Harford Executive and Gubernatorial Candidate Craig: Adopting Common Core State Standards Was a “Great Mistake”

In a recent interview focused on education, gubernatorial candidate and Harford County Executive David Craig said that Maryland’s adoption of the Common Core State Standards wasn’t simply a mistake, it was a “great mistake”; ditto for statewide tests and education funding required under the state’s maintenance of effort law (“ridiculous”, both). And don’t get the former educator started on the current head of the local teachers’ union.

On the other hand, Craig also said that Maryland has a “very good” school system, even if he doesn’t buy the #1 ranking touted by other politicians. As for school improvement, Craig said that the success of education really comes down to one person, and it’s not who you might expect.

The Dagger was invited to sit down with Craig on June 20th to discuss education. Below is a summary of the Q&A, Part I:

Dagger: Adopting the Common Core State Standards helped Maryland win federal Race to the Top money ($250 million plus, over 4 years). Yet, teachers say they are inadequately prepared for statewide implementation in 2013-14, and the coming state tests based on the Common Core require technology that is not available in all schools. Was it a mistake for Maryland to sign on to the Common Core?

Craig: “It wasn’t a mistake, it was a great mistake”

Similar proposals, always based on tests, have come along before, Craig said, only to be replaced when they didn’t help. Such cycles have occurred five or six times in the last 30 years, he said.

Regarding the Common Core, Craig predicted that test scores will drop dramatically, as he said they always do with new tests, and that state and federal government would then ask for more money. “It’s all about testing,” he said, “it should be about teaching.”

As for the Common Core’s goal of improving college and career readiness, Craig said that not everyone needs to go to college, and he questioned the value of certain college majors: “I don’t know of any companies that deal in philosophy.” The push to increase college attendance created “customers” for the colleges, he said, but contributed to rising costs.

New state tests aligned with the Common Core, which are being designed to be taken via computer, are “ridiculous”, according to Craig, as are the current state tests, the Maryland School Assessment (MSA) and High School Assessment (HSA). Craig also criticized tests where students are marked wrong if they don’t arrive at the correct answer in the right way, and conversely, where credit is given for wrong answers depending on how the answer was developed.

Craig’s answer to the problem: “We don’t need statewide testing,” and as governor, he would advocate for their abolition. Instead, he said that tests should be developed at the school and classroom level, “That’s why we hire teachers.”

Dagger: Some states have delayed mandatory implementation of the Common Core. Should Maryland follow suit?

Craig: “The only reason Maryland [adopted the Common Core] was they saw they could get all this money. How much went to teachers? How much went to the classroom? None of it.”

Calling the Common Core an unfunded mandate, Craig estimated it would cost Harford County Public Schools between $1 million and $5-6 million at a minimum to get the necessary technology and train teachers, which should be funded by federal government. As for a statewide delay in implementing the Common Core, put Craig down as a “definite yes.”

Dagger: How will Harford County fund the necessary technology?

Craig: “If I’m governor, we won’t have to pay for it because we won’t do it.”

Dagger: Labor unrest has plagued Harford County Public Schools for the past two years as teachers say they are not being paid as well as their peers in other counties. Are Harford County teachers paid enough to attract the best and brightest?

Craig: “I read the same articles in every other county.”

Craig added that advocates cherry pick the salary levels, which are based on teacher experience and education, to show their salaries are the lowest in the state. While acknowledging layoffs in HCPS this year, Craig said that teachers hadn’t been furloughed in the past.

Not all teachers are protesting either, Craig said. Many are unhappy they didn’t get salary increases for next year, but most understand what’s happening to county employees and in private business, where people have lost their jobs or seen salaries decline, he said. Craig conceded that some teachers were protesting but “…only because they are being given really bad information from probably the most inept union leader I’ve ever seen.”

Dagger: You’ve complained that local government funds education without any say over how the money is spent. What changes to the process would you propose?

Craig outlined three options:

1. Local school boards become part of county government, operating as a county department run by the counties as another service they provide. The county executive, in conjunction with the county council or county commissioners, would appoint the superintendent. Craig explained in a rare understatement, “We’re the ones who provide the money, and we should have a little say in how it gets spent.”

