Three candidates remain in the race for school board in District A, following the withdrawal of Pastor Tony McDonald earlier this month. Still in the running are Bob Frisch, a teacher in Baltimore County Public Schools; Jansen Robinson, a physical security specialist for the federal government; and Jerome Foster, who is also running for re-election to the Harford Democratic Central Committee.
Foster was expected to participate in a recent school board candidates’ forum hosted by the Harford County Council of PTA, but was unable to attend due to an accident.
In response to a request from The Dagger, Foster responded to the following series of questions via e-mail. The questions are similar to those originally posed at the PTA forum that Foster missed:
MSA and HSA scores indicate disparities between schools often by geographic locations. What do you believe is the Board’s role in closing the performance gap between these schools?
“I believe that the Board has a large role to play in closing the performance gap. I feel that the Board’s role should be a member of all interested parties to identify the reason for the gap, determine what is the most effective means of closing the gap and partnering with the Superintendent, teachers and administrators in implementing an effective plan to close the gap.”
Given the demands of NCLB and state mandated curricula, should all schools have the same course offerings and schedule or should schools be able to “tailor” instruction to the needs of their population?
“I believe that there has to be some mandated curricula that will provide students with courses that will be accepted by colleges. The course that the HC school system has adapted is an excellent example of tailored instruction that will provide the students of Aberdeen, Joppatown, and Edgewood High Schools with opportunities to gain knowledge in career fields of their preference. Also, provide the basics in career fields that are and will be in demand in the future.”
As of 2009-2010 Harford County teachers are ranked 20th out of 24 districts in starting salary. Teachers are presently at a contract impasse – in these difficult fiscal times, how does the county improve teacher salaries and compensation packages to make this an attractive place to teach?
“I think that at this time, all parties to contract negotiations should bargain in good faith with an understanding of the fiscal difficulties that face the county. But, preference should be given to providing a better compensation package to teachers. I feel that incentives in lieu of salary increases for now may be effective in keeping excellent teachers in our county.”
Maryland Law states that 50% of teacher evaluation be tied to student performance. Do you agree with this concept and how would you recommend this requirement be implemented in HCPS?
“I feel that the most important aspect of education is student performance. As to the percentage that is attached to a teacher’s evaluation, I wonder if 50% is enough. Implementation of the process to implement the process is, at this time, not in my possession. But, I do know that there are systems available to accomplish this task and I’m sure that the School System is in possession of it.”
Do you support school uniforms? Why or why not?
“I support uniforms because they allow students to focus on what they can learn and not on what the latest fashions are to wear to school.”
In 2010, PTA will be advocating to improve child health and wellness through the reauthorization of the child nutrition act. How can the school system address better nutrition and the issue of childhood obesity for our students?
“The school system can address better nutrition by providing healthier foods in the cafeterias. Eliminating sodas and providing juice, providing nutrition classes, and having foods that are healthy as well as good tasting.”
What is your position on charter schools? Are you generally in support or do you see them as competition for public schools?
“I generally support charter schools but question public funding of these institutions. I don’t look at them as competition for public schools but as institutions that can provide public schools with processes and procedures that may enhance pubic school’s ability to deliver a quality education to all students.”
Recently two board of education members resigned – citing the need to devote more time to their work/business and family. How do you plan to manage the balance between your BOE service, with other demands?
“My children are grown now and I am retired.”
Do you believe Harford County should offer universal pre-k for all students in Harford County?
“I do believe that we should offer universal pre-k for all students.”
How can the board manage technology, not knowing what that will look like for our incoming kindergarteners?
“Technology tends to manage itself. Through effective life cycle management, kindergartners can learn the basics of technology through legacy systems and as they matriculate through the system gain more knowledge and experience on systems that are more advance.”
What ideas do you have regarding the expansion of classes (or programs) for “advanced students” (i.e. Advanced Placement, Gifted and Talented). Would you support more money to pay teachers in these subjects?
“I believe in performance pay and qualification pay based on performance by students.”
What changes to the current system would you recommend in order to increase community involvement in HCPS? Specifically, how can the business and parent community make meaningful contributions to the decision making process?
“Community involvement can be increased by PTA’s, community organizations and businesses electing representatives to attend Board meeting.”
What are your thoughts on accommodating population growth and overcrowding, which directly affect classroom size?
“At this time the only way to compensation for population growth and overcrowding is to hire more teachers.”
And one final question from The Dagger:
The blended school board legislation provides for both appointed and elected members. You opposed school board elections and yet you have decided to run for a seat. Why did you decide to run, as opposed to seeking an appointment?
“I don’t believe in dropping out of the process because the process changes.”
In an earlier e-mail interview, Foster, 58, told The Dagger :
“I am running for a seat on the Board of Education because I want to help this county and Edgewood/Joppatown to become a world class education community. I feel that education is the key to success and that my service to the country can be used to help my county and community achieve this status of providing a world class education to our students. I believe that I can bring the concerns of the community to the Board of Education and the Board’s response to the community’s concerns in a transparent and honest way. Also, I feel that service to your community is a civic responsibility that cannot be ignored and as a member of the School Board I can continue to meet my responsibility for the greater good of the community.”
A retired army officer, Foster is the father of four children, two of whom attended Harford County Public Schools. Foster has both an associate degree and a bachelor’s degree from Columbia College in Columbia, MO. In addition to the Democratic Central Committee, Foster been involved locally in the NAACP, VFW, Prince Hall Masons, and the Edgewood Community Council.
From the other campaigns for school board in District A:
fifty-six years old
married 31 years (Carla)
two children (Tim and David)
Joppa resident for 47 years
Edgewood High School
Towson University, Bachelor of Science in Social Science
College of Notre Dame, teacher certification (Special Education and Social Studies)
36 Masters credits (nearing completion of Leadership in Teaching Masters Degree)
Baltimore County Public Schools (2002 – present)
Teacher (Advanced Professional Certification)
Special Education (Life Skills)
Social Studies (standard, direct serve, inclusion, and co-taught classes)
Student intern supervisor
Baltimore Police Department (1976 – 1996)
Unit Commander – Traffic Enforce Unit
Highway Safety Grant Coordinator
other administrative units
several instructor and train the trainer qualifications (developed several training programs)
Special Recognition and Duties:
National and court recognized expert (drunk and drugged driver enforcement)
Adjunct instructor U.S. Department of Transportation
Governor’s Executive Committee on Enforcement for Drug and Alcohol Abuse
Maryland Drug Evaluation and Classification Committee
Baltimore City Highway Safety Committee
Mothers Against Drunk Drivers
Provided testimony before the Maryland General Assembly on highway safety issues
Community Activism and Interests:
Parks and Recreations
Cub Scout and Boy Scout organizations
Member Salem United Methodist Church (33 years)
First let me acknowledge that a comparison of State data indicates that Harford County has one of the better school systems in Maryland. However, there is room for much improvement. With the right direction and leadership we have the capability to become a premier school system ranking alongside school systems found in Montgomery and Howard Counties.
