From the desk of MSEA's president
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I never get tired of talking about how proud I am of the
students, educators, community members, and policymakers who have worked together
to make Maryland’s public schools #1.
The leadership of Governor O’Malley, who has made school
funding and school construction a top priority over the last four years, has
been critical in getting our schools the resources that they need to be great.
Recently, Maryland received additional federal resources
through the critical Educator Jobs bill and from Maryland’s Race to the Top
award. These funds will help keep our schools successful and innovative. Even
in dark economic times, our schools have continued to be a success story and
given us much to celebrate.
Yet we can’t afford to become complacent. While our schools
may be #1, we must continually demonstrate our belief that great public schools
are a basic right for every child and that it is within every child’s grasp to
reach their full potential to be #1 themselves.
No matter socioeconomic status, family dynamics, or learning
disabilities, there is no child unable to overcome academic adversity with a community
of educators, parents, and policymakers working as a team—instructing, encouraging,
Educators understand the major influence we have on the
lives of those we teach and serve. It’s a responsibility that we don’t take lightly. I have had students reach out to me as adults
and thank me for helping them to succeed. I know many of my colleagues have had
the same experience.
We must see every child as an individual and do all we can
to develop the potential in each child with our encouragement and high
expectations. I recognize that today’s climate of high stakes testing and data-driven
reform may sometimes make it difficult to be the creative and hands-on
educators that inspired us to join the profession.
However, if we commit to working with other stakeholders to consistently
do what is best for our public schools, your students can be the real winners.
To keep our children number one, I can’t emphasize enough
the importance of parental involvement in the education process. I encourage parents to get a school calendar
and post it in a prominent place at home.
Pay attention to important dates and, when possible, plan
your schedule accordingly. It is encouraging for any educator to see a parent
come into the classroom or to arrange parent teacher conferences that are regularly
attended. I urge parents to attend Back to School Night and see what your child
is doing, volunteer to go on field trips, and join the PTA.
If you are unable to take time off, call or email your
child’s teacher with any questions or concerns you may have. Research has
shown, time and again, that parental encouragement and involvement can make a tremendous
impact on a child’s academic achievement.
Community members and policymakers play crucial roles in
keeping Maryland’s schools #1. Visit a school on Career Day and demonstrate to
students that education can take them places they never thought possible.
You can prove that if they work hard to be #1 today, they
can be #1 in the future. As we elect
lawmakers on the state and local levels this fall, vote for leaders who will
give public education the support it needs to enable every child to be #1.
Elected officials determine so much of what happens in our
schools—make sure that the officials representing you will be leaders for our
children and our schools.
Working as a team we can see student achievement soar, college
applications rise, and celebrate improvements in school systems that have
struggled in past years.
Let’s give our children the time they deserve and the
attention they need. Maryland is the #1 state for public education. This school year, let’s commit to making sure
that every child in our state has the
opportunity to be a #1 student.