2. Give school boards taxing authority. Not the best option, Craig said, because it doesn’t get rid of the duplication in services between county government and local school boards in areas such as human resources, procurement, information technology, and facilities. As an aside, Craig criticized elected school boards, which he said had “undermined the way boards of education used to work in the State of Maryland.” (More on this subject in Part II of the interview)

3. Eliminate local school boards all together. Citing the state-mandated curriculum and state testing, Craig asked why 24 superintendents and 24 curriculum directors were needed, one for each jurisdiction. “If the state wants control over it”, he said,” they can run the whole thing.”

Craig said that none of the above options would be approved, however, because change would be undermined by whoever might lose as a result: “Education should be about the children and it’s obviously not.”

Dagger: The Harford County Board of Education just scaled back its spending plans for next year by $20 million to match funding provided by you and the county council. The school board cut teachers and instituted Pay to Play. Were they the right moves? What would you have cut instead?

Craig: “The school board has 550 more positions than when I started as county executive and the school population has declined by 6%. They need to be more efficient.”

Pressed for an example, Craig said, “I’m sure some teachers have 15 students [in their classes] and others have 35. I don’t think they’re looking at that”. Old programs should also be looked at when new programs are brought in, he said. Asked for examples of programs that could be cut, Craig deferred to Interim Superintendent Barbara Canavan, whom he said would know where to cut given her 40 years of experience in HCPS.

Magnet programs were not on Craig’s cut list, but he said that they should have been made available in all high schools. Otherwise, it upsets the distribution of students among the schools. The existing magnet programs are good, he said, but they also could have been expanded to include more vocational and technical programs.

Finally, Pay to Play should not have been instituted, Craig said, because all students in school should have access to extra-curricular activities. He called special exemptions from the policy – currently allowed for the children of teachers and active military, and students on free and reduced meals – unfair.

Coming next in Part II: Taking on Maryland’s #1 ranking in education; how the budget process should work; and the key person responsible for success in education.


  1. Sarah says

    Say what you will about Craig, he tells you how it is. Kind of like Chris Christie, minus a few pounds (but not too many). He would make a good Governor, but sadly, this state is too liberal to elect him and too far gone to matter anyway.

  2. Craig for gov? says

    An inept union leader paired with an inept county executive.
    It’s like watching Laurel and Hardy reruns.

    • Concerned Teacher says

      I wonder if he was referring to Burbey or Cerveny? I don’t think Burbey has had time enough to be as inept and ineffectual as Randy was.

  3. just more talking points says

    There is truth in some of what Mr. Craig says but not completely.

    The County Executive, with the support of the County Council, has certainly helped contribute to the fiscal environment that created the situation where the BOE felt the need to implement pay to play, teacher reductions/layoffs, and other cost saving measures.

    Mr. Craig fails to mention his strong arming the school board into adding a new and even bigger HdG HS to their capital plan when there are many empty seats in other high schools. Is this really justifiable? Conceivably HdG HS could be closed and its students dispersed to other high schools.

    Mr. Craig supported the partially elected school board. If he believed an elected BOE was such a bad thing he certainly could have stopped it just as the Baltimore County Executive recently did in his county. This is more a matter of the BOE having some independent thinkers and he hasn’t been immune from criticism from that group.

    Common Core is here and the school system must implement the new curriculum and the technology infrastructure requirements whether or not Mr. Craig approves.

    Many of the duplicated services Mr. Craig suggests be consolidated could actually be done more efficiently by the school system than is currently performed by county government employees. But that would not consolidate power in county government, which is the real intent.

    Taxing authority works very well in almost every other jurisdiction in the country and it would do so here. Actually it provides an even more direct and democratic approach to school funding and expenditures. Again this would cut the power of the purse from the County Executive and diminish his control which is not what he wants to hear.