Now that neighborhood communities will actually decide through the election process who should represent their interests on the school board it becomes even more vital that voters carefully research the candidates in order to choose the best qualified person to fill this most important position. Who among the candidates is best able to meet the demands of a school board member? Candidates should have a strong background in those areas most relevant to the responsibilities of board membership. These skills will be the foundation upon which board members depend when making critical decisions that will have a long term impact on the education of current and future Harford County students.
In my conversations with numerous members of the Edgewood, Joppatowne, and Joppa communities I have found a pattern of ideas and views consistent with my own when it comes to what they want the school board to do.
Parents want safe schools with environments as free as possible from outside pressures of harassment, bullying, crime, and disruptions caused by unruly students. When students and staff are worried about their safety they cannot fully focus to the business of education. I support the expanded utilization of the alternative education facility in Aberdeen to provide different programs that can offer supports for students whose needs cannot be met in a traditional school setting. Students whose actions continue to threaten the safety of other students, staff, damage to school property, interfere with the good order of the school environment or substantially detract from the educational opportunity of others need to be addressed immediately. Parents do not want the inappropriate actions of a few to interfere with the educational opportunities of the majority.
All proposals and policy recommendations must be viewed under the guiding principle, “How does this benefit the students in our classrooms and support the teachers who educate them?” Before instructional programs are put into place they must be demonstrated to improve student learning. Harford County students are not to be used as guinea pigs for unproven programs and curriculum.
Parents and associated groups want to do more than be trip chaperones and organize fundraisers. They want to be equal partners in their neighborhood schools and do more to help educate their children. Parents represent a valuable and frequently underutilized resource to provide access to community leaders, civic organizations, businesses, equipment, social, and financial services which can be used to enhance and support the education of our children. Parents also want to be informed in advance and be party to decisions regarding theatrical productions and policy decisions that may run contrary to their personal beliefs.
Aggressively examine every line item in the budget. At an operating budget of almost two hundred forty million dollars this year there are expenditures that could be put off or eliminated altogether. Fiscal responsibility and justification of expenditures must become the standard. We must move away from a practice of purchasing unnecessary wants and luxuries to one of what is actually needed and most likely to be used to maximum benefit for students. Revise current policy to require Board of Education approval on all expenditures of twenty thousand dollars or more in order to more carefully control spending. This is the same level of oversight the Federal government uses for BRAC purchases and related construction. The taxpayers deserve nothing less.
Return more authority and accountability to each school with mandatory and meaningful community input. This is the cornerstone of all successful schools, with parents, teachers, students, community leaders all having a place at the decision making table. This will help to ensure that individual schools are grounded in the needs and desires of the communities they serve. Open and honest communication builds trust and cooperation.
Examine current course offerings, requirements, for promotion and graduation to ensure that students are getting the kind of instruction that will prepare them for the demands of higher education and the foundation necessary to enter the work force beyond minimum wage jobs.
Reinstitute technical and trade programs in all high schools to train and assist students who choose not to attend college so that they enter the workforce with skills employers want and need.
The single greatest influence on student achievement is parents and then the classroom teacher. The Board must find ways to attract and retain the best qualified classroom teachers. You get what you pay for. The Board needs to show leadership in this regard. To continue down the road of recent decisions concerning adequate staff compensation presents the real risk that Harford County schools will not be able to recruit the best and will lose quality teachers to other jurisdictions. Doing nothing leaves us with the potential that we do not improve as a system but fall farther behind other counties in the quality of education offered to our children.
Why vote for me?
I am not a politician and I have no political ambitions beyond the Board of Education. I do not come to this election with any political agenda or ulterior motive than to help make Harford County Public Schools even better than they already are. I have the skills and commitment to do the work necessary to accomplish that goal.
I came to the decision to run for the Board of Education because I am a true believer in the concept of ordinary citizens volunteering to help their communities, that we can do a better job than political appointees and career politicians. I was not recruited by any group or elected official in order to be their surrogate or mouthpiece on the Board. I decided to volunteer because our community needed a voice. I am here to listen first and then speak for you.
I am an experienced teacher that will bring a much needed classroom perspective to the Board. Throughout my law enforcement and teaching careers I have developed the ability to work with all kinds of people under some of the most difficult circumstances. While in positions of power and authority I never lost sight of or respect for those that were actually doing the real work and always considered my primary responsibility to help them meet theirs.
I will be a visible member of the school community. I will meet with all stakeholders on a regular basis, attend as many school related functions as reasonably possible, and be available to answer and assist those in need of help as necessary.
I will work to improve and maintain a cordial and positive relationship with the County Executive and County Council through the Board and Superintendent to serve the best interests of students, parents, staff, and taxpayers.
Intelligence, experience, commitment, integrity, and character are the core of real leadership. Together we can do what is right for our children, the parents who support them, the teachers who are actually doing the work in our classrooms, and taxpayers who deserve to know that their tax dollars are being spent wisely. I look forward to working with you and thank you for your support.
“From the Community and For the Community”
I’d like to take this opportunity to share with you why I believe that I am the right person to represent our District on the Harford County Board of Education. Let me briefly share with you some back-ground information.
A resident of Edgewood and a Viet-Nam-Era Veteran, I have been married to my wife Bertha M. Robinson for 34 years. We have three daughters, all of whom were educated in the Harford County Public School System.
I possess a Master’s Degree in Public Administration; and a Bachelor’s of Science Degree in Criminal Justice; from Brenau College (Gainesville, Ga). I also possess an Associate in Applied Science Degree in Criminal Justice, from the Georgia Military College (Milledgeville, Ga). I am the holder of numerous professional certifications, to include the Board Certified “C.P.P. designation. I am a member of several professional and civic organizations; and have authored articles for trade magazines. In addition, my position on subject matters from crime to education are well documented, as I have written numerous Letters to the Editor of our local newspaper-The Aegis.
For over three decades, I have been engaged in efforts to provide and enhance the safety and security posture for a wide range of organizations including, but not limited to; public housing, education, nuclear power, nuclear weapons, and a host of commercial and government facilities. I am currently the owner/president of Landmark Physical Security Services, a small veteran-owned security firm headquartered in Edgewood Maryland. My firm provides Cutting Edge Security Solutions in Complex Security Environments.
Currently, I serve as a Physical Security Specialist and Anti-Terrorism Officer for the Edgewood Chemical Biological Center (ECBC) located on the Aberdeen Proving Grounds.
I have held public safety positions ranging from entry level to senior management to include: Chief of School Police, for the Baltimore City Public System; Director of Public Safety and Security for Lincoln University; Security Coordinator-Annapolis Housing Authority; Director of Safety & Security/Assistant Superintendent-District of Columbia Public Schools; and, Contract Security Manager-Peach Bottom Atomic Bower Plant.
I submit to you that I have demonstrated my ability to identify and undertake reasonable and necessary measures to ensure the safety and security of people, property, and facilities; exercise fiscal responsibility; and, protect the image of the organization’s for which I have served. I call this my “Personal Standard of Care” Policy. And I will do the same as your representative on the Harford County Board of Education. CIVIC/COMMUNITY INVOLVEMENT
Currently, I serve as the Chair of the Edgewood Community Council; and Commissioner with the Harford County Human Relations Commission. I was nominated for the 2009 Harford County’s Most Beautiful People award for my dedication and voluntary services to my community. And, I am the co-founder of the Edge-wood/Joppa/Joppatowne Independence Day Celebration Parade.
