideration, to “think” of solutions to unknown problems is very important in today’s reality. I want us to have “Safe Schools” for our children. Next year will be twenty years since Columbine, and I don’t think we have done enough to protect our children. We must have students that are ready, willing, and able to learn. To do that we must be able to ensure their mental, emotional, and physical health.
Who do you consider your political role model, and why?
Ben Franklin!! Without his energies, every other American politician would be a moot topic. He was a scientist, journalist, and a statesman and behind the scenes he made America possible.
What is your favorite book about politics and policy, and why?
Animal Farm. The message it gives all depends on the level of understanding of the reader. The truth of the book is very important in today’s politics.
What is your favorite book about education, and why?
“Dick and Jane” books. As an Educator and as a Leader, it clearly demonstrates American thinking. Some hold it as the way America “should be,” and others hold it as how America “must not be.” Do we promote indoctrination or moral education? Do we promote memorization or critical thinking? Do we foster role playing or individual thinking? Do we assume a nuclear family or modern family?
What will be your top priority on the Board of Education?
Working on the next contract with MCEA. We only have 1 year from the beginning of our term to the end of the current 3 year contract. That experience will let me know what really matters to the county as a top priority.
What is the biggest issue facing your county schools?
Growth and the availability of funds to meet the demands of growth.
What are the three biggest issues facing Maryland schools?
I don’t think Maryland demographics allows for a general analysis, but to answer the question I would say: Federal interference, gaps in access to technology, meeting the needs for industry and business so that we are best positioned to recruit companies like Amazon which in turn increases our tax base revenue.
Have you read your county schools curriculum? If so, which parts do you like and which parts do you dislike?
We need a better plan for dealing with special needs and unique needs of the student population. The burdens on teachers to give positive data doesn’t match with the demands and limited resources being provided. I am not happy that vocational education is not a part of the vision or mission statements.
What is your position on school spending?
I’m sorry! This is simply a silly question. My position, just like every parent and taxpayer should be: What do we need, what can we afford, what can we do without, what will save us money if we invest resources today? The answer to the next question needs to be answered in this context, not simply as a goal in and of itself.
Please identify the three areas which you believe should be prioritized when it comes to school funding
Curriculum Development, New School Construction, Vocational Skills
What is your position on teacher tenure?
Every Educator is a valuable human resource and we must make the best investments to minimize turnover. In retaining faculty, the first realization is that we must protect our investment in human capital. That must be balanced by an evaluation of what is in the best interest of the student. To answer the question directly, I don’t have a position. I will do whatever I can to ensure human resources are fully valued and appreciated.
What is your position on standardized testing?
Depends on what we do with data! If data is used to benchmark and improve, great! If data is used to compare and judge, I will not support it. I know some live for standardized testing, and until we can find a win-win it will our reality. I will work to make sure every student and every teacher is recognized as an individual.
What is your position on classroom size?
I will do what I can to limit classroom size to 20 students. That being said, I understand there is a balance between budget and need to provide services. I don’t like 32 or even 34 students in a classroom, but until the County Council finds a way to deal with funding, I will work to implement the mandates given.
Do you believe the Board of Education should having taxation authority?
No! But we should have the ability to find whatever funding streams we can to improve the quality of education we provide our students. Grants, loans, gifts, small business development, PTA involvement, should all be on the table for funding schools and teachers.