    Mr. Craig cannot ignore the fact that greater numbers of senior teachers are leaving the system (more would do so if greater opportunities existed in other nearby counties) and the HCPS is failing to attract the best applicants. Despite Mr. Craig’s assertions to the contrary this is can be directly attributed to salary. If other counties are not only maintaining but actually improving their school systems. Why not Harford County?

    If Mr. Craig wanted magnet programs to be more evenly distributed throughout the county high schools he certainly could have used his influence with the BOE during the preliminary phases of planning and design or he could have assisted with creating another vocational and technical magnet program in another part of the county.

    I am looking forward to part two where I am sure I will find more spin.

    • just more talking points says

      I forgot to add that a new high school in HdG will come in at 80 million or so with county taxpayers on the hook to pay the interest/debt service for 20 plus years on the bonds needed to float his project.

  4. K says

    This is the first Republican in the State of Maryland to even acknowledge Common Core. Where have the rest been? Are they even aware of its arrival? Same old, same old…..

    • John says

      Del. Ron George (another candidate for Governor) and Del. Kelly Schulz have both led a fight against Common Core for more than a year. Where has Craig been until now?

  5. Vladamir Lennon says

    I love common Core. It indoctrinates all good citizens into the glories of Communism. The people come first. Thank you Commisar Burbey for furthering the message of the great Karl Marx. You get a gold star, and two red ones for your efforts.

    • Harold Krassny says

      Some Agenda 21 and Plan Maryland folks might not realize that your tongue is in your cheek!

  6. Citizen says

    Common Core may be a lousy test but I can’t understand Craig’s idea that the only accountability being that each teacher sets the standards and creates the test. Is that how he plans to run the state? There must be some way to provide accountability with a reasonable assessment.

  7. A Liberal says

    Dear Mr. Craig,
    Thank you sooooo much for your comments regarding common core. You are wise and great! I take everything you say about education soooo seriously. I mean, coming from an ex-teacher turned into an anti- teacher and politician, your words are like gold. How about this? Stop worrying about an education system you have not funded for several years and essentially crushed along with a few other politicians. Go back to strategizing your hopeless run for Annapolis. Thankfully, for the state, your political career is over!

    • Jaguar Judy says

      Let’s all attack the messenger so no one notices that the message is spot on.

      • A Liberal says

        My point is that “The Great and Powerful Craig” has not cared about education for several very long years. Why start now?

      • A Liberal says

        As much as I hate and blame Craig for the current, very bad, state of education in our beloved county, I have to admit I do agree with parts of the message. There is a tremendous amount of waste in HCPS. As is there in the county government, which make the great one a hypocrite and an enabler. As a classroom teacher, I think the best way to make education great is to pay teachers more, which would attract better candidates, and higher more teachers, to decrease class sizes. But why would an electrician (Grambo) and a bunch of politicians listen to a teacher about how to make public education better. It’s like all of the yahoos that listen to news pundits and politicians and NOT scientists when forming their opinions about global climate change and the environment.

        • TR says

          Why should the taxpayers pay for more teachers during a time when student enrollment is falling? Enrollment has fallen by 2500 students in the last 8 or 9 years, and over that time the school system has filled 550 more positions. That is not a good use of resources if you ask me.

          • fellow Republican says

            More students are coming with greater needs and that effects all the children. Cut from the top. Too many positions are in advisory, evaluative or compliance.

        • Monster says

          Liberal, you don’t have to apologize for your spelling. Most people know liberals are uneducated and out to lunch.

          • A Liberal says

            Actually, Monster, most people with masters degrees or better are liberals. It’s a fact! Facts are what conservatives have issues with.

          • B says

            So the 20 percent (63 million) who identify themselves have more master degrees then the 40 percent (125 million) who identify themselves as conservative……. It must be true, the liberal said so.

  8. Jack Rabbit says

    I have never in my life read an interview that was published read like this.

    I encourage everyone to go back and reread this editorial mess of an interview. It will make your head hurt no matter what side of the issues you are on.

    • PTB says

      sorry Jack rabbit. maybe cindy can rewrite the article with smaller words and larger type so that you can comprehend it. or maybe you can re-read it after nap time.