During my tenure as Chair of the Edgewood Community Council, I have worked tirelessly to identify and recommend reasonable and necessary measures to help improve the quality of life in the Edgewood community.
Schools are a reflection of the community. So then both the school and the community have a shared responsibility for the welfare and development of it’s’ students; however, the primary responsibility remains with the home. Our students, assisted by this partnership in learning, can strive for excellence and emerge with a life-long zest for learning.
My personal efforts for my own children has been to identify and provide them with every opportunity avail-able to me to help them realize their dreams and to be successful and positive contributors to our society. And as your School Board representative I will work with my colleagues, the administration and my community to identify and implement strategies that will afford every child opportunities to become successful and positive-contributors to our society.
This process starts with providing our children with a “World-Class”-Education. To provide our children with World-Class learning opportunities, working with all stakeholders, I will pursue innovative strategies to attract and retain highly qualified and dedicated teachers, and support staff.
I will work with my colleagues, the administration and my community to identify and implement strategies to foster and strengthen the relationship between schools and the community and to help find solutions to some of our most challenging issues and concerns (redistricting, overcrowding, building schools, and budget issues).
I will work with my colleagues, the administration and the community to create a more open, transparent and inviting School System. The tax payers must have confidence that their tax dollars are being spent wisely.
I believe that all students can learn in an environment where the dignity, worth and uniqueness of each student is continuously recognized. I also recognize that our children have varying learning challenges, styles and interests. So I will work with my colleagues, the administration and my community to pursue opportunities to establish and enhance vocational educational opportunities for children, whom college may not be an option.
I supported the election of school board members from the very beginning, even when my competitors, special interest groups, former and current school board members and some elected officials with whom I may share other interests opposed this concept. So I will work with my colleagues, the administration and my community to help ensure that this new concept of electing school board members is successful.
“If we always do what we have always done-we will always get what we have always gotten” Author: Unknown
PERSONAL SPIRITUAL BELIEF
What good is it, my brothers, if a man claims to have faith but has no deeds? Can such faith save him?
Suppose a brother or sister is without clothes and daily food. If one of you says to him, “Go, I wish you well; keep warm and well fed,” but does nothing about his physical needs, what good is it? In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead. The Book of James .
Ears Wide Open says
The fact that Foster was given a chance to respond in an absolute joke. He is a perennial candidate and never puts in the work. He’s running for Board of Education (good luck with THAT one) and the Democratic Central Committee. He is qualified for neither. He needs to find another hobby.
Mr. Foster failed to show for the last school board forum. He failed to contact the PTA sponsors that evening or anytime sense the event to provide an explanation. Suddenly he reports an accident. Produce the evidence of such a mishap Mr. Foster. Even if true a courtesy call to the PTA sponsors would have been the decent thing to do. When considered with your apparent lack of interest during the entire course of this campaign season, and weighed against your claim to have all the time necessary to be a conscientious and hard working member of the school board because you are now retired, your interest in the school board appears to be disingenuous. Your decision to file looks like just another attempt to throw your hat in the ring to see if you can get lucky, not unlike your non existent effort to win a State Delegate seat four years ago. No wonder you finished last in a field of four Democrat candidates during the primary. You couldn’t even be bothered to complete the questionnaire sent by the League of Woman Voters that appeared in the Aegis today. Another fine example of your commitment to education in Harford County and the citizens of Edgewood and Joppatowne specifically. I agree with Ears Wide Open, you deserve neither a position on the school board or the Democratic Central Committee. Both deserve someone who is willing to work hard for those organizations not just someone looking for a title.
Full Disclosure says
Are you, or have you ever been, a member of the following organizations:
Teachers Association of Baltimore County
Maryland State Education Association
National Education Association
Since mebership is not optional in this state…..I think the answer is yes to MSEA and NEA.
Membership in the teachers union is optional. Some counties require non-members to pay an agency fee. Baltimore County does not charge an agency fee. However if Mr. Frisch is a member of TABCO he is by default a member of MSEA and NEA as they have a unified membership.
I was under the impression that the agency fee was required everywhere. Additionally I know when I joined I did so mostly because of the liability insurance.
Bob Frisch says
Teacher515 is correct. As a member of TABCO (teachers union in Balt. Co.) we are also members of MSEA and NEA without choice. It is the whole package or nothing at all, you cannot pick and choose.
I also belonged to the FOP during my 20 year career in the Balt. City Police Dept. and remain a member of the retired members association. In addition to bargaining rights union membership provides legal representation should you be sued. This benefit alone is worth every penny of dues paid. Having been sued by some jailhouse lawyer while with the police dept. (the case was dismissed as being without merit by the judge before it ever got to trial) saved me thousands of dollars in legal expenses defending myself against a frivolous lawsuit. If you have never been on this side of a false allegation it is truely difficult to appreciate the mental relief this benefit provides.
Some teachers choose not to belong to teachers unions because they do not agree with the positions taken by MSEA and NEA. Some join their local association regardless because they see other benefits to local membership – legal protection being a major consideration.
Oh yeah says
Let’s see – TABCO, MSEA, NEA and FOP. Four strikes and you’re out! Time to really look hard at the other options for the board.
Bob Frisch says
I do not always agree with the positions taken by the teachers union or the FOP, just as most people do not agree with every position taken by any organization they associate with. I suggest you do some further inquiry into my publicly stated positions before you automatically write me off.
Full Disclosure says
Do you espouse the TABCO/MSEA/NEA positions on reproductive health and merit/performance pay for teachers?
Did you support the recent Fairness in Negotiations law passed this year? If so, why?
What in the hell does this have to do with a school board race? Grow up and take off the damn Rush/Bill/Glen/Sean blinders your wearing and realize that life is more than two God-forsaken issues. Sometimes a political race actually has nothing to do with taxes and abortion. Sometimes it is about representing your community and providing a good service.
Do you think that the board of ed will be deciding abortion issues?
Which one is the white guy?
In the picture from left to right: Foster, Frisch, Robinson
J-towne, thanks for a direct answer to a simple question. This is unusual on a Dagger forum.
Why’s it got to be a “White Guy?” Why not the non-black guy or non-African American? Why not just say “who’s the cracker in the middle!” I don’t know, but thanks for asking!
10-96, is this some new level of political correctness that we can’t refer to a white person as being white? Would you accept Caucasian or do you require that we use a denigrating, insulting tetm like ‘cracker”?
“term” not “tetm”. The spirit is willing but the fingers don’t always hit the right keys.
Delegate B. Dan. Riley says
I did not know the race of the candidate was important. I thought the citizens were interested in qualifications of the candidates and what they were going to do in the best interest of our chilldren, whatever the child’s race.
It [Race] isn’t important except for the hooded voters out there who are unable to move in an area more accepting of their ignorance!
