Candidate Survey: Rayelle Davis for Allegany County Board of Education
Master’s of Science in Education, Marriage and Family Therapy from Duquesne, Bachelor’s of Science in Psychology from University of Maryland University College
Associate’s Degree in Psychology from Allegany College of Maryland
Bishop Walsh High School
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I recently taught Psychology 101 as part of the early college program through Allegany College. I have also served as a substitute for Beginnings Montessori School. I also worked as a childcare leader in the school age childcare program at the YMCA. I personally work to increase my own education personally and professionally on a daily basis and hold multiple related certifications.
This is my first experience as a candidate.
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Why are you running for office?
I am a professional mental health and substance abuse counselor. With the recent events happening in our schools and the current state of the opiate epidemic in our community I want to serve as a voice for the impact policy has on the mental health of our students and teachers.
Who do you consider your political role model, and why?
Barbara Mikulski because she had a background in social work and transferred her skills to help even more people by serving in public office. Social work and counseling are closely related fields and I hope to be able to have a positive impact on my community by using my strengths and talents in helping others as well.
What is your favorite book about politics and policy, and why?
The Psychology of Evil because it discusses power and corruption that often accompany politics. You need to understand the foundation before you could even begin to combat it.
What is your favorite book about education, and why?
Social Justice for Persons With Developmental Disabilities because it really made it clear that just as there is no one size fits all policy to education, this is true of special education as well. Even as an educated professional this book helped me realize I was guilty of not considering multiple aspects of special education needs and I am a better person for having read it.
What will be your top priority on the Board of Education?
The mental health of our students and educators is my top priority.
What is the biggest issue facing your county schools?
The lack of resources related to mental health. Awareness is important but it is not enough. We need to go deeper. Without proper social and emotional skills our children will suffer academically and our educators need support to address the multiple and ever changing challenges school children are living with daily and bringing into the class room.
What are the three biggest issues facing Maryland schools?
I am not familiar with schools outside of Allegany County, but I would guess funding and issues related to multiculturalism are issues. Culture does not only mean things like race and ethnicity but also social economic status. Unfortunately this is a huge factor in education across the board.
Have you read your county schools curriculum? If so, which parts do you like and which parts do you dislike?
I would need to refresh, but I do not like Common Core Math and I do not like the increase academic focus on the lower grades. Research shows that children in a academic based preschool and a play based learning style curriculum show equivocal rates related to math and reading by age 7, so there is no real advantage to forcing higher academic concepts. It disrupts the social emotional process which leads to problems and from talking to kids they get burned out the same as adults.
What is your position on school spending?
My priorities will always align with those that benefit the social and emotional health of our children.
Please identify the three areas which you believe should be prioritized when it comes to school funding
Arts Programs, Extracurricular Activites, STEM Programs
What is your position on teacher tenure?
What is your position on standardized testing?
It should not carry the weight that it does
What is your position on classroom size?
We need to keep classroom sizes as low of a ratio as possible. This helps with teacher retention, academic achievement and school safety.
Do you believe the Board of Education should have taxation authority?