Red Maryland Candidate Survey: Jon Andes for Worcester County Board of Education
Doctor of Educational Leadership from the University of Maryland, Masters of Educational Leadership from Loyola University of Maryland, Bachelor of Science from Bloomsburg University in Secondary Education Comprehensive Social Studies.
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High School Teacher and Coach, High School Assistant Principal, and Principal, Assistant Superintendent for Human Resources, Superintendent of Schools, and Assistant Professor Graduate Department of Educational Leadership Salisbury University.
High School Teacher and Coach, High School Assistant Principal, and Principal, Assistant Superintendent for Human Resources, and Superintendent of Schools.
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Why are you running for office?
To give back to my community by working with my community to develop the next generation of citizens who will inherit a world that we can only imagine.
Who do you consider your political role model, and why?
My political role model is my father. As a Methodist Minister, he preached the gospel encouraging all people to follow the teachings of the Bible in all areas of life. He is my role model of service above self.
What is your favorite book about politics and policy, and why?
My favorite book is “Team of Rivals” by Doris Kearns Goodwin. This is my favorite book because the book describes one of our greatest Presidents who brought together a very diverse group of leaders to help America transverse a very dark period of our history.
What is your favorite book about education, and why?
My favorite book about education is “All I Really Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten” by Robert Fulghum. This is my favorite book because it shares the purpose and essence of public education and life.
What will be your top priority on the Board of Education?
My top priority is to make sure that every student in our school system has a great teacher and a great leader helping them grow in knowledge and character to graduate from high school college and career ready using their talents to contribute to America.
What is the biggest issue facing your county schools?
We continue to have a significant amount of children living in poverty. We need to make sure that our students from households of poverty have access to the resources that they will need to be successful in school.
What is your position on the Kirwan Commission recommendations?
Some aspects of the Kirwan Commission, such as additional funding for students with special need, mental health, and funds directed to high poverty schools is needed. However, the Kirwan Commission recommendations provide targeted and restricted funds allocating local school systems with no discretion. I believe that local Boards of Education who are elected officials and know their communities should have greater autonomy to direct state funds to the areas of highest local needs.
What are the three biggest issues facing Maryland schools?
The three biggest challenges facing Maryland schools are: (1) preparing students for an international global economy; (2) lack of equity in student funding; and (3) critical teacher shortage.
Have you read your county schools curriculum? If so, which parts do you like and which parts do you dislike?
Areas of the curriculum that are highly effective initiatives are the emphasis on career and technology education, dual enrollment in college courses, and high quality after school and extended year programs. The area that needs greater attention is the visual and performing arts.
What is your position on school spending?
Funding public education is a “pay forward” commitment to the future generations. As a Board of Education member, we need to make sure that tax payer funds are appropriately expended with maximum benefit for our students. By asking the right questions and holding staff accountable, I pledge that I will make sure that we direct funds into the classroom and those funds are making a difference in the achievement of each student.
Please identify the three areas which you believe should be prioritized when it comes to school funding
What is your position on teacher tenure?
Since teacher tenure is a state law and bound by regulations, local boards of education must comply. It is critical that we recruit the best teachers to work in our school system, carefully evaluate each teacher during the probationary time period (three years), and grant tenure to only the highly effective teachers who daily demonstrate high quality instructional practices leading to high levels of student achievement.
What is your position on standardized testing?
I am opposed to standardized testing. From my experience, standardized testing does not provide any value added to public education. We need to hold our school systems and schools accountable. However, standardized testing does not provide the critical data that we need to understand the needs of each student and help each student grow and learn. In my opinion, we need to adopt a growth model that tracks a students growth from the beginning to the end of the school year. The growth model would include benchmark assessments given at periodical intervals that provide practical easy to understand results for teachers and parents to engage in collaborative conversations to develop a plan to make sure that each student is learning.
What is your position on classroom size?
From my experience, small class sizes make a significant difference on student achievement. For students from households of poverty or a special needs students or a gifted student, small class sizes gives a teacher the ability to provide timely and needed interventions both enrichment and remediation.
Do you believe the Board of Education should have taxation authority?
No, I believe that the current process of school funding provides a check and balance engaging the community in the allocation of tax dollars.