Red Maryland Candidate Survey: Corine Frank for Anne Arundel County Board of Education, District 3
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Executive Director for the Maryland Republican Party
School Board Appointment Commission – Appointee of County Executive, Steve Schuh
PTA President – Bodkin Elementary School
Parent – two young children
Campaign Manager – Nathan Volke, County Council, District 3
Vice Chair – AACO Republican Central Committee
Rules Committee Chair – Maryland Republican Party
Executive Director – Maryland Republican Party
Social Media Accounts
Facebook – Corine Frank for Office
Why are you running for office?
I decided to run for office in 2017 after discovering that my son was only provided dirty water at his school. As a mother, I found this unacceptable and I chose to advocate to the Board of Education for our children to have clean and palatable water. Shortly thereafter, legislation was passed to move the Board of Education from an appointed to elected Board. I knew in that moment, I would run for this Office. Since then, I have worked tirelessly to learn everything that I can about AACPS policies and practices to allow me to become a viable candidate.
I became president of my son’s school PTA to advocate for the needs of students, parents and the schools. I joined with other parents to create a Chesapeake High School cluster initiative where we have organized community events to enrich the lives of our children, educate parents and offer resources and actively build our community.
I am running for school board because I have the single-minded focus and dedication to our children necessary to advocate for our children, their parents and fight in the boardroom to successfully make AACPS the system of choice for students and families.
Who do you consider your political role model, and why?
House Minority Leader, Delegate Nic Kipke! I have known Nic since I was 12 years old, we both attended Our Lady of the Chesapeake and he has been close to my family for over 20 years. Nic has always been a leader through service and is a shinning example of a public servant. I have seen him advocate for his community, quickly take actions needed to address concerns and work diligently in Annapolis, often in tense political environments. I have been blessed to have met Nic and to have been able to watch his compassion and strength make real differences in the lives of many people.
I have also learned a tremendous amount from Nathan Volke, he taught me a great deal during his campaign for County Council and he is one of the most intelligent people I have ever met. He is also thoughtful, kind and an excellent public servant. As another young parent in local politics, I have watched Nathan artfully balance his career, family and community responsibilities successfully and I believe that his ability to understand and act intelligently to create meaningful policy while prioritizing his family life exactly reflects my own aspirations. He is a true role-model!
I have an amazing group of friends who have helped to guide me through this process, I look up to so many awesome people and I appreciate all the relationships that I have built!
What is your favorite book about politics and policy, and why?
Typically, I prefer literature.
I’m going to instead say that my favorite books in this general category are:
I would suggest that understanding good governance is more relevant than understanding specific policies that will inevitably change.
What is your favorite book about education, and why?
The Core: Teaching your child the Foundations of Classical Education
I believe that moving away from the model of a Classical Education has hurt our children. As a parent, I would like to see foundational skills, such as grammar, logic and rhetoric given more focus in the classroom. AACPS spends more on textbooks than in any other County in MD, yet in many cases, textbooks undermine the process of learning by asking the questions that students should learn to ask.
What will be your top priority on the Board of Education?
Focusing more on the basics in Education, especially in early education.
To cite an example, my son is in 3rd grade and to complete his MCAP (Maryland Comprehensive Assessment Program) test he must learn how to navigate technical skills and type proficiently, so he is given time to practice typing in class. However, he was never taught to type, so the school reinforces his poor typing habits by being allowing him to “hunt and peck” during school instruction. Before expecting any student to type successfully-and be tested by using that skill-it needs to be taught fully!
I am also hoping that there will be extended recess implemented by the election, but this is another top priority and vitally important, not just for Elementary school children, but children in every grade. I hope to expand this to Middle and High School as well. Thankfully, there are many High schools that offer a free period to allow students to make up homework, study or join a club and I agree that this time is needed. But it is not mandatory and I think that all schools should implement this practice.
I will also prioritize fiscal restraint where it can be responsibly applied.
What is the biggest issue facing your county schools?
Safety and Security. This encompasses quite a bit, but essentially, your child should be returned safely at the end of every day and their physical needs should be met while in the care and custody of the School System. From double entry doors to bullying to weather closings to clean water, the ongoing struggle to provide a safe and healthy environment is our biggest issue. At almost every Board meeting there is a safety concern or testimony where something could have been done better, policy was re-visited to meet demands or parents bring an unknown issue to the Board. There are many ways our schools could be safer and we are responsible to continue to ensure that this issue is constantly re-evaluated and improved.
What is your position on the Kirwan Commission recommendations?
I support smaller classrooms, accountable teachers, and teaching foundational skills – such as grammar, math sciences, history and logic – in the classroom. In any grand plan or project, determining the funding sources and accountability of the concepts is essential to achieving the results we all seek – to have the best education system for our children.
What are the three biggest issues facing Maryland schools?
Have you read your county schools curriculum? If so, which parts do you like and which parts do you dislike?
Yes, I have read all of the separate curricula for basic subjects in K-12 education, as well as the overviews for Elementary, Middle and High schools. Generally, I have found that classical foundational education is ignored. For instance, the word “grammar” is not used. Also, cursive is not required, typing is expected without instruction, and math is a common core travesty. I have never seen such a waste of time and student ability as I have with this math experiment.
I like that there is still a focus on civics and civic engagement. As early as Kindergarten, there are introductions to the Star Spangled Banner, the Flag and and Statue of Liberty as American symbols and practices. I believe this should be continued more in the later grades.
In general, I like that AACPS focuses on Charter schools, Magnate programs, Triple E classes, and vocational skills. I think there is a real effort to offer a variety of educational options to a diverse population of students.
What is your position on school spending?
The budget last year was $1.27 Billion. This year the Superintendent proposed $1.36 Billion. There were two amendments by the Board to reduce some of the proposed increased spendings that the Superintendent offered; neither passed. Several amendments were passed to increase spending above and beyond what Dr. Arlotto proposed. Student enrollment increased from approximately 83,000 students to a projected 85,000 students. The proposed amendments to reduce the proposed budget were fiscally sound, reasonable adjustments. To be clear, these were not cuts from the current budget, but reductions on increases that did not pass. This pattern of spending can not be sustained.
Please identify the three areas which you believe should be prioritized when it comes to school funding
What is your position on teacher tenure?
I plan to support Anne Arundel County teachers.
What is your position on standardized testing?
I believe that this is one of the primary reasons our school’s systems are underperforming. Current testing requires technical skills that are either not entirely taught or not taught at all, does not adequately judge the performance or ability of a student, and detracts from instructional time that could be used to further a child’s actual education. The hyper-focus on testing has turned our children into data points in a funding competition. To be frank, the current testing scheme is to teach to the test. This is wasted instructional time that should be rededicated to preparing our students to master fundamental skills.
What is your position on classroom size?
I don’t know too many people who believe that larger class sizes are preferable. I think many of the problems facing our schools could be solved with more manageable classroom sizes. Enabling teachers to provide personal instruction is essential in elementary and middle schools. Small classrooms at all levels would allow teachers to meet the learning needs of all of our students.
Do you believe the Board of Education should have taxation authority?