  9. AJ says

    I suppose Craig isn’t interested in raising expectations for students so that when they graduate, they are (hopefully) better educated than they currently are.

    See here’s the thing…these are his talking points to try and garner some attention with such flamboyant comments. He hasn’t a clue nor a chance

  10. For Real says

    Does anyone commenting actually understand what the common core is?

    When taken out of the realm of this horrendous political spectrum, it actually has much potential in increasing the level of achievement in high school students. The standards are actually very well written and quite in touch with holding teachers and students accountable for higher expectations. I had my doubts when I first heard of their implementation. However, after working with them as an experienced educator and evaluator, I see many positives in what it can do for education if used in a positive manner.

    All I see are people taking a tool that can be used to create a more enriched classroom environment and throwing it into a political pissing match where many think they are educated in a content that is obviously distant to them.

    • spy says

      Leave it to David Craig to spout off about Common Core as if he really knows what it will mean in classrooms. Not all change is bad; as an educator, I am looking forward to some of the changes. I think that we will see a growth in our students and in their interest in learning through cross-curricular activites. Yes, Mr. Craig, it should be about teaching, not teaching to the test, but I don’t understand why you are suddenly objecting to this practice. It has been in place for years in our state! I really think he has not a chance of being the governor of Md.

    • K says

      I haven’t delved too deep into the Common Core pool so I only know what I’ve read and heard about from different sources. Two concerns I have are the electronic wrist bands that students will be forced to wear and that all tests must be taken on Common Core specific computers. Maybe this isn’t true but the information regarding both are found in a variety of sources. In addition, I don’t understand how those students that are either struggling with or failing our current curriculum will be able to withstand more rigorous coursework. I am all for uping the ante intellectually, but is this new program what the doctor ordered. Some states have been used as test sites and again, from what I’ve read, their test scores have fallen quite dramatically (Massachusetts for example). I’m just not a believer that any federally mandated program will lead to scholastic success. I honestly hope I’m wrong because our nation cannot afford, financially or academically, any more waste.

    • Libertarian says

      Please provide a reference where the Constitution provides the federal government the power to deliver, regulate, or oversee education…

  11. Pavel314 says

    @A Liberal: “Actually, Monster, most people with masters degrees or better are liberals. It’s a fact! Facts are what conservatives have issues with.”

    It depends on the degree. People with a master’s degree in soft subjects like art history, political science, or underwater basket weaving do tend to be liberal. People with master’s degrees in a subject where you actually have to know something and be able to solve problems (mathematics, physics, engineering) tend to be more conservative. Since the fluff majors are easier, more people enroll in those.

  12. tsa says

    Craig is preaching to his base. There isn’t anything he can do about the school system and he wouldn’t propose that the Education dept do away with its responsibility once be became governor. He also knows that you can’t combine local govt and another state agency such as HCPS. He knows the law and flaunts a different type of solution which won’t be available to implement unless the county charter and state constitution is amended, a tall order for any governor. I suppose if he ran for President he would abolish the IRS and do away with any federal powers upon the states too and if grandma had a pair, then she’d be grandpa too!!!

  13. Pavel314 says

    As soon as Craig’s opponent brings up the $14 Million sweetheart bond deal his developer buddy got, his campaign is over.

  14. GetReal says

    Anyone, especially a former educator, who belittles one’s choice of a college major, has no business running for governor, let alone ANY elected position for that matter. Instead of complaining about the adoption of the common core, which actually aimes to help our children learn each subject in a more specific and in-depth manner, thus leading to greater understanding of concepts as opposed to trying to cram 25 different concepts into one unit, executive ” Craig ( it kills me to call him that) should be moving forward with the principles outlined in the common core, encouraging our educators to take a fresh look at how they are teaching, and promoting further education NO MATTER WHAT form it takes. In addition, this man has no right to complain about an educational system that he continues to deprive of necessary funding. Go ahead and push for a continuation of how our current education system in HarCo is being run, continue to poke fun at certain individuals’ choice of study, and see if you get elected for governer. I would recommend looking at the statistics of college readiness and work place readiness in relation to our youths participation in the current education and testing processes.