There are still so many unanswered questions. I don’t necessarily want a BOE member who is interested in working in partnership with the superintendant, I want someone who is willing to be the superintendent’s boss! And someone who will look into crazy policies like the block schedule and everyday math. My son came home with a syllabus from his English 11 class. If a student is absent, an excused absence yet, on the day a project is due, they are responsible to get a parent or sibling to drive the project to school for them. It will not be accepted on the day the student returns to school. In the same class one of the required supplies is a commputer with a word processing program and a printer. Really? Both of these are crazy and should be against school policy. Sure, most households have computers and printers, but what about those students who can’t afford them? Are we to assume that isn’t a possibility? There was no mention of this in the syllabus. The BOE members should make sure principals are required to read every syllabus before it is sent to the parents or put into effect.
I have not heard one candidate say they support hiring more teachers or raising teacher pay or benefits by cutting upper management positions. Do we really need so many beaurocrats? We need a BOE member who realizes who is the most important person in a child’s school experience. We don’t have an unlimited supply of money so we need to set priorities. We also need someone who is brave enough to say to the techers that they get really good benefits and need to consider that in their salaries. I don’t think teachers are overpaid, I do think they deserve to be paid well, but we need to know how much the average teacher really makes, including the price of their benefits, before we can make an informed opinion of if we want more of our tax dollars to increase those salaries. That would be real transparency. How about someone who, during salary negotiations, wants to pay our best teachers more? Paying anyone a salary based on how long they have been at their job doesn’t make sense, especially in education where we need improvements. Principals are responsible for reviewing teachers, just like a boss in the real world. Why not pay teachers based off of their reviews? I’m still waiting to hear a candidate endorse this.
Same for upper management. If someone continues to implement ideas against parent’s and teacher’s concerns, and those ideas prove to be unsuccessful as well as unpopular, this should be considered. And anyone twisting data should be immediately repremanded and made to explain their actions. All of this should be part of all contract negotiations. Education is the only business I can think of where salary is separated from job performance.
I also want a candidate who is willing to say they will insist on more than transparency. I want someone who will be honest about things in the planning stages. Has anyone really told us how they plan on filling in the extra seats at an already under capacity new Edgewood High School?
So far I am unimpressed with the current candidates.
Sandy, Mr. Frisch has specifically commented on the overcrowded central bureaucracy both on his website and at the PTA forum held in August. Some of the other issues you have raised are being and have been commented upon by him also. Why don’t you ask him directly? Seems as though many of your concerns are his concerns also, based on his position statements.
Thanks J-towne, I will check into his website. Everything I have heard from him has been so vague but I haven’t looked at his website. Good advice, thanks!
Have you been paying attention? He is very specific. He is also the only one out there in his district beating the bush.
Have I been paying attention? Seriously? You shouldn’t be sarcastic when you don’t know who you are talking too.
Just because you, as an educator, have had your questions answered specifically doesn’t mean that all parents have had their concerns answered specifically. Did you really mean to imply that Mr. Frisch has answered every single concern possible specifically? Or are you so vested in his campaign that you are offended by anyone questioning him?
Mr. Frisch replied very nicely and helpfully.
The ones on this forum he has. That is what I am basing my assesment of his openess on. No I am not vested in his campaign and do not live in his district. That said if I did live in that district I would vote for him. I live in B and have narrowed my choices down to two at this point.
The ones on this forum he has. That is what I am basing my assesment of his openess on. No I am not vested in his campaign and do not live in his district. That said if I did live in that district I would vote for him. I live in B and have narrowed my choices down to two at this point.
Bob Frisch says
Sandy and Kate,
If you look at my position paper (found on my web page at http://www.BobFrisch.org) you will find that I have publicly addressed many of the issues you raise. We are in agreement on many of your concerns. You can also find submitted responses to a questionnaire on the League of Women Voters web page.
I appreciate your desire to be informed voters and encourage you to look beyond the official resume of the candidates. Find out who these people really are in their personal lives. That will give you the best sense of their true character and what kind of school board member they are likely to be if elected.
Thanks for responding, Mr. Frisch. I am really not interested in anyone’s official resume, I agree, I want real people on the school board. What I really want to see is common sense and a real desire to oversee what the upper management and the superintendant are doing. I am tired of a BOE who does whatever the superintendant wants, just the “rubber stamp” mentality. These are our children we are talking about, and we deserve to know EXACTLY what is going on. I am tired of the tell us what we want to hear and then do the opposite and tired of the arrogance of a BOE who thinks they know what is better for our children than we do as parents.
Presently, the BOE answers to no one. They appoint their own ethics panel. I am thrilled with this new legislation and that the majority of board members will have to answer to the public. A few of us fought hard for this legislation, things can only get better. Please, if you are elected, check everything you are told by HCPS upper management. It is sad to say, but they lie. That is not an exaggeration. Most are more interested in making a name for themselves than they are about how their policies affect our children. How sad. If elected, I suggest you start with the block schedule, Everyday Math, and making an effort to talk to the teachers without upper management present. Teachers have been warned not to say certain thing or there will be consequences, although no one will admit to it. Please, talk to them without upper management or principals present. Make it mandatory, to the extent contracts allow, so they aren’t seen as coming to you. Or go and see them. It will take awhile to earn their trust, but you will learn so much if you can swing it! Then go to the principals, some just want to be promoted, but others are just amazing. I’m sure you will be able to tell the difference. The good ones will be able to give you so much information on what works, what doesn’t work, and what lies the upper management are telling you. If you are elected, we will be counting on you!
I am a teacher, and I can promise you that I have not been told to or not to do anything of the sort (except that I am not allowed to wear my O’Malley lapel pin). I am not sure where you get your ideas Sandy, but you seem to be making suggestions about which you have no knowledge. Not saying that many teachers do not like the block schedule and many of the other ‘reforms’ (in fact, many of us downright hate them), but I cannot think of a single time I have been ‘hushed’ (just ignored). Furthermore the elected school board is a scary thing, opening up a process that should not be more scientific than political to special interests (like conservative religious ideologues that want to strike Evolution and old-Earth understanding from science curricula). BUT, if we are going to have an elected school board, then Mr. Frish (a person with real world teaching experience) is EXACTLY the kind of person that we need on the board (and I say this pretty clearly being a Democrat and realizing that Mr. Frish is a Republican).
Oops… a process that SHOULD be more scientific than political. Sadly Dagger does not allow an edit once something is already posted!
Brian Goodman says
Sure we do.
Register as a user.
Yes, you can still do so anonymously.
I did not know… will do so in the future! Learn something new every day! 🙂
Bob Frisch says
Thanks for your support.
