Candidate Survey: Julie Hummer for Anne Arundel County Board of Education, District 4
MS, Special Education, Old Dominion University; BA, English, University of Virginia
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Homemaker; President, Anne Arundel County Public Schools Board of Education
I taught elementary children with learning and emotional disabilities in Frederick and Fairfax counties, Virginia, for five years.
Appointed to the AACPS Board of Education by Governor Larry Hogan in 2015
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Why are you running for office?
I believe every child deserves access to an excellent education.
Who do you consider your political role model, and why?
George Washington set the mark for selfless service to others. He always tried to do what was best for the country, even when the decision was unpopular. I strive to remember that I am given the privilege to serve, and with that privilege comes great responsibility to make informed decisions to the best of my ability, even when that decision is unpopular.
What is your favorite book about politics and policy, and why?
I enjoy reading biographies of founding fathers to hopefully learn from their successes and failures.
What is your favorite book about education, and why?
There are multiple books on the impacts of poverty on children and education that have been particularly important in shaping my views on how educators must address instruction and distribution of resources differently for children living in poverty.Two of these are Savage Inequalities by Jonathon Kozol and A Framework for Understanding Poverty by Ruby K. Payne.
What will be your top priority on the Board of Education?
My top priority is to improve the delivery of social/emotional support services to our students by increasing personnel, particularly in the areas of counseling, special education, and English language acquisition. These increases must also include classroom teachers so that teacher caseloads are not so large that teachers cannot recognize or address the needs of student.
What is the biggest issue facing your county schools?
The biggest issue facing our schools is adequate funding to meet the needs of our increasing enrollment of students entering schools with significant social and emotional needs. We must have sufficient funds to hire the necessary personnel and to pay our personnel salaries competitive with our neighboring school systems.
What are the three biggest issues facing Maryland schools?
1. Providing adequate social/emotional supports to meet the needs of our students 2. Attracting and retaining high quality teachers 3. Aging infrastructure that does not support 21st century learning
Have you read your county schools curriculum? If so, which parts do you like and which parts do you dislike?
Our county is adding more courses in coding and other computer -related areas that are preparing students for today’s workforce. I would like to see more real world/job connections within some of our courses. The county has also been introducing a new elementary curriculum that incorporates more movement and project based learning; I look forward to seeing the impacts of those changes over the next few years as children are more physically engaged in learning.
What is your position on school spending?
Schools must be good stewards of public funds.
Please identify the three areas which you believe should be prioritized when it comes to school funding
School Maintenance, Special Education, Teacher Pay
What is your position on teacher tenure?
I believe three years is a reasonable amount of time to earn tenure. School systems should have strong programs in place to evaluate tenured and non-tenured teachers alike and procedures to remove teachers if they are not effective.
What is your position on standardized testing?
Standardized testing can provide valuable information on student performance and progress, but it should not be overly onerous or time consuming. I served as an appointee by Governor Hogan on the Commission to Review Maryland’s Use of Assessments and Testing in Public Schools that recommended a reduction in standardized testing.
What is your position on classroom size?
I would like to see no classes over 30 students whenever possible in middle and high schools and even smaller in elementary school.
Do you believe the Board of Education should have taxation authority?