  15. S says

    The only problem is that as a teacher and as a human being with self-regard for himself I don’t take on more work for free. My time and talents have value, but this frozen wage for 4+ years means I am worth less to my employers every year. Not the same, mind you, but less–I don’t see gas prices or myriad other costs/prices/fees in my world “frozen” like my wage is, so I am actually making LESS than I was four years ago. Yet I am being asked to do MORE? Sorry, this does not compute. I imagine as teachers we all say, “But it’s for the kids,” which is exactly what the state wants us to say, banking on the fact the very integrity which brought us to this profession in the first place will keep us working regardless of our wage.

    It’s a good thing I love what I do. Yes, I will continue giving 100% to this profession. But I won’t pretend that I feel support from every corner. I, like many others, will likely peruse this CC coming down the pike and take what we feel has value, leaving the rest.

  16. FED UP! says

    Mr. Craig asserted that teachers understand and accept their salaries being frozen for the fourth time in five years.
    I am a teacher, and I do not accept bad faith negotitations, cronyism, and the failure to honor my contract. I object to pay to play as a means of making up the gaps. Nor do I accept that underfundning education for many years and squandering of money by our esteemed leaders will lead to cuts in programs, teachers, and result in huge class sizes. All while we prepare for big shifts in pedagogy and pratice.
    I have no problem with common core except that there is nothing revolutionary or new about it. It is the articulation of what most of us already do. I object to over- testing, and the test as the end all/be all in education- and the money corporate test makers and “new curiculum and standard” writing companies are making on the backs of public education. I reject the ridiculous and ambigious new evaluation system that no one can clearly explain, yet I am supposed to abide by- but fine- I am a professional- show me what you want, and I will meet the requirements. Just know that teacher autonomy based on years of experience and professional training for the job is PROVEN to be an indicator for a thriving educational system- see Finland.
    I will, however, no longer work for free for this county. WORK TO RULE until something changes. We’ve reached a tipping point- and for Craig to not only wash his hands of the mess he has left of HCPS (with the help of Tombeck et al) but to make these assertations is offensive as if he hasn’t left a mess behind- and the teachers- and all of the students.

    • Jaguar Judy says

      FED UP, Your union recommended ratification and the members voted to approve the contract. It is true that the cost of living in Maryland is rising but part of that is the result of the Dem/Lib state government increasing every tax and fee in sight plus adding new ones. That would be the folks that your union and the MSTA and NEA heartily endorse. Work to rule if that is what makes you feel better.

      • FED UP! says

        Oh I am, Judy. And it doesn’t make me feel better. I feel defeated.
        You never answered my question in another blog, however- so I will ask again- since you are such an expert on education, exactly what is YOUR connection to HCPS as one so invested in this debate? Do you have children in HCPS; do you personally know any teachers? Do you have a business in HC that would seek well educated graduates? Do you have property in HC that is tied to the quality of the school system for its value?
        If you answer yes to any of those questions, perhaps you should reevaluate your position.

      • says

        Go back and underline the phrase “failure to honor my contract”. Teachers DID NOT approve a contract with no increases in pay; the county chose to IGNORE the negotiated contract and hand us whatever they wanted to hand us, unlike the counties around us who honor the agreements of their boards of ed with teachers’ associations. I’m not sure how we are supposed to teach integrity when we have so few examples to point to.

      • Simple Logic says

        Which is exactly why I am no longer a part of the union. I do not want my money going towards any person the NEA and the MSTA endorses. The endorse the money hungry greedy politicians.

      • fellow Republican says

        Maybe, you should look at that a little closer. This is a county problem created by those who are for greeting about the people. Did you know that there is a large contingent within Craig’s own party who do not support his ideas?

  17. Chrystie says

    The thought of David Craig for Governor makes me sick to my stomach.

    The man used his career as an educator to run for political office
    only to turn his back on the children and hard working educators in this county the last few years.

    Mr. Craig continues to twist the facts only to make himself look good. Fortunately most people in Harford County see him for the swine he really is.

