Howard County Maryland Blog

Local Politics and Current Events

Roger Lerner for Board of Education

Posted by David Keelan on Wednesday, August 23, 2006

The Howard County Blog reported the Democracy for Howard County Board of Education endorsements.  I was disappointed that he did not receive their endorsement.

I met Roger Lerner when I took my kids to Meadowbrook Park.  Coincidentally, Roger had left a comment on this blog regarding Chancery SMS software the night before.  He had no idea who I was.  When he approached me to introduce himself I told him “I know who you are and I plan on supporting you”.

Roger Lerner has great ideas and enthusiasm.  What is more – he has a solid head on his shoulders and a firm grasp on the issues.

You may want to read his full platform here.

He supports, among other things:

  • Co-Teaching
  • Special Needs
  • Votech
  • Teachers Are The Heart Of Education: Teachers need our full support, including a full mentoring program for new teachers and expanded professional development opportunities for experienced teachers.
  • Principals Are The Key To Schools’ Success:  Principals need to be empowered to implement system wide goals for academic achievement, strong school cultures and character development.  We need to provide flexibility for principals to choose methods, but to hold them accountable for those choices.
  • Academic excellence is a predominant, core value (not an option)
  • Text Book Task Force
  • Homegrown Professional Development and Mentoring
  • Technology Task Force:  a technology task force made up of information management /technology professionals from the Community.   This task force would help the School District develop an annual—not five year—technology plan which would be reviewed quarterly.  Technology changes too fast for anything less.
    • This goes right to the Chancery SMS fiasco.
  • Financial Management Task Force:  a financial management task force, appointed from business and finance professionals, representing the entire Community.  We need to expand the existing operating budget review committee from its present truncated role, into a full task force, which meets regularly to evaluate financial management.  The existing budget review process does not allow for meaningful community review.  
  • Capital Projects Task Force:   a task force of architectural, construction and development project professionals appointed from the Community.   The School System enjoys a well deserved reputation for successfully executing capital projects such as building or renovating schools and related facilities.  With ever growing demand for expanded capital facilities, advancing industry methods and technologies, and the large number of construction and development professionals in our Community, we should utilize available outside expertise to maintain and improve upon our excellent record.  We also need to examine the use of flexible design in school architecture.
  • Get The Lawyers Under Control:  Elected school board members, not lawyers, need to set school system policy.
    • In the “back pack” instance, years of trouble-free practice was reversed. Flyers to be sent home in students’ back backs for child oriented activities, sponsored by outside organizations, were banned–except for sports leagues.  All of this was done in a questionable effort to comply with a ruling affecting Montgomery County.  As a result, enrollment in dance, drama, cub scouts, brownies and like programs has declined significantly.
  • Replace County Wide, “Musical Chairs” Redistricting with a Sub-District Approach:

6 Responses to “Roger Lerner for Board of Education”

  1. Jeff said

    What did you think of Di zou?

  2. hocomd said

    I don’t a lot know about Di Zou except what I read in The View Newspaper. Haven’t met him yet. I think he might be too young. I also think that college will be a major distraction. Would he find the workload too challenging and drop off the board? These are all questions I would like to ask him.

    I admire him for running and in the end he probably has a lot he can contribute.  However, he needs more that $100.00 to improve he chances of capturing a seat.

    On the Chancery SMS software issue.  I consider this a litmus test of the current boards oversight.  I think they failed.

    Di Zou said “This system [should be] fixed because it is … partly implemented and teachers are … familiar with it. However, [I would consider new software] if it [would] cost less to purchase and implement new software … than … to repair the old software.”

    That is a reasonable answer.  However, I liked Roger Lerner’s the best.

    “Information available publicly is insufficient to support a definitive conclusion. Selection and implementation of SMS was flawed. [The] Technology Advisory Task Force, drawn from the community, should evaluate and make recommendations.”

    The way I read Mr. Lerner’s response is “The School Board is not saying much.  They don’t have proper controls for selection and implementation.  He recommends on his platform a task force to help the board provide the necessary oversight on these types of issue.

    Dryer had an interesting answer but like the other candidates failed to articulate the real problem as Mr. Lerner did.  There was no oversight – the process is flawed.  BoE isn’t stepping up.  This is a symptom of the real problems on the current BoE.

    Jeff, I want to know with Di Zou would do about School Board Accountablity?  I want to know that all members of the BoE are contributing and not just following the bidding of just 3 members with control issues.  Again, Roger fits that description, and not one is going to push Dryer around either.

    Jeff, what do you think of Di Zou?

  3. Jeff said

    Just give Di a call, and also Di has alot more in the war chest now then the $100 Dollars. There were a couple of inkind donations after the filing date, and there was alot of donated political supplies, but anybody can feel free to give Di a call, or email him.

  4. Di Zou said

    I think I would be able to handle the courseload and the Board of Education. During senior year of high school, I had a full schedule during school and I took 9 credits worth of classes at HCC. The amount of time I’m going to be spending in class at college will also be less than high school. As for accountability, I would always hold myself and the other members of the BoE accountable for whatever decisions we made. I would always vote how I felt, and I would never vote based on the bidding of someone else. I would also not be pushed around because I have nothing to lose or gain. If after four years Howard County is unhappy with the decisions I made, they can vote me out.

  5. hocomd said

    Di Zou

    Thanks for stopping by. Hope to hear more from you soon

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