Education

Spirit of Excellence

“I’ve been proud to work at Governor O’Malley’s side as he’s delivered record state dollars for the schools in this district. I have met with parents in District 26 and across the State and we all want the very best teachers and principals and the latest technologies in the classroom, so our kids will be prepared to thrive in the changing global economy.”

My vision for District 26:

  • Invest in smart technology and improve the conditions of our schools
  • Increase engagement and communication between children, parents, and their educators
  • Promote the expansion of multi- language & arts education

David spent his entire academic career in Prince George’s County Public Schools before attending Berklee College of Music in Boston. Therefore, he understands the strengths that the school system possess as well as what needs to be improved. Many schools in Southern Prince George's County suffer from an aging infrastructure. Those schools have only recently been (or still need to be) retrofitted to accommodate Wi-Fi Internet access, mounted LCD projectors, and whiteboards. Issues such as mold and asbestos exposure exists in some older schools due to moisture penetration and the aging, outdated building materials (in particular, ceiling and floor tiles). Due to a lack of transportation resources, many schools have aligned their schedules so that school busses can be shared among schools. This has resulted in earlier-than-usual start times that disrupt student sleep patterns and by extension impacts academic engagement. Middle and high school students often share busses, and the age disparities sometimes lead to issues like bullying and harassment. In schools that do not receive Title I funding, additional shortages like paper, printers, ink/toner, and other basic supplies exist.

Parents are often burdened by rapid changes in education, in particular, instructional shifts (such as those ushered in by Common Core Standards) and new forms of assessment (both standardized and project-based). They are often confused about or unaware of how changing expectations impact their children and teachers. Despite time constraints and often limited resources at home, parents want to know how to help their child succeed but do not always know how. Schools need the resources to offer parents information, in the form of literature, forums and seminars, on how to help students practice skills at home. School-parent liaisons should be present in schools.

There are a number of challenges in the southern portion of the county as it relates to multicultural and multilingual education. Resources for teachers of students who speak English as a Second Language are often limited, as the number of English Language Learners enrolled does not qualify the school for a full time ESOL program. Extensive ESL courses and programs for students and adults are limited to a handful of schools. Professional development to better equip teachers to serve this growing community is currently offered by the county on a small scale. Opportunities should be expanded so that teachers better understand how to help impart vocabulary and comprehension skills to beginning ELLs and reading fluency to more proficient English speakers.