BSmeter, you should not make accusations you know nothing about. Saying ” I am not sure where you get your ideas Sandy, but you seem to be making suggestions about which you have no knowledge.” is quite silly actually. Why would you say something like that without knowing where I get my “ideas”? I have spoken to quite a few teachers who have raised this concern to me, and many have come to me to ask for help in advocating for certain issues they are afraid to bring up because they have been warned against it. Yes, I have been told by many teachers they have been threatened into silence and I have no reason to disbelieve them. It sounds as though you were quite happy with the appointed school board and haven’t had reason to publicly disagree or raise concerns. You have every right to that. I have also had meetings with different pricipals who have given me information to use, anonymously, because they are officially not supposed to make it public knowledge. Do you agree with this secrecy? Are you one of the teachers who believe they know better than parents and shouldn’t have to disclose everything? I’ll give you an example. Mr. Volrath was very happy to report that HSA scores have risen since the block schedule. I was called aside by a principal who explained to me that the reason HSA scores were higher this particular year was because pricipals were told that if a student had no chance of passing the test, then don’t allow them to take it. Well, if students who were not going to pass the test were removed from taking it, of course scores were going to rise. Oddly enough, this was completely left out of the report. Yes, I have a copy of it. Principals were told not to make this public knowledge. The ones who cared about their students did, because they didn’t want students needing help to be overlooked just to make an administrator look like his new program, the block schedule, was a big success. These students needed a program to help them, which they wouldn’t have gotten if some principals didn’t leak the information to us. It’s surprising what you can learn as a dedicated volunteer and advocate who is trusted to do the right thing.
Did you know that principals, and possibly teachers, have their email correspondence monitored to make sure they are only sharing allowed information? Big Brother is watching, don’t share information with the public. Wouldn’t want parents to know the whole truth!
Did you really not know this was happening, or do you approve of it?
BSmeter, Are you saying that a political appointment is more scientific than an election? I sure hope you don’t teach science! What could be more political than a political appointment? Have you ever tried to find out how someone gets a political appointment? It’s by political favors. What could be more poitical than that? Give the citizens of Harford County the credit they deserve. We certainly know who is better suited to make decisions about our childrens’ education that a governor who doesn’t know much at all about Harford County’s education system. When Bob Ehrlich was governor I made numerous phone calls and couldn’t convince anyone I spoke with that he even made appointments to our school board. When O’Malley took over, I found someone who knew he made the appointments but they had no idea who his advisors were or who I could speak to about it.
Sandy his point, I think, is that as an elected person their loyalty might be skewed in an election year. For example students in District B attend mostly Fallston, some Bel Air and some Edgewood. Edgewood is split between 3 districts. The district B rep may be inclined to get extra pork for Fallston at the detremint of his Edgewood constiuents to help precure more votes.
more than meets the eye says
Delegate Mary Dulany-James (and to a much lesser extent) has been the driving force in school board appointments since O’Malley became Governor. I am not certain who it was under Ehrlich.
more than meets the eye says
Ops for got to finish, (to a much lesser extent Dan Riley)
more than meets the eye, Yes, delegate James traded a vote to stop the legislation the first time around. I was referring to the actual person on either the Ehrlich or the O’Malley administration who is the advisor on appointments. There is one, but good luck finding them!
Cdev, that is why we originally supported at large elections for school board members. Then the concern was that all districts wouldn’t be represented properly because of minorities or even those who are more liberal, since Harford County tends to elect republicans. Personally, I think we would be better with at large elections to keep board members from only representing what is in their disrict’s best interest. But I understand the arguement and honestly, I think either is better than a fully appointed BOE. Hopefully with the blended board, it will help to keep everyone more honest, but neither is a perfect solution, elected or appointed. I’m sure that in 20 years we will have problems with school board members who will only do things to get elected. Then again, that means they are doing what the citizens want. Our County Council is elected, every other office I can think of right now is elected, I think it is the best we can do. And having the blended board will hopefully help to keep some of these issues from getting too corrupt.
The problem with the appointed board is that there is absolutely no accountability. After the governor makes his appointment there is no oversite. I have tried contacting both Gov. Ehrlich and Gov. O’Malley and they just aren’t interested in what the school board members are doing. I tried hard, and I am very persistent, to speak to whomever is the advisor on appointments and it is impossible to talk to anyone about it.
I filed an ethic complaint against a board member. Here is the process. You file your complaint with the ethics panel. This panel is appointed by the school board! That’s bad enough. Once your complaint is filed you get to meet with a few members of the ethics panel so you can answer any questions they may have. After you are dismissed the panel discusses the case and makes a recommendation to the school board. The school board then votes on whether or not to accept the panels recommendation. I am not making this up! There is absolutely no oversite. Even the member I filed the complaint against gets to vote on whether or not to accept the panels recommendation. This is why I am so strongly in favor of a majority elected school board, simply for the oversite. You could potentially have a school board stealing money, voting themselves huge paychecks, or anything they want to do. Fortunately none of this has happened, but it could. This is the reason why the public is ignored and we get no answers, they have no reason to. Just by having elections, many issues will be talked about. That by itself is a huge improvement! Issues will be brought out in the open, where we will actually know what is going on. And if we feel we aren’t getting information, if board members allow administrators to twist information to support what they want to do, our elected members will be more likely to bring this out in the open instead of hiding it. If they do a great job, we can reelect them, something we have no control over with an appointed board. If we feel they are doing a poor job, we can elect someone else. More than half of our tax dollars go to education and we have had absolutely no say in how the money is spent. Why should the governor have more control over Harford County tax dollars than the tax payers in Harford County? That makes no sense to me at all.
If we were to stick with a fully appointed BOE, I would rather the County Executive make the appoitments. At least if he made bad appointments or provided no oversite we would have the option to vote him out of office. With the governor making the appointments we really have no control at all.
Bob Frisch says
I have made specific comments about my concerns with Everyday Math and other questionable classes during the HCCPTA BOE forum held last month at Joppatowne HS. I have also stated that individual school schedules should be set by the communities these school serve.
My experience and training as a detective with the Baltimore City Police Dept. has made me well equipped to dig deep into issues to ferret out the truth, which I promise I will do as it pertains to curriculum, budget, promotions, and all other aspects associated with school board membership. Rest assured I am no wall flower. I am willing to ask uncomfortable questions when necessary and am straight forward in my assessments.
Giving classroom teachers an unfettered opportunity to voice their concerns is also one of my priorities.
I agree with Sandi to a certain extent. I hear good ideas and talk about transparency but I know from past experience, it is the implementation that is a huge problem
For example, many candidates talk about making the principal more accountable. That sounds good but who are they accountable to? When parents, students and others in the community complain and site specific examples of incompetency, mismanagement, implementing programs that were not approved, etc. no one does anything about it. Many of the BOE members shrug their shoulders and say it is outside their jurisdiction. Superintendent doesn’t think he should have to deal with those problems and incompetent supervisors/directors.
I am all in favor of more school based decision making but lets dismantle the block schedule in high school (which is EXTREMELY detrimental to small schools who have little flexibility anyway), make some other changes and make the principal accountable. Why can’t the parents do a “Survey” of how they think the administration is performing?
Until I hear that someone will hold the big wigs accountable and how, this other stuff is all talk…
I thought that parents did do a survey, the school climate one. It is usually sent home with kids in april or may I think.
Bob Frisch says
This is taken directly from my position paper.
