PO Box 19924
Baltimore, MD
21211

     

 

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   Education

 

Doug Barry

Historian, Political Philosopher, Veteran


EDUCATION

Education has become a cause for a running controversy in the past couple of years. Parents and teachers have broken into two main camps, those who support Common Core standards and those who are opposed. By the time the next legislative session starts, we will be more than a year into Common Core. No changes will be made before then. There is nothing on the agenda in the 2014 session that will change anything. We also cannot make major curriculum changes in the middle of a school year. That means that the earliest that there can be any significant statewide revisions would be for the 2015-2016 school year.

The next General Assembly will have an opportunity to determine the effectiveness of the current curriculum, and must make the necessary changes to ensure Maryland's students are getting the best possible education.


PRIORITIES

  • Objectively evaluate Common Core to assure parents their children are getting the best possible education
  • Teach students how to survive and succeed after they leave school
  • Work to ensure schools in Baltimore City are achieving the same standards as the best county systems


Any evaluation of curriculum and standards must be approached objectively. The most vocal proponents and opponents of the current system have already made up their mind about it. The next legislature needs to evaluate student progress. We need to talk to teachers and administrators, and examine statistics to determine what changes need to be made to move our educational system forward. The current curriculum is a done deal for at least two school years. We need to promise our parents that we will re-examine the issue next year and make sure Maryland's students are getting the best possible education.

Are Students Being Prepared For The Real World?

We are graduating a generation of privilege. On average, young men and women leaving high-school and college, and entering the work force have had more handed to them than any previous generation. They've grown up with more technology. They've been taught they can have it all. They've been taught there are no losers. They have not been taught that they need to work their way up from the bottom. They have not been taught that life will sometimes disappoint them, and that they need to pick themselves up and move on. Young people go into interviews and tell the interviewer that they want the interviewer's job. They expect to start out in positions that in reality, may take them twenty years to achieve.

In the 21st century, we need to be teaching more than just English, Math, Science and History. We need to teach young people how to take care of themselves. We need to teach them that they have to work hard to get what they want, and that there are rewards for hard work. We need to teach them how to manage money. One of the main reasons that wealthy families stay wealthy for generations, and poor families stay poor for generations, is that wealthy parents teach their children how to manage money, and poor parents don't, because they don't know how themselves.

We need to teach ethics. We need to teach them what it means to respect the opposite gender, and what it means to respect themselves. We need to teach them what it means to respect prospective employers. We need to teach them how to get a job: how to interview, how to behave, how to dress when seeking employment. We can provide employers in Maryland with the best new employees in the nation.