    I plan to do everything in my power to keep that arrogant self righteous liar out of office.

    • Jaguar Judy says

      And I will be right there with you Chrystie but trying to be sure we never get another governor like O’Malley and the rest of the Dem/Lib Socialist spendthrifts.

  18. Teacher says

    The fact that people are using this forum to bash each others’ political beliefs is stupid. That is not the point. The point is that Craig does not care about the teachers in Harford County, of which I am one. We have been shafted. Our contracts have been ignored and we have been getting underpaid for our services. I will no longer work for free. I plan on following Work to Rule, which is unfortunate, as that means I will no longer offer some extra experiences for my students. Someone needs to wake up and realize how much teachers offer of themselves that has not been acknowledged, how much teachers pay for things out of their own pocket.

    The Common Core fiasco is what it is. I’m not thrilled about it, but it’s not going to change much in our daily lives. The new teacher evaluation system is more of an issue. No one can give any answers to how the evaluations will occur, yet we’re expected to meet the criteria. Teachers and administrators cannot be left in the dark about something that directly impacts them!

    I am starting to look for a job in other counties because I’m sick of how we’ve been treated in this one. David Craig sounds passionate in his interview, but not where it counts. He has never shown an iota of compassion or recognition for the teachers in Harford County. We educate the future. More people need to realize how vital our jobs are and that we should be treated that way.

  19. Teacher in hcps says

    I am horrified that Mr. Craig is going to represent this county in the race for Governor this year. I disagree with many of the points he makes in this article, but to say that teachers understand not getting salary raises and we understand the need for positions to be cut is false and out of touch with reality. When was the last time he visited a school in our county and opened a real dialogue with teachers? I have a friend, who is by far one of the best teachers I have met. She will be leaving HCPS after 10 years of teaching to go teach in Baltimore City to earn a $20,000 raise. The city is willing to pay her for step increases she has not been getting in this county and take into account her experience and expertise. She has a family to support and can no longer afford to do so without even so much as a cost of living increase. Mr. Craig needs to wake up and understand that the best teachers are leaving our county because they know they will be rewarded for their efforts elsewhere in the state. I am a career changer who chose teaching as a profession later in life. I took out a student loan to earn my Masters degree, something I will be paying off for years. Why would teachers stay in a profession where a masters degree is required when they can only make $43,000 a year and cannot afford to support a family on that salary, let alone pay off the loans required to earn the degree required for the job? There is one thing we teachers do understand Mr. Craig…you do not value teachers and the job that we do. There are many other jobs in the county that are paid according to their level of education and job performance, but teaching is not one of those jobs. I fear for the students of this county who cannot afford a private school education, because in ten years, there will be fewer teachers due to the lack of salary increases, and class sizes will be huge. Teachers will not be able to provide the level of support and attention our children need to be successful leaders and productive members of society.

  20. Citizen says

    Here is a link to the Common Core Curriculum :


    In order to fully understand the impact of this curriculum on students, we would also need to see
    examples of how students will be tested. Again, I don’t know if Common Core is good or bad, but
    that isn’t my biggest concern regarding Craig. My biggest concern is exemplified by his comment
    that not all college majors are worth studying, philosophy for example. This comment shows
    total disregard to the needs and future of each child. Is Craig advocating a form of socialism
    where the only purpose of an education is to meet the needs of the state?
    He went on to say that education is about teaching. I prefer to think education is about learning.
    If it about teaching, then teachers have done their job when they present material. If it is about
    learning, then teachers have done their job when their students have learned. There is a big

  21. Stoic says

    Wanna save money in the school systems? Stop mowing thousands of acres of grass that serve no purpose other than aesthetics. Stop building mini-stadiums paved with astro-turf and illuminated with a couple billion candlepower worth of stadium lighting. Stop buying the latest and greatest high-end landscaping tools- cripes- my lawn looks like a golf course and my mower is 50 years old. Let teachers teach. School is about learning how to learn, not a factory to pump out job applicants to stoke the furnaces of an increasingly non-industrial society.