“Board members must maintain an active and on ongoing role in assessing the performance of the Superintendent. We cannot afford to have board members that are not willing to put in the time and effort to meet this critical responsibility. Board members need to be willing to question, get thorough answers, and do their own research before making final decisions. The school board must act as gatekeepers and not be a rubber stamp for the Superintendent and central office administrators. Individual schools, the Superintendent, and the Board of Education should be the subject of ongoing evaluation by parents and students through the use of electronic surveys and other questionnaire media to provide real-time feedback on specific and overall performance.”
Mr. Frisch, I agree with what you are saying but would like you to take it one step farther. If there is a time when you vote against something, please, tell us WHY? Same goes for if you vote for something. There have been so many times when the BOE members will ask the right questions, get nonsense answers, and then still vote the way the superintendent wants them to. I have personally met with an ex-board member and talked about the 8th graders having to pick a career pathway. Beyond the fact that 8th graders have no idea what they intend to do, in most cases, in the career pathway my son chose it was impossible for him to take the classes he needed and take the classes he needs to graduate. So, he decided on the classes he wanted and we picked a career pathway that fit even though he has no intention on going into that career. What sense does that make? I met with this board member, who agreed with everything I said, to my face, asked questions at the meeting, and voted for it anyway.
We need BOE members who will tell us what is really going on, not what the administrators want us to think is going on. We have had enough of that. We do our homework and figure out a lot of it on our own, but we want a BOE member who will simply tell us the truth. If you disagree with me, fine, just give me a reason. If there is some secret deal going on, tell us. We pay the bills, we have our children in the schools, we have the right to know EVERYTHING! And before the final decision is made. There is a difference between keeping the public informed of decisions and keeping the public informed, with honest data, as the decisions are being made. That is what we really want, a BOE member who is looking out for the kids instead of protecting the administration!
Bob Frisch says
The lack of transparency by the board and the superintendent was a major factor in my decision to run. My position on these issues is well documented. I will clearly state my position on all policy and budget matters publicly.
I agree with you regarding the career pathway program. I believe children should have a wide choice (their choice) of classes to gain exposure and experience in topics that may interest them. The school system should not pigeonhole children into specific areas of instruction. This is a topic I plan to raise if elected to the board.
I hold to the belief that if we always put the interests of kids first it will hard for us to make a bad decision. That is my promise, that is why and how I teach – putting kids before all other interests.
Bob Frisch says
Well the second candidate forum involving school board candidates was held at Joppatowne HS this evening. Because candidates for other offices were there we had little time (45 seconds) to answer some fairly complicated questions. Not much time for more than sound bites with few details to support your answers. I believe a true debate involving the two candidates coming out of the primary would be appropriate. Such a format would allow for real give and take between candidates on the issues and be beneficial to the public.
That said I was disappointed that school board candidate Mr. Jansen Robinson decided to use the occasion to place campaign literature on the windshields of cars in the school parking lot. Such conduct I believe is outside the intent and spirit for the regulations adopted by the Board of Education to keep school property and facilities from being used for unsavory political activities.
Bob Frisch says
Jansen Robinson takes shot at Foster and Frisch.
During the closing statement segment of last evenings candidate forum for the District A Board of Education seat Jansen Robinson took a potshot at me and candidate Jerome Foster. He tried to make hay by claiming how involved he was in the push to get the elected school board legislation passed in Annapolis. Specifically he said that one of his opponents was “silent” on the issue (referring to Mr. Foster) and the other was “nowhere to be found” (an obvious reference to me).
I do not know what position Mr. Foster took or what involvement he had, if any in support of the elected school board.
While Mr. Robinson can make claims to have been active in support of this legislation it is clearly obvious that he was not in a position to carry real weight in the debate. It has also been well know in certain circles that Mr. Robinson was interested in seeking political office. Now he is seeking a position on the school board.
I have always been a proponent of an elected school board. As a high school teacher of American Government and U.S. History I have firm believe in the electoral process and think more of our leaders should be elected and therefore held directly accountable to the citizens of their communities.
While I have prided myself on being an informed voter I have never held political aspirations. When the debate over an elected school board was being waged in Annapolis I was in the classroom doing the real work of education – teaching our children how to think for themselves so they could be the next generation of leaders and informed voters.
Since making the decision to seek a position on the school board I have fully devoted myself to learning all that I could about the the responsibilities, duties, and accountability of being a board member. I have regularly attended the Board of Education meetings, spent several hours on site when public safety officials conducted their emergency preparedness drills (to better protect our children in case of an armed intruder) at the old Deerfield ES, was at Magnolia ES to ask pertinent questions of Harford County school officials during the community meeting to discuss transfer options for their children to other schools, attended the Harford County PTA’s leadership training workshop, been at every Edgewood and Joppatowne Community Council meeting, and I could go on. I have spoken at length with current and past school board members, the Harford Co Sheriff, local and State elected officials and other candidates in order to better understand their perspectives on school related issues like the budget.
The point is that Mr. Robinson has yet to make an appearance at any of the forums mentioned, either to prepare himself for board membership or to listen to the concerns of parents, teachers, school administrators, students, save being at the ECC meetings that he is already obligated to attend.
I am demonstrating the kind of commitment and energy I will bring to the school board if elected. I am a goal oriented individual that gets the job done.
I have repeatedly said that the residents of the Edgewood, Joppatowne, and Joppa communities need to look beyond what the candidates are saying and to look at what they are actually doing. Actions speak louder than words – enough said.
Ears Wide Open says
Go get ’em, Bob.
I see no logic in an elected school board in a location that does not allow taxing authority of that board. Why do you think the elected board is better, because you are a candidate? Sandy mentioned the current board being ‘out of touch’, and I agree with her and others that an elected school board MAY be more approachable than our current board, but those of us that are minorities and history teachers should be VERY afraid of what an elected board can do to the future of our county. These ‘tea party’ types would love to change how we teacher history, in particular the constitution and religious affiliations of our founding fathers about which they have an obnoxiously skewed perspective (Compliments of Beck et. al.). Many would also love to use tax monies to provide private school vouchers (although I do not know if the school board would have any such authority) and neuter science with the same religious bias with which they attack history. If we get good education-minded representatives on the school board, elections will be a great thing. If on the other hand the school board turns into a bastion of the Harford County tea-party, then we need to be VERY scared for the future of our children.
Bob Frisch, a history teacher and former cop, who teaches his students the constitution is going to win and teachers like you should be very afraid.
Bob Frisch says
Isn’t teaching the Constitution what government teachers are supposed to do? The State Board of Education mandates it, local school boards incorporate it in their mandated curriculum so that students can pass the American Government HSA, which is a requirement for every student in Maryland in order to receive a high school diploma. Of course I teach the Constitution, I have to, and am proud to do so. If your inference is that I teach it a certain way, not necessarily to your perspective, then you are wrong. I do not skew my instruction in one political direction or the other.
I have no political agenda. I have made clear that I am not politician nor am I interested in any other political office.
As for being a cop, I served my community to the best of my ability and was proud to wear the uniform. I had a distinguished career and received awards from organizations such as Mothers Against Drunk Drivers, and personal letters of commendations from citizens, judges, lawyers, business owners that recognized my professionalism and dedication to duty. I don’t recall anyone ever asking me my political affiliation or views on the Constitution when they were in need of my help, sometimes at the risk of my own life.
