Standards are not sufficient to
assess learning. Students learn best when they are engaged,
attend their school of choice, are valued for their uniqueness,
have opportunity to socialize and adults who collaborate with them
for success. I will work with Superintendent Starr to put the
focus back on learning. "Trust the learning process and the
learners and the scores will come."
I will provide tough leadership to keep the BOE focused on providing educational benefit to our diverse student population. Schools around the world provide better quality education for less. It takes leadership, not more money, to give our kids the schools they deserve.
I will objectively evaluate the cost
and benefit of educational programs. I will restructure the
budget to report funds directly necessary to support students and
identify inefficient spending.
I will focus on quality education
that taps the multiple intelligences, multiple talents,
innovation, collaboration, and interdependence of our student
body, not on gains in scores.
MCPS is among the top schools in the United States, and is exemplary of the U.S. model of education. Worldwide, U.S. education has performed poorly, spending extravagant amounts for diminishing returns and losing ground against other countries for more than 25 years. It isn’t that we don’t know how to do it better. OR that we need more money to do it better. MCPS has too many schools that get education wrong.
The MCPS reputation as a world class school rests on gains in standardized test scores and graduation rates. By those same measures, MCPS has failed to meet the educational needs of most of our students: those who are black, Hispanic, English Language Learners, FARMS eligible, GT/LD… it amounts to more than 2/3 of our students. These students don’t have a problem learning, they simply don’t thrive in the MCPS model of success. Dr. Starr has bluntly stated “We don’t have a student learning problem, we have an adult learning problem”. We must change the model to support our childrens’ natural love of learning for the sake and the fun of learning instead of our adult agenda of “winning the top score”.
And those improvements in graduation rates? Of the 2007 class of graduates who went on to college, 42% required remedial math. Such anomalies evident in the record bring into question the quality of MCPS educational programming and indicate that more of the same won’t work. MCPS does have some great schools, and a fabulous PR department (which is of value), but the big picture at MCPS is clearly that we need to focus on learning approaches that serve our students, not on earning scores that serve our reputation.
The challenge is “to do whatever it
takes” to ensure the success of every child and to challenge every
child, regardless of race, ethnicity, gender, socioeconomic
status, language proficiency, or ability. We can improve services
to special populations through better identification, earlier
intervention, and more uniform delivery of quality services. We
can achieve significant improvement in regular education and do
this by means that will better serve all populations. This does
not mean uniform programming for all students. There is no
educational approach that can flatten the bell curve. We must fit
programs to students, not students to programs.
Our current BOE has experience with legislation and knowledge of MCPS history and operations. I will bring my organizational and analytical expertise to partner with them in a candid self-assessment of our performance against educational best practice. As a successful project manager, I will partner with them to deliver the greatest return on investment of both time and money for the benefit of our students. As an experienced educational advocate, I will partner with them to ensure that every decision serves all our students, not just some, not the system, and not any diversionary agendas.
Contact Susan directly (email@example.com)
Friends of Susan Byrne (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Contact us to host a meet-n-greet, to
discuss the issues, offer assistance, or to make a donation.
am running for BOE because I
want to focus the community conversation on quality education
rather than budget battles and political squabbles. MCPS has
been locked in these battles for years while schools around the
world and in our own state deliver better quality education for
far less per capita.
needs leadership, not more money.
A parent of 2 MCPS students, one in middle school, one in elementary, I have a long history as a community activist, 12 years in education serving on boards, site councils, PTA, and in the classroom as a teacher's aide and tutor.
I have 30 years of success as an organizational and systems analyst with organizations such as Westinghouse, Kaiser Permanente, Del Monte, Genentech, Pacific Gas & Electric, and the National Science Foundation. I have successfully bailed out crisis projects when others have failed and I have consistently earned high commendations from clients with complex multi-region projects.
For more about my professional
history and expertise, see my Curriculum Vitae.