It takes a lot to run for office. I thank Lois Jarman for putting herself into the process. I’m sorry she chose to leave in the manner she did.
If I’m “dangerous” because I dare to ask questions and dare to defend students, teachers and “public” education, I’m not the one everyone should be concerned about. I’m dangerous because I involve the public, and the establishment doesn’t abide sunshine.
“Divisive” among whom?
I make no apologies for, nor regret calling for [Superintendent of Frederick County Public Schools Terry] Alban to resign. I think she has allowed students and parents to be bullied over test refusals. In her role as president of the Public School Superintendents Association (PSSAM), she actively lobbied against HB1204 (Ben’s Rule), a bill that would allow children with disabilities to be exempt from mandated testing. Alban actively fights against parental rights and local control.
“Worldly knowledge”? I don’t even know how to address this claim. Frederick residents must leave the state or country in order to be qualified to be on the Board of Education? I’ve lived in California and Virginia. My life doesn’t pass her enrichment muster? Her statement has a ring of “elitism” to it. This attitude of “you aren’t qualified because ________ (fill in the blank with establishment approved qualification)” is why Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders are the favored presidential candidates. “They” know best.
The Board of Education, can indeed set aside the PARCC exams and use an alternate.
We can set aside PARCC and all the other burdensome, time-monopolizing, hoop-jumping, mandated tests if we want to say “no, thank you” to federal Title I funding. The $4 million in Title I funding is why we even participate in the assessments scheme. Who doesn’t want to have the conversation about continuing Title I work without federal assistance? The “establishment” doesn’t, that’s who.
We could also be back in charge of our food and nutrition services if we say no to Title I funding. Who doesn’t want to have this choice?
So, yes, I am dangerous. I am dangerous because I have faith in the people of Frederick’s ability to educate our children without all the federal, state and professional association interference. Do we want schools we control, or schools where others dictate the terms from what and how our children learn, to what they eat for lunch? That’s where we currently are.
I’m dangerous because I want the people of Frederick to know all the facts before we make life-altering decisions. I’m dangerous because I want people to be able to decide what book their child will read. I’m dangerous because I’m the very proud mother of children in whose future I am more fully invested than any education bureaucrat will ever be. I’m dangerous because I believe the people of Frederick can do a better job of educating our children than the current batch of state bureaucrats, politicians, reformers and professional associations. I believe in you.
They’ve had control of the education narrative for decades. I believe it’s time to return it to our communities. I’m willing to give you all the information so we can have real conversations about what we want versus getting what they choose on our behalf.
That’s why I’m dangerous and divisive in their eyes. As a voter, and more specifically as a voter concerned with the quality of the education your children receive, you ought to be a little dangerous too! Whether you’re a well-educated world traveler or you’ve been busy working hard and raising a family right here in Frederick County, it’s time to use your vote and your voice to reject the tired rhetoric of the status-quo defenders.
Ms. Jarman’s withdrawal seems to have drawn a line in the sand. The choices are starkly different; you will decide the direction you want to go in November.
Cindy Rose is a candidate for this fall’s election for the Frederick County Board of Education.