No one needs to be afraid of me. I have dedicated virtually all my adult life to public service, whether through my professional life or volunteer efforts in my community. Seeking a position on the school board is just a continuation of that idea of giving back to the community and nothing else.
My post was in support of your teaching practices and experience as a police officer. It’s BSmeter that I believe is a bad apple.
Bob Frisch says
My apologies as I have misinterpreted your posting. The campaign has been long, and I now know what they mean by the grind of running for office. I do appreciate your support and hope I have not lost your confidence in me. Again my sincere apologies.
Bob Frisch says
I have always thought an elected school board was a better way to go so that was not a factor in my decision to seek a seat on the board. If we are going to have politics at that level, which is what we have had and is clearly demonstrated by many past appointments by our governor’s, that went against the wishes of local nominating committees, then we should at least let the people most affected have the final say. The key to good school board governance is to elect the best people. That is the challenge. At least now we can vote those people out if we do not like what they do or a better candidate comes along at the next election. Appointed boards do not provide this option and governors do not like to admit that they make mistakes and deny reappointment. I would rather take my chances with an elected board.
Having taught history, government, and criminal justice classes I acknowledge the limited understanding and interest (as demonstrated by low voters participation records) in our elected offices. That is part of our job as candidates and elected officials, to educate and motivate as much as possible the electorate to the importance of their participation and the power they possess at the ballot box. You and I know that the offices that affect people most directly are local but these receive the least attention. I believe the elected school board will need to be more engaged with their constituents out of necessity and that the public will demand it because they will be empowered. Those that I have spoken with say that they felt no connection to the school board because they had no say in their selection.
I note your concern over conservatives getting control of the board. Electing people with extreme views from either side of the political spectrum is dangerous but I have think the new structure of elected and appointed members would make it difficult for a particular group or and individual to dominate the board in such a way to affect policy.
The key is as you said, to elect education-minded people to the board. I think you and I are doing our part, and I think others are doing so as well.
BSmeter, I have heard the arguement about an elected BOE not having taxing authority as being a waste of time before. Would you mind elaborating? I have never lived anywhere where the school board had taxing authority so I have little knowledge of this. Since the current appointed board doesn’t have taxing authority what would be the difference? Is there something about an electeed board that makes them need taxing authority more? I undertand that they are somewhat limited by the County Council since the budgt needs to be approved, but with the governor being the one who does the appointing, I don’t see why it would matter.
To be fair we only have to look at Charles County or PG for the disasters of an elected board. PG was riddled with corruption and neglect to the detrement of kids and Charles was crazy away from creation science only being taught. I see the benefits of both. I think as long as people take their voting serious it will not be an issue. disasters will occur with single issue voters 20 years from now.
Cdev, I understand your point but I think the blended school board will help with this. I’d be interested to hear your thoughts on this, I find your opinion both intelligent and interesting.
I think a blended school board may help. Here is an example. I think in part the big push for an elected board was driven by some unpopular decisions the BOE made and Dr. Hass was seen as the bad guy. I was worried the first election would be an indictment of her job. Of course this was before her untimely death and the phase in. So we almost ended up with a single issue election. It wouldn’t have bothered me as much about the single issue as much as what if the same elected members all felt that we should be teaching creationism in biology classes? We would have ended up with a large lawsuit to pay for later (after the crazies where gone) and a group of kids unable to pass the biology HSA. Charles County had 2 of it’s 5 members of the BOE actively campaigning for such a proposal. These people seemed nice when elected and never gave any voter the vibe. It would have taken only one more crazy to have passed. this. I know some say then vote them out. 4 years later would be too late and the damage would have been done. I have seen candidates this time around promise things or suggest solutions in clear violation of federal and state law. They are inane things that only someone who has worked in schools would know or who has paid alot of attention to schools and done their homework. What if many people vote for them on those premises alone and then when they don’t deliver they turn to the loud speaking crazy person? That is what scares me. Schools should be free of polotics. If our BOE had taxing authority like in most states (notably PA). I would be in total agreement they should be elected. It seems many candidates do not grasp MOE or realize the County exec and County council will set the amount of money they get. From which they prepare a budget that must then be approved. They do not determine how big the budget is just how the money they are given is spent to keep this system running.
Cdev, thanks for chiming in and answering my question. I apologize for asking you a question and then disappearing but I have a major health issue and have not been able to access my computer. I understand your point about 4 years being a long time to make a change, but isn’t that better than what we have now? In all honesty, once the governor has made an appointment they have no interest in following up or hearing anything about this. I have tried with both the Ehrlich and the O’Malley administrations. So I see 4 years as better than nothing. The way things stand now, if a school board member is doing a great job and the governor changes, they have little chance of being reappointed. In the same way, if a school board member is found to be on the board for self serving reasons, or is a crazy, lol, and the governor doesn’t change, then he or she will most likely be reappointed. Isn’t 4 years better than nothing?
And back to this taxing authority issue that I don’t understand…why is it more important that an elected BOE have taxing authority than an appointed BOE. Since the money is controlled by the county council and not the governor, I don’t understand the difference. Any chance you have the time to explain?
Delegate B. Dan. Riley says
TO “more than meets the eye”
In Annapolis there was a debate, discussion on the merits of an appointed vs. elected school board. Both sides of the issue have good and negative points. We had an open forum in the county and the participants broke 39 for elected school board, 37 for appointed school board and 33 undecided. While some tried to make it a political issue,cooler heads prevailed and what we have now, the “blended school board” came into existance. Like many pieces of new legislation there still needs to be some wrinkles ironed out.
This is the American process in action. All sides provide input, compromise reached, law enacted.
Delegate Riley, Didn’t the majority of the Harford County Delegation repeatedly vote for a purely elected board? Almost a unanimous majority? Why did such a small minority of delegates, or delegates from other counties get to dictate to Harford County’s voters how our school board would be enacted?
more than meets the eye says
The debate did occur. You can correct me if I am wrong but my understanding is that you were against the elected board and eventually changed your mind. Delegate James was always against it and when the final vote within the Harford delegation was taken on the matter she did not show. Thus providing her with political cover from being the only member to vote against and therefore killing the elected board bill. We know that Delegate is very influential in Annapolis and has the governor’s ear.
As the only two Democrats in the delegation your no votes would have led to the bills defeat and left all power to appoint school board members with a Democrat governor.
It is widely said that you changed your mind and voted for the bill because this would have been an unpopular position to defend in an election year. The same goes for Delegate James whose no show for the delegation vote now frees her from having to defend her opposition to giving voters the right to chose school board members.
Delegate B. Dan. Riley says
There was always a debate on this issue. There were several proposals presented and voted on. Amendments were presented, debated, and finally concensus was on the present law. You will have to ask each individual delegate their reasoning or check how they voted on the issue. There is a record of how all the delegates voted.