  22. Old timer says

    Since Mr. Craig was a teacher and a principal, he has a idea of what needs to do be done or should be done for education. More money, more testing, more technology or more “tools” is not the answer. The real answer but not the politically correct one is, it is the parent’s/guardian’s responsibility for some of the students performance in school. Just because they pass or fail a standardized test doesn’t show anything. If you do the work, pass the work, then you should pass. Trying to re invent the wheel using some Phd’s idea of teaching is stupid. Have a Master’s Degree to teach school? For what? If they weren’t a good teacher before the Master’s, how will they be a better teacher just because they have 30 more college credits. What ever happened to keep it simple, stupid? Forget about collecting all that statistical nonsense.
    In regards to HdG’s new high school, It is now the oldest high school in the county. I think they are about due. Dispersing them to other local school doesn’t make a whole lot of sense.

  23. Frustrated says

    Putting aside my terror and disgust at the thought of Craig as our governor, I have to say that I was offended and shocked by Craig’s derogatory and caviler statements towards higher education, the teaching profession, and the state of our current education system. As a HCPS educator I am very upset that my time, talents, and education are consistently and grossly undervalued. Hartford County teachers consistently do what is right by our students in spite of the fact that we have not received our promised step increases and cost of living increases for the past several years. I can think of no other profession where the wronged party continues to full their contact even if the other party doesn’t. That to me shows the quality and integrity of our teachers not their “acceptance and understanding”. I in fact do not understand and am beyond frustrated with being taken for granted! My bills increase with the times, my taxes and benefit costs increase, yet i have to make sure with less. I am constantly asked to do more work to meet the necessary increases in our curriculum. I have to picked up the slack left behind when we lose yet another quality teacher to “necessary” budget cuts, and yet I am told I don’t do enough! Our county needs to make some serious choices on how to survive on a limited budget, but we can’t constantly do that at the expense of our staff and students.

    As for his comments on the new common core curriculum and being college and career ready, I have to wonder what Craig believes education is for if not to prepare our students for the future? I personally like the depth and rigor of our new curriculum and I am hopeful that this will help move our education system into a more competitive position on the world stage. We are currently ranked 17th out of 40 nations. Lastly although I agree that not everyone needs to go to college, I would hope that everyone has the choice to go to college because they received a quality education. An education is the most valuable thing a person can receive. I would hope that a former educator would recognize and applaud this not demean it.

    In general I grow more and more appalled by the choices being made for HCPS and would hope that future decisions are made that will truly promote a quality education and not cow to political whims.

  24. Kathy Bageant says

    First of all, Mr. Craig, most of the teachers of the HCPS do not understand why their salaries have been frozen for the last 4 years!! We are outraged at the total lack of respect and support that you have given over the last 4 years! I have read several of your responses to emails sent to you by the professionals that work so hard everyday to educate the children of Harford County. Your disrespect and degradation of these hard working individuals is appalling! In one email, you refer to the teacher’s writing as “sophomoric,” and you go on to further disrespect the individual’s point of view on school related topics. These emails gave me real insight into your lack of character and professionalism. I remember well when you first ran for County Executive. You wooed the educators of this county with all your promises of supporting teachers and providing salaries that were competitive with other Maryland counties. You assured the teachers that you were “one of them.” Then along comes re-election, and your true colors came through! It is interesting how you show such disregard for the HCEA union leader. He has your number and he doesn’t let you get away with the lies and misrepresentations such as those outlined in this interview. I guess you do not like him, which only makes the teachers of HCPS respect him even more! The Maryland Stat Teacher’s Association is very powerful and they will make sure that teachers throughout the state do not let David Craig get anywhere near the governor’s mansion!!

  25. How Dare You Craig! ont you speak for me. You are clueless Your words are lies Governor you will not be. Don't speak for me With your forked tongue Claiming that I agree A vote here will never be. Don't speak for me In your political quest While you ignor says

    How Dare You

    Dont you speak for me.
    You are clueless
    Your words are lies
    Governor you will not be.

    Don’t speak for me
    With your forked tongue
    Claiming that I agree
    A vote here will never be.

