Candidate Survey: David Starr for Anne Arundel Board of Education, District 1
Anne Arundel County
BS, Mechanical Engineering, UMBC
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Superintendent – Mechanical Engineer
Parent Panel, Psychology, Children with Disabilities, UMBC
Supervisor, Engineering Interns
Cub Master, BSA
Vice Chairman, Republican State Central Committee; 2014, 2017 and 2018.
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Why are you running for office?
I am a product of the Anne Arundel County Public Education System, graduating from North County High School. I was taught from an early age the importance of giving back to the community with which you are a member. As a parent of two young children, my oldest will be entering Kindergarten in the fall, it is important that members of the Board of Education have a vested interest in our school system.
Who do you consider your political role model, and why?
Ronald Reagan. He was able to see beyond political lines and brought the country together. He was an optimist who saw a bright future for our country.
What is your favorite book about politics and policy, and why?
Things That Matter: Three Decades of Passions, Pastimes, and Politics. Charles Krauthammer is a brilliant mind who is brutally honest. This is a collection of his essays and articles that encompass much more than just politics.
What is your favorite book about education, and why?
Various Science and Engineering Journals, for my own continuing education.
What will be your top priority on the Board of Education?
Student achievement, this should be the top priority for all Board Members.
What is the biggest issue facing your county schools?
Student achievement, student and teacher needs must come first.
What are the three biggest issues facing Maryland schools?
Academic achievement, school construction, and a shortage of teachers.
Have you read your county schools curriculum? If so, which parts do you like and which parts do you dislike?
The Center of Applied Technology Program, Cat North and South, has excellent training programs. They provide critical skills that many of our local employers are desperately searching for.
What is your position on school spending?
School spending must first be directed towards our students academic achievement, this includes teachers pay. We must be fiscally responsible with the funds that are appropriated to AACPS by the County Executive and County Council. Those funds come from the taxpayers of Anne Arundel County, our friends and neighbors, and should be spent to ensure that students are successful.
Please identify the three areas which you believe should be prioritized when it comes to school funding
Curriculum Development, New School Construction, Teacher Pay
What is your position on teacher tenure?
Like any Public School System, AACPS struggles to recruit and retain teachers. I support providing tenure for teachers that includes due process and accountability. Teachers are a pillar of student achievement, we should reward teachers with tenure who produce student success.
What is your position on standardized testing?
Standardized testing can be a measure of a student, school, and systems success in education. Testing should be relevant to the purpose of our schools and should be focused on the educational knowledge that our students have developed. Over the years we have seen an increase in the disruption of the curriculum for the purpose of testing. Therefore, I support the 2017 law placing a cap on standardized testing in Maryland Schools.
What is your position on classroom size?
Studies have shown that smaller class sizes yield better academic results. Over the past decade student enrollment has increased while new teacher hiring has decreased. This has caused an increase in the student to teacher ratio within AACPS. I fully support an increase in teacher hiring and new school construction to reduce class sizes with a goal of improving student achievement.
Do you believe the Board of Education should have taxation authority?
No. While the school system utilizes over 50% of the Anne Arundel County budget, I do not believe in adding additional taxation authority. The Board of Education’s primary focus should be on student achievement.