Candidate Survey: Terry Gilleland for Anne Arundel County Board of Education, District 5
Terry R. Gilleland, Jr.
Anne Arundel County
BA, Loyola University Maryland; MBA, University of Baltimore; DBA (current), Walden University
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State Director of Adult Education
– Anne Arundel Workforce Development Corporation Board of Directors (2007 – 2015)
– Adjunct Faculty (Economics, Entrepreneurship, Finance), CCBC (2008 – 2017), AACC (2007 – 2015)
– Curriculum Development, Laureate Education (2008 – 2017)
– Professional Licensure & Certification Test Development & Administration, Prometric (2000 – 2006)
– Anne Arundel County Board of Education (2016 – Present, 1994 – 1995)
– Maryland House of Delegates (2003 – 2007), Ways & Means Committee, Education Subcommittee
– Alternate Delegate (Romney), 2012 Republican National Convention
– Chairman, Anne Arundel County Republican Party (2001 – 2003)
Why are you running for office?
I am a product of AACPS and believe the school system positioned me to achieve success. When I originally sought the appointment by Governor Hogan, I shared that I had reached the point in my professional career that I could give back to the community. Using my experiences in both the public and private sectors, I would like to continue serving the people of Anne Arundel County by advancing our school system to prepare our students for college and workforce demands, which will only become more competitive in the global environment.
Who do you consider your political role model, and why?
President Ronald Reagan was an eternal optimist who believed America’s best days were ahead. He also believed in the power of and the promise of people. I also appreciated his sense of humor.
What is your favorite book about politics and policy, and why?
I am a member of the American Economic Association and use that as a source to read many peer-reviewed articles, in lieu of books.
What is your favorite book about education, and why?
The Last Lecture by Randy Pausch & Jeffrey Zaslow
What will be your top priority on the Board of Education?
As of this writing, school security is a top priority and it will never diminish. I am very thankful for Governor Hogan’s school safety initiative and am very appreciative of County Executive Schuh’s school security funding efforts. I believe this proactive measures will help Anne Arundel County to avoid the type of crisis that other school systems have experienced.
While security remains paramount, we must continue to address the need to advance academic achievement.
What is the biggest issue facing your county schools?
– Operation: Academic achievement and competitiveness
– Capital: $2 billion school construction and maintenance backlog
What are the three biggest issues facing Maryland schools?
– Academic achievement and competitiveness
– Construction and maintenance backlog
– Teacher shortage
Have you read your county schools curriculum? If so, which parts do you like and which parts do you dislike?
I am very familiar with the curriculum and believe the programs of choice (magnet programs and signature programs) are highly successful elements of the AACPS curriculum. These programs need to be expanded because they promote global workforce development needs and success. I also like the Center of Applied Technology Programs at CAT-N and CAT-S. These programs provide hands-on learning for students in applied practice settings.
Research shows that employers want more soft skill development from both high school and college graduates. These skills include the 7 Cs: communication, collaboration, creativity, critical thinking, confidence, change management, and character. While AACPS continues to integrate these skills into the curriculum, there is always room for improvement.
What is your position on school spending?
I continue to support funding that is directed toward the classroom and am pleased to have supported budget amendments over the last two years that do just that. Although the Board of Education is not the ultimate fiscal authority, it still should be held accountable by the taxpayers for its $1.2 billion budget consumption.
Please identify the three areas which you believe should be prioritized when it comes to school funding
Curriculum Development, School Maintenance, Teacher Pay
What is your position on teacher tenure?
Teacher tenure is a state initiative and I support due process for teachers and employees at-large. However, I believe in having accountability measures.
AACPS continually struggles to recruit teachers and while the Board of Education has approved a funding request to increase the starting salary for teachers, the first in three fiscal years, we continue to lose early-mid tenured teachers to neighboring jurisdictions. While we make strides on compensation and benefit packages, class sizes and increased workload are causing some of the exodus, as well.
What is your position on standardized testing?
Testing is necessary to measure the progress of students while holding the school system accountable to stakeholders, including students, parents, and taxpayers. However, testing content needs to be relevant and used just for the sake of testing. I support the 2017 law that placed a cap on testing in Maryland schools.
What is your position on classroom size?
Research has proven that smaller class sizes produce better academic results. Because the rate of increase of new teachers has fallen while enrollment has increased, AACPS has many overcrowded classrooms and while the Board has requested a net increase in teachers, which I hope is funded, I believe this is the beginning of a multi-year effort. Increased teacher funding and subsequent recruitment remain a priority for me to ensure that we are able to decrease class sizes, reduce teacher workload, and increase academic achievement and I want to be held accountable for achieving these results.
Do you believe the Board of Education should have taxation authority?
No. I believe in a system of checks and balances and the County Executive and County Council, as the fiscal authorities, are able to provide this additional safeguard.