Candidate Survey: Cathey Allison for Carroll County Board of Education
Microsoft Exchange Server, System Administration, 1999
The Baltimore City Community College, Microcomputer Specialist Certification Program, 1993
Netware Certified Network Administrator (CNA), 1992
University of New Orleans
Farmer, and Network Contractor/Analyst/Engineer. Established a contract business installing commercial Networks in 1986
Professional Network/Computer Instructor including lectures in system fundamentals to university staff.
Active civic involvement including public testimony before legislative bodies; previous campaign for a public office.
Social Media Accounts
Why are you running for office?
In addition to the contributing to the existing positive qualities of Carroll County’s impressive school system, I would like to inspire more inclusion in the study of American history, the value of civic understanding, and the importance of America’s positive influence in the world as a factor to keep in mind when considering today’s global community.
Who do you consider your political role model, and why?
There is no single person who is my “political” role model. Matters of principle must rise above “political” manipulation. I have been thankful to observe statements and actions of many people, both past and present, who understand America’s principles concerning the proper role of government.
What is your favorite book about politics and policy, and why?
At this time, this book is a stimulating perspective to reflect upon the consequences of “political” deceptions, especially related to today’s arena: Theodore Roosevelt, the Progressive Party, and the Transformation of American Democracy by Sydney M. Milkis.
What is your favorite book about education, and why?
In our K to 12 grades, this digital collection of three documents represents a “modern” book in two ways: 1.) It is as current today as when it was created, and, 2.) Now it is published in modern form, i.e. digitized. These official documents are the collective effort of those who created America’s original intent and form. The collection must be considered one composition (book). https://www.archives.gov/founding-docs. What does this have to do with “education”? Everything. Without critical understanding of this “educational composition”, our future generations will not have the critical knowledge needed to protect and maintain our civil society. By instructing our future generations with this inherited book titled Charters of Freedom, our children, when adults, will be able to preserve and protect our society, including our freedom to pursue the many vocations and avocations of each individual’s free choice.
What will be your top priority on the Board of Education?
To govern responsibly according to the role established in Maryland law for the Board of Education in Carroll County, to help inform the public concerning that role related to the issues at hand, and to be approachable by parents and community members, both in the Board setting and individually.
Maryland Education Article § 4-108. Powers and duties of board
Each county board shall:
(1) To the best of its ability carry out the applicable provisions of this article and the bylaws, rules, regulations, and policies of the State Board; (2) Maintain throughout its county a reasonably uniform system of public schools that is designed to provide quality education and equal educational opportunity for all children; (3) Subject to this article and to the applicable bylaws, rules, and regulations of the State Board, determine, with the advice of the county superintendent, the educational policies of the county school system; and (4) Adopt, codify, and make available to the public bylaws, rules, and regulations not inconsistent with State law, for the conduct and management of the county public schools.
What is the biggest issue facing your county schools?
Balancing funding with the many expectations and responsibilities of schools in today’s world.
What are the three biggest issues facing Maryland schools?
Many issues are involved in assuring the delivery of a quality education, maintaining a positive environment for school employees, and acquiring the necessary funding to accomplish those goals. I intend to give serious consideration to each relevant issue in Carroll County presented before the Board.
Have you read your county schools curriculum? If so, which parts do you like and which parts do you dislike?
The Maryland State Standards, adopted by the State Board of Education and listed in COMAR, are the requirements of what is taught in each subject and curricula must align with those standards. Individual curricula in the County schools come in many forms, such as presentation, book, or digital which can be updated at any time. Familiarity with the state standards will enable me to evaluate specific curricula where needed. As noted earlier in this questionnaire, I remain impressed by the current quality of Carroll County schools and feel confident that the curriculum selection process will continue to be effective in preparing our children with the critical skills needed to be successful in their adult endeavors.
CCPS Department of Curriculum and Instructional Resources
What is your position on school spending?
Carroll County Public Schools work very hard to maximize their budget.
Regarding the following question regarding “three areas”:
There is an annual budget process, during which departments plan and present their requests to the Board. Citizen input is given and the Board reads and discusses the needs presented. I will not reduce priorities to three, but when it is time to make budget decisions, as a participating member of the Board, I will examine, study, and discuss how to accomplish the most with the funding level that seems attainable in Carroll County.
Please identify the three areas which you believe should be prioritized when it comes to school funding
What is your position on teacher tenure?
Though teacher tenure may have gotten a bad reputation in public discourse, retaining quality teachers is important, and school systems need to be able to offer secure employment to personnel. Maryland State Law defines the requirements for teacher tenure and the Board of Education negotiates agreements with the CCEA in compliance with our State Law.
What is your position on standardized testing?
Standardized testing has had various forms for over 100 years. It can be beneficial or can be misused. The adoption of PARCC assessments coordinated with Common Core standards (now MD College and Career-Ready Standards) has disrupted the teaching of subject content and caused anxiety among students, teachers, and parents, but that type of testing is not indicative of all “standardized” testing. Some questions to ask with any testing are: What is the purpose of the testing? Are we assessing school and teacher “performance” or the learning achieved by each individual student? Should we assess both and how do we design the testing accordingly? How much emphasis should we put on standardized testing versus locally created tests, when evaluating student learning?
We do need to test students’ retention or mastery of content in an organized way after content has been presented, for students’ sakes and to evaluate the schools’ delivery of “an education.” Standardized assessments generally can be one useful measuring tool but PARCC assessments are not. Because of the Race To The Top requirements adopted in 2010, PARCC assessments are used to rate how well the school system is achieving the goals of the federal department of education and to evaluate performance of teachers and principals, derailing inspired teaching. I think we should examine the current use of any assessments and their value to the education of our Carroll County students.
What is your position on classroom size?
The teacher to student ratio in Carroll County is well balanced and regularly reviewed.
Do you believe the Board of Education should have taxation authority?
I could find interest in a discussion that, if approved by referendum, in a general vote by the electorate, it may be possible. That discussion would have to include a thorough investigation of the pros and cons.