Maryland has the number one ranked public school system in the United States. That is very commendable but we need to strive not only to stay number one but also to continuously improve. The United States has fallen behind the educational achievements of many other countries in important areas of learning, particularly math and science.
We need to keep education as a number one priority along with job creation. We must retain and attract the highest quality teachers available. It is important that we enable teachers to teach and not burden them with political agendas and overly burdensome administrative tasks.
We must find a better way to compensate outstanding teachers and to replace those that don't meet acceptable standards. Teachers need to play a major role in establishing the criteria to make those evaluations. It can't simply be by a single measurement.
We must also examine more closely how we spend our education dollars. Funds need to be used efficiently and and directed to areas where they produce the best results for our students. While it is important to maintain a well-rounded education, we must also work more closely with the private sector to ensure that our graduating students have the skills to match the areas of job growth in our economy.
Art and music should never be considered for removal from school programs. Numerous studies have demonstrated the benefits of these programs. Physical education is also extremely important. A sound, healthy body is important to our well-being.
We should strive to support maintenance of effort and Thornton as agreed. The State should give priority to renovating existing schools and keeping new schools in the heart of population centers in growth areas.
Other than their health, nothing is more important to a child and their future than an excellent education. Every child should have the opportunity of receiving the best education possible.