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Students Voice Need for Increased Professional Development and Administrative Support at BOE Public Hearings

On January 8th and January 15th, the Board of Education hosted hearings regarding the FY2016 budget proposed by MCPS Superintendent Dr. Starr.

One of the most prominent issues brought up during the hearing was insufficient professional development for teachers. With new curricula such as the Common Core Standards and new tests such as the PARCC tests, teachers across the county, from Clarksburg to Rockville, have expressed a need for better professional development. Students such as Richard Montgomery sophomore Camilo Gonzalez-Sol agree. “Professional development is important for teachers, “he says, “They need to know how to teach their students.”

Many high school clusters, such as Walter Johnson and Montgomery Blair as well as representatives from the Montgomery County Association of Administrators and Principals (MCAAP) asked the Board of Education for more administrators and other school leadership during the meeting also. At this time, Montgomery County allocates administrators based on the type of school. Elementary schools, which have the least number of administrators, often lack administrators even if they have a population greater than a middle school with more administrators. Thus, the clusters advocating for more administrators have proposed a system where the number of administrators is proportional to the number of students in the school. Administrators are often overlooked when it comes to estimating how good a school is, but according to Sophia Liu of Montgomery Blair High School, “The presence of more administrators mean that teachers can focus on getting students a good education.”

“We live in a society where it is imperative to know how to use technology to succeed in the real world,” says Xochi Cartland of Richard Montgomery. Schools such as Kennedy High school are still lacking Promethean boards, requiring teachers to plan different lessons for different classrooms. Many other schools, such as Rockville and Walter Johnson are facing similar problems. As Xochi said, technology is at the heart of today’s education system. Standardized tests such as the new PARCC tests and the HSA’s all require computers. Many parents and teachers have expressed concerns about their student’s achieving lower than what they can because of technological inhibitors.

Article by the MoCo Student Staff Writer Fonda Shen of Richard Montgomery High School 

Image Provided by Courtesy of MCR-SGA 

About The MoCo Student

In 2012, Student Member of the Board of Education John Mannes created a countywide press network to help build a conduit to share fresh and relevant information written by youth to the wider Montgomery County student body.

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