Mary Miller Deserves Your Vote As A Candidate For Mayor of Baltimore
Mary Miller is a fairly wealthy white woman running for Mayor of Baltimore, a city that is approximately 63 percent black. Why would the inventors of the #teamidentitypolitics hashtag endorse such a candidate? The answer is education.
Baltimore City Public Schools
The mission of Baltimore City public schools is to ensure that all students graduate from high school ready for college, career training, and life success in the 21st century. They are failing miserably at this goal.
Public schools in the city face several problems. City residents move out of the city due to the perception (reality) that schools are better in the county.
A lot of public school students come from generations of poor working class homes where education is not emphasized and is seen as secondary to outright survival. Lead paint has impaired the cognitive ability of many students coming from that background who do attend school.
Teacher training and professional development is woefully lacking. The pressure of test scores forces good teachers to leave the profession making for a difficult learning environment for instructors and students alike. This dynamic makes private school or a lottery to a magnet school far more attractive options. Sadly, this has lead to an apathetic feeling in the city amongst both black and white middle class parents that just want their kids in the right schools without real regard for how the rest are.
Finally, the curriculum for public school systems we are currently using was designed to get kids right out of public schools and into plant based jobs. The math and computer skills necessary for the jobs of the 21st century are lacking from graduates of our public schools. Because schools are so focused on testing, critical and analytical thinking are virtually nonexistent.
We can start by fully staffing our public schools. Currently, they are only at 60 percent capacity which often forces closures
Schools should be open outside of school hours. After hours school use could include normal instruction, job training, public meetings, gym space, meeting space, daycare, night school, etc. This would transform schools into institutions that actually meet the needs of the neighborhoods they serve.
Curriculum should be geared towards civics (what it means to be a citizen) allowing for more creative ways to teach math, science and English. Additionally, every school should have a community garden from Kindergarten to grow and tend their own gardens and food which will foster and cultivate a relationship with the environment.
Public school parents and students deserve everything private school students and parents get which means there has to be an element of school choice introduced. Through report cards for schools and politicians in their districts, we can ensure schools don’t become babysitting services or prison pipelines.
Schools should be categorized as infrastructure allowing additional funding outside of normal education spending. This should open up funding to equip every school with a swimming pool, outdoor facilities, science and computer labs, and art studios allowing every child to have an opportunity to explore an expanded and robust curriculum.
Finally, control of the school system has to be returned to the city. The more autonomy we have over our schools, the more likely we will be able to get rid of standardized testing altogether and pay our teachers what they deserve. The goal should be political, economic, technological, environmental and media literacy for every single graduate
She is the candidate with the education plan that most recognizes these problems and provide these solutions. She prioritizes school choice, early childhood education, quality and diversity of teachers, preparation of graduates for the 21st century, and recognizing that schools can play a role in helping children and families outside of just the classroom.
As of publication of this article, Thiru Vignarajah and Brandon Scott, did not have education plans posted. Sheila Dixon has a similar plan to Mrs. Miller, but the former mayor has shown herself not to be trustworthy. TJ Smith, similar to Sheila Dixon and Mary Miller, has a competent plan as well, but his pension shenanigans reek of typical Baltimore City politics.
It’s unclear what Jack Young’s actual plans are concerning education outside of building more schools, but as the longtime city council President turned Mayor, he is more likely to continue what is already wrong as opposed to begin what is right. That is the last thing Baltimore needs.
Mary Miller is the only true outsider in the race. She is the only one with a business background. Many Baltimoreans sorely recognize we need both. For Baltimoreans who prioritize competence in both the public and private sector along with a fleshed out education plan, Mary Miller is the choice for mayor.