Candidate Survey: Patricia O’Neill for Montgomery County Board of Education
B.A. Southern Methodist University
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Former Nursery School Teacher
I have served as Board President five times. I am a past President of the Maryland Association of Boards of Education. I served three years as co-chair of the Washington Area Boards of Education. I served as one of 100 district leaders for the Education Commission of the States for Citizenship and service learning. I was a PTA leader for twelve years.
I was first elected to the Board in 1998. I was re-elected in 2002, 2006, 2010 ,2014
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Why are you running for office?
I am a product of MCPS. My daughters are graduates of MCPS. I want every child to receive the same great education. I believe in the power of public education. I bring knowledge and experience.
Who do you consider your political role model, and why?
Eleanor Roosevelt. See used her eyes, ears and heart.
What is your favorite book about politics and policy, and why?
Game Change, by Mark Halperin and John Heilmann. It is interesting.
What is your favorite book about education, and why?
Good to Great by Jim Collins. It is agreat model for change.
What will be your top priority on the Board of Education?
What is the biggest issue facing your county schools?
Growth and more children coming to us impacted by poverty and limited English needs.
What are the three biggest issues facing Maryland schools?
Not enough money to maintain the aging and over crowded schools, ever changing accountability measures, growing teacher shortage.
Have you read your county schools curriculum? If so, which parts do you like and which parts do you dislike?
Every course and every subject area has its own curriculum. It would be impossible to read it all. I have concerns about our math curriculum.
What is your position on school spending?
We need to spend our limited resources wisely.
Please identify the three areas which you believe should be prioritized when it comes to school funding
New School Construction, School Maintenance, Security
What is your position on teacher tenure?
Teacher tenure is here to stay. It may create problems. A robust and meaningful evaluation system, such as the Montgomery County Professional Growth System helps to mitigate tenure.
What is your position on standardized testing?
i believe that what gets measured gets done.We need to know how students are doing. We need a balance. Too much testing is bad.
What is your position on classroom size?
A reasonable class size is important, so that the needs of every child is met. Much like the Cheers song “where everyone knows your name.”
Do you believe the Board of Education should have taxation authority?