    Don’t speak for me
    In your political quest
    While you ignore this mess
    HarCo fail, state prevail?

    Don’t speak for me
    Say children who now have to pay to play, teachers that are fed up with your disregard and disrespect.
    HCEA is getting stronger and you don’t like it.

    Don’t EVER think you speak for me!

    • Sarah says

      Name one of his “lies” please. You can do it in the form of a poem, haiku, or dirty limerick for all I care. Just back up your allegation.

  26. Daughter of an Educator says

    I am the daughter of a Harford County School educator. I know, first-hand, that the lack of step increases (and, by the way, they are not “raises;” they are negotiated step increases) has proved to be a great hardship for many families. My mom, as a single parent, has had to work two and three jobs throughout the school year to make ends meet. Teachers are not greedy; they just want to do their job without the stress of wondering whether or not they will have enough money to pay BGE at the end of the month. After seeing the sad state of affairs in Harford County, I have chosen not to go into education. In fact, my fiance and I have chosen to work and live in another county in Maryland because of what’s happening to the school system. In fact, if Craig gets elected Governor, we will chose to live in another state. As someone who has been an educator (and, by the way, he is double-dipping into the County budget with his salary as County Executive – which was raised significantly during his term – and his HCPS retirement), he certainly has severe contempt for teachers and the education system as a whole. Please let’s get this education system back on track so people will want to live and work in Harford County again!

    • The Money Tree says

      As is true with nearly all single moms – being broke as a single mom is not unique to teachers. Your mom will also qualify for retirement as does Craig and if your mom would like to run for County Executive and should win she too will draw a salary.

        • The Money Tree says

          Teachers have really changed through the years – foul mouthed and angry lot nowadays. There’s nothing I said that was the least bit offensive. If you’re going to post for your “mom” expect some folks to perhaps not fully agree and address you.

      • Daughter of an Educator says

        Hi, David! I recognize your response anywhere! You have a real talent for evading the issues and personally attacking your constituents. What is really at issue is not my family situation or your pension. The real issues are:

        1) …that 20-somethings are choosing to live in more family-friendly counties within the state, where education is a priority. Just read this blog; who would want to grow a family where there is such an adverse relationship between the County Executive and educators. It has to cause stress within the school system.
        2) …that there is an elected official, “representative,” that is using his political office for his own agenda and not representing the people who so graciously elected him.

        It’s sad…sad that the very reason many people chose Harford County as home in the 80’s and 90’s, is the same reason why people are choosing to live elsewhere in 2013…the education system.

          • Response says

            Not yet…but it’s coming. People are making those decisions about where to live now… The statistics will soon reflect the change.

        • The Money Tree says

          You really think 20 somethings decide to live or not live somewhere based upon your feelings about the public school system? Harford County schools are no better or worse on the whole than anywhere else – people live here based upon employment opportunities, distance to work, crime rates, affordability of housing, recreational opportunities – parks, playgrounds, sponsored teams and open space….plus the quality of education. How much teachers are paid is pretty low on the list up and until it might affect the quality of education…and I assure you I am not David Craig.

    • Monster says

      He is not double dipping. He is not allowed to collect two pensions from the Marylabd Retirement System. He also did not raise his own salary. This was done some time ago by the CC when Craig was not CE. Get your fact straight.

        • Monster says

          another post from you with your lack of knowledge. Don’t let the facts get in the way of a good story. I hope you aren’t an educator.

          • Tea Bagging It says

            Cdev is good at that. I hope Cdev isn’t teaching, if so I feel sorry for the students.

  27. Discouraged says

    Teachers have a contract. The contract states that teachers should receive a step increase annually. What benefit is a contract if it is never honored? How about balancing the budget by postponing the installation of a $1000000 turf field at AHS, by not painting schools, by not installing new lights. Oh yes, these decisions were made a long time ago, and cannot be stopped once they are on the schedule. When you don’t have the money, you don’t do the repairs. Retaining highly qualified teachers should be the number one priority. It clearly is last on the priority list. Teachers are tired of being unappreciated and underpaid. When will it end?