Candidate Survey: Matt Green for Prince George’s County Board of Education
Prince George’s County
Bachelors working on Masters
I’ve instructed and trained Military Personnel. Mentored, tutored and coached students Grades K-12
I’ve planned and executed Peace Keeping, Combat Operations as a Combat Commander, Nation Building and had regular interaction thru the scope of Military duties/responsibilities with Foreign Military and ranking Governmental Officials. I’ve also worked and coordinated with multiple levels of Domestic Government Officials prior to retiring from the military
Why are you running for office?
Service to people is ingrained in me with my upbringing and Military Service. I’ve was approached by friends and family with shared values that requested my consideration to run for public office. After much prayer, consideration and meditation I felt that running at the local School Board level would be the best fit. Running for the PGCPS School Board allows the best opportunity to positively impact our students, educators, parents and community now and into our future. PGCPS, has had a great deal of negative media, which has overshadowed the positives that our school system is producing. While it is easy to tear down, the greater challenge is to put differences aside, come together to build back up.
Who do you consider your political role model, and why?
I respect a few politicians that strive to do the work of many. However, I cannot narrow it down to one role model, as I seek to study and apply all their positive attributes.
What is your favorite book about politics and policy, and why?
The Fourth Star by Davis Cloud and Greg Jaffe was one of my favorite books. The book followed the career of selected General Officers. It was amazing to learn how they were able to reverse what could have been perceived failures and challenges into successes. Each General through trials, tribulations, navigating policy and procedure, domestic and foreign diplomacy soared to powerful positions to positively shape our military, all while applying lessons learned.
What is your favorite book about education, and why?
I don’t have a favorite book that pertains to education as all books can apply. I do enjoy reading current news regularly to stay informed in an ever changing environment, while rising to the challenges presented daily. For me, staying current with news generates thought while challenging otherwise societal norms.
What will be your top priority on the Board of Education?
This is a multiple facet question. Simultaneously while reviewing current policy and board priorities, I along with my team will be in the classrooms with the educators to get the ground truth from the classroom/school perspective; inclusive of an understanding of the curriculum, opportunities to excel and engage. The students and educators need to know their board member works for them and the constituents that elected me. Educators concerns over inadequate resources, programs; and support to include pay raises, incentives, as well as overdue recognition need to be addressed and action taken. My team and I will work to energize parents to get involved, and energize the community to stand up, take responsibility for their role and hold me as their Board of Education Member accountable.
What is the biggest issue facing your county schools?
The biggest issue is loss of confidence in PGCPS and School Board due to numerous scandals. In most cases, we are judged by our latest action. Unfortunately, for PGCPS, the negative has seemingly outweighed the positive. There have been many positive outcomes in PGCPS, but without the negatives being truly addressed and resolved, the negatives have overshadowed at the speed of news and social media. We have to learn from and get ahead of our challenges.
What are the three biggest issues facing Maryland schools?
1) Equal Resource Distribution/ Funding
2) Overcrowded Classrooms/Learning Environment Stressors
3) Emphasis on Standardized Testing
Have you read your county schools curriculum?
If so, which parts do you like and which parts do you dislike?
Yes, the page is well thought out, however, it’d be interesting to see feedback from recent graduates and parents who actually went through the listed programs. Feedback would incorporate successes, improvements and whether or not the information is readily accessible and comprehendible.
What is your position on school spending?
While, I’m not in favor of further escalating taxes, I am in favor of increased funding to improve our students’ opportunities. Spending has to be transparent and definitive. Nothing should be ambiguous or left to the element of surprise, as this impacts our students, educators, parents and constituents who need more awareness, as well as input. Representatives have to be held accountable to act in the best interest of their constituents.
Please identify the three areas which you believe should be prioritized when it comes to school funding
Classroom Technology/Computers, School Maintenance, Special Education
What is your position on teacher tenure?
Teacher tenure needs to be reviewed periodically. Complacency can be contagious. Tenure is a privilege, not a right. Obviously if you’re doing the right thing and continually honing our skill, rising to challenges of your chosen profession you’ll prove worthy of position/ensure while continuing to positively contribute to our students, fellow teachers, parents and community.
What is your position on standardized testing?
Based on discussions with teachers and parents with vested interest within our school system, while standardized testing is required, teachers often feel limited to teaching to the tests to prove progress. This takes a great deal of time leaving teachers with a feeling of less flexibility and time to further develop curriculums that benefit students teaching them to think ore independently, contributing to a “brain drain”. The emphasis on standardized testing should be focus back on the fact that they measure where a student is at, and less on passing equals teacher and/or student success.
What is your position on classroom size?
Classroom size along with program and resource accessibility needs to be addressed across PGCPS. A review of student population ratio to residential zones also needs to be conducted. This may include reviewing and updating zones, as age demographics from years ago may not match today’s reality.
Do you believe the Board of Education should having taxation authority?
No, if the Board of Education has taxation authority, this further introduces politics and outside influences into a system that already has enough governmental influence and not enough constituent involvement. While we need to invest money into our school systems, volunteering of parents and community will be added value and show our willingness to additionally invest into our students and future outside of tax dollars.