Delegate B. Dan. Riley says
more than meets the eye,
10 years ago I was the only delegate asking for an elected school board. After complaints from Board of Education members and the school superintendent a task force was set up by the delegation. At that time the delegation agreed with the findings of the task force to keep the present system at that time of an appointed board.
Debating an issue does not mean you are against it. It should mean you would like to improve the bill/law.
more than meets the eye says
The then appointed school board and the superintendent (who they picked) supporting the statusquo. Imagine that! Sounds as self serving as the current board that publicly opposed voters having an opportunity to have a say about how and what their children children are taught in OUR (not theirs) schools or how OUR taxpayer monies are spent.
Isn’t it ironic that not one of the currently appointed school board members decided to face the public and have their performance be judged by the voters of their respective communities. Speaks volumes doesn’t it!
I notice you didn’t refute any of my earlier assertions about the manner in which the members of the delegation handled the internal vote or the motives behind specific member actions or inaction when it came time to put up or shut up. I would think that if your (referring to anyone) convictions are that strong on an issue you should have the courage to stand up and be counted and forthrightly explain your actions to your constituents.
A few issues I have.
” what their children children are taught in OUR (not theirs) schools or how OUR taxpayer monies are spent. ”
Please remember the BOE members are also tax payers and many have children in the system. So it is just as much theirs as it is ours. It belongs to all of us, hence the term PUBLIC! Obviously you are unaware of how Public education works in this state. Curriculum standards for most courses are dictated by what used to be called the “Voluntary State Curriculum” Even though it was not voluntary at all. Now it is simply called the Maryland State Curriculum. Methodology is up to local BOE’s but the standards and outcomes are not.
As far as the current members not running. Those whose terms are expiring are not residents of districts who are electing I believe except for Mr. Smilko who made it clear he did not want to continue beyond his original appointment. Which is ashame because I thought he actually displayed lots of independent thought. But It seems that area would be represented by a good person no matter what.
Dan Riley explained his take on this from the get go and it has not changed.
more than meets the eye says
Mr. Smilko was a breath of fresh air. I am well aware of board members’ personal connections to the school system through their children. The OUR is referenced as an example of the few deciding for the many, who had no choice in board selections.
There are board members currently representing those districts up for election. These members could have chosen to run and assume an elected position.
My understanding is that the District D member will resign after the election. This will allow the governor to appoint the peoples choice to assume their position on the board as soon as possible. This is in direct response to the ludicrous provision that the elected wait until July of next year to take their seats. The same is the plan for the District A winner. The pressure will then be on the District B appointed member to do the same.
PS your partisan rhetoric makes it seem like you have a political axe to grind. I do not appreciate you using school children to do it. This is another reason I fear BOE elections.
Bob Frisch says
The time for talk is over. It is now time to VOTE! Like it or not the ELECTED school board is here. If you want to have a say in who represents the best interest of children attending Harford County schools and the taxpayers that support the system and their programs then voters need to do their own homework on the candidates and make their choice at the ballot box.
My positions on the issues are clearly out there for everyone to see. I cannot say the same for the other candidates from District A. In addition to this forum you can find quotes in the Aegis, on my web page, and in published questionnaires from several organizations. I have been speaking and listening to citizens all over Edgewood, Joppatowne, and Joppa. I have spoken at political gatherings crossing all political boundaries because I believe everyone’s voice should be heard and considered. Dozens of people have contacted me directly by phone and email to discuss their ideas and concerns. My campaign slogan has been “YOUR Voice” and in order to do so I have been and will continue to make myself available to listen to you.
Organizations on both side of the political isle have endorsed my candidacy, from the Harford County Education Association, Republican clubs across the county, to FOP Lodge #3 and associated retired law enforcement officers. Others groups, whose bylaws prohibit endorsements prior to the general election, have advised me I will have their endorsements after the primary election is complete. The diverse nature of these groups speaks to the wide range of support my candidacy has and faith that I will always place the best interest of children first.
I encourage you to contact family, friends, and other associates to express your opinions on the candidates and get them to go to the polls. If you feel that I am worthy I thank you, but in order to move on to the general election I need your votes now – in the primary. Regardless, everyone should take advantage of this wonder privilege – the vote. Many have sacrificed a great deal so that we may have the opportunity.
Delegate B. Dan. Riley says
more than meets the eye,
My record speaks for itself on the elected school board issue. Please judge the other delegates by their vote on this issue.
dig deeper says
It appears that Jansen Robinson was forced to resign as Baltimore City Schools Police.
Mr. Robinson makes a great deal out of his leadership qualities as a former police chief. The reality appears that his mismanagement and lack of leadership led to his forced resignation from the position.
“School officers question leader. Chief’s plan draws call for no-confidence vote; Safety of staff, students an issue;Hiring of nonunion security guards disputed” http://www.baltimoresun.com/bal-md.union04nov04,0,7091308.story
“Former Baltimore Schools Top Cop Tells His Side – Chief Resigned This Week Amid State Investigation” http://www.wbaltv.com/education/3013624/detail.html
Dig Even Deeper says
I am a former employee of the Baltimore City School Police Force during Mr. Robinson’s tenure. Mr. Robinson was an outsider who was brought in to PUT CHILDREN First. He did and there were a number of us who did not feel that an outsider should be making thise kind of changes. So there were those who did what they could to make his tenure as tough as possible.
Mr. Robinson was asked to leave because as is often the case the new Superintendendt wanted a team with whom she was more confortable.
We watched the current Superintendent of Harford County Public Schools replace high level employees with those he is familiar with.
And we know that changing high level employees by the incoming Chief Executive is something that has occured in Baltimore City Government for decades.
Mr. Robinson has a history of service to his country and to his community. We have all witnessed that. What Dig Deeper is asking us to do is to pass judgement based on Newspaper articles withour the benefit of all of the information.
The chances that someone who worked with Jansen back in 2002 in Baltimore City and happened to be reading The Dagger within the last 36 hours is probably somewhere in the neighborhood of 1,000,000,000 to 1. This was obviously posted by Robinson himself or one of the other stooges (Washington, Guthrie, etc.)
dig deeper says
I too am very familiar with Mr. Robinson’s time as chief. You are right the articles do not tell the whole story. The complete story is much worse. The fact is his actions resulted in the vast majority of school police personnel calling for his ouster. Not because he wanted, as you say to “put children first,” but because he was an ineffective manager and his leadership was a corrosive element in the agency. The agency suffered under his command and is still dealing with the negative impact of his presence.
Mr. Robinson served in the administration of Carmen Russo, who was forced to resign as the CEO of the Baltimore City School System under a serious cloud of controversy and a 50+ million dollar deficit that was in part linked to criminal activity within the school system that occurred under her watch in the awarding school related contracts, and other mismanagement activities. When Bonnie Copeland was appointed CEO Mr. Robinson was one of the first people to get the boot.
Wanting to put children first is a noble ideal, but if you do not have the management skills and leadership ability to set and achieve goals you are ineffective and in this case a detriment to the system you are supposed to be improving.
The voters only have one shot to get this right. Our children are depending on us to get it right and we can’t afford to take chances with their future. A vote for Robinson for the school board is a dangerous proposition.