Swear-in speech on 2018-12-3

Chao Wu Swear-in Speech


It is my great honor and pleasure to be a new board member of Howard County Board of Education.

I first would like to thank my family here, my wife, my daughter and my son. Without their support, I would not be able to volunteer at all in the community many years ago. When I first served on the River Hill Village Board, my daughter was 2 years old and my son was not born yet. It is my wife who really managed everything well and smoothly. I own every thanks to her.

I am speaking in Chinese for a few seconds. 我非常感谢我的家庭,我的太太,女儿和儿子。我开始在社区做志愿者活动的时候,我女儿才两岁左右,我儿子还没有出生。是我老婆在家里忙上忙下,使得今天的一切才成为可能。我感谢她为这个家庭所作出的牺牲和努力。十八年前,我和她在中国合肥相识,现在我们两个人远离故土,这个美丽的哈维郡安家乐业,希望我们彼此支持,携手向前。

I would like to thank my campaign team and my volunteer team. It is their strongest support which made today possible.  They believed in me and usually dragged in their whole family (their children and their parents) to support my campaign, whether in the sunshine or in the pouring rain. They helped dropping the literature and greeting voters. They helped organizing greet and meet. They helped funding my event, donating money to my campaign. They sent me many great advices. They put a yard sign in front of their house. Or they simply showed up in my event. Majority of them had never done this before. It was their first time really devoted to a campaign activity because we all believe great education is the bridge to success for our younger generation.

Eventually every little support helped. We won number 4 out of 13 candidates in the primary election in June. We won the second place out of 8 eight candidates in the general election in November.  I am so proud of you and you should also be very proud of yourself. We should be proud of ourselves. We set a goal, worked really hard and made it.  It is a victory for all of us.

Finally I would like to thank our voters who casted their votes for me. No endorsement is better than our voters’ trust. As an independent candidate and non-partisan election, I received 54,254 votes from our voters in our county. You believed in my vision for the school system. and you listened to my personal stories.  Thank you for your trust.

In the following four years, I am looking forward to working with all other board members, teachers, school staff, our students, parents and other stakeholders. We would try our best to provide quality education for all our students.  Keep an open mind, improve the decision and communication process and seek a command ground for common sense solutions for our school system.

Thank you very much.




School overcrowding, APFO and development impact fee

“How successful are Maryland Counties in preventing school overcrowding” is a report  created by Richard D. Klein of COMMUNITY & ENVIRONMENTAL DEFENSE SERVICES. I communicated with Richard on some other issues while I served on the CA board. He is really a great resource.

Here is the 42 pages report School Overcrowding Problem in Maryland Counties

Right now, Delegate Vanessa Atterbeary proposed a bill to increase the development impact fee (Ho. Co. 3–19). I totally support it and I hope you are supporting it and testifying  ( or writing mails, making phone calls) to support it. When I testified two weeks ago in County Council main meeting room, I said this bill was long overdue and it should be proposed by our delegates at least 10 years ago.  However, developer’s money is a nice cake for political campaign and this fee was arbitrarily set at $1 per square foot and was never revised at all for so many years.

I applauded Delegate Atterbeary’s bold move. I support the $8 per square foot based on many readings. Let’s do it.


2018 HCPSS ESSA report card

The purpose of this memorandum is to provide you with an embargoed summary of the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) report card data.

HCPSS schools received a state star rating ranging from three to five stars with 29 schools at five stars, 38 schools at four stars, and 6 schools at three stars. Detailed breakdowns of the points earned by each school will be available after the state release on mdreportcard.org.

Attached are tables, organized by school level, that summarize the overall rating of each school. Small changes in percentile ranks, star ratings or percentages of points earned, could occur as MSDE finalizes the data. The link is http://reportcard.msde.maryland.gov/

elementary school ESSA report card p1.PNG

elementary school ESSA report card p2

middle school ESSA report card

high school ESSA report card

2018 QuHacks- Hackathon for High/Middle School Students

QuHacks 2018 – hackathon for high school and middle school students

(This message is copied from Howard County Chinese School mailing list)

Time: Saturday, December 8th, 2018 
          9:00am – 6:00pm
Location: Towson University, YR Building
                7800 York Road, Towson, MD

QuHacks is a coding competition run by some Howard County high school students.

Are you a high school or middle school student interested in programming? Do you want to learn something new? Come and compete at QuHacks 2018. No experience necessary!  You can compete in either the Novice or the Advanced divisions, or just attend the Java, Python, and Web Development workshops. Sign up at QuHacks ’18 Sign Ups

Prizes, swag, and raffle items will be available for both divisions. Please feel free to listen in to facebook (@QuHacks), Instagram (@quhacks), or website (http://quhacks.tech/) for any updates!

Science In Society Conference at River Hill High School on 2018-12-3

Conference Registration

The Science In Society conference will take place on December 3rd, 2018 from 6 – 9 PM at River Hill High School (12101 Clarksville Pike, Clarksville MD 21029). It aims to expose high school students to the applications of a STEM-based education as well as the various internship opportunities offered by well-known organizations (NIH, NSA, JHU, UMD). The format includes a keynote presentation, 2 workshop sessions, and a booths fair. You can register for the conference through this form, but note that it will close on November 29th and will be limited to the first 300 entries. Workshop selections are first come first serve.


high school overcrowd relieving options for Centennial, Howard and Marriotts Ridge High Schools

MRHS will host Project Lead The Way Biomedical, Computer Science, and Aerospace Engineering programs focused on pathways in health professions, computer science and engineering.

Rising 9th-12th graders from Centennial, Howard and Marriotts Ridge will complete the online interest form.

*Existing PLTW programs at Howard and Centennial will remain intact. The proposed program, pending board approval, will add additional PLTW opportunities for students who opt to attend Marriotts Ridge.


Resignation from CA board

I am resigning from the Columbia Association board and the River Hill Community Association board, effective on December 1st, 2018.
It has been my honor and pleasure to serve on the CA board since 2015. I benefit tremendously from this journey and truly appreciate our CA staff, other board members and community members’ help during the time.
I will write less about the development, River Hill and Columbia, more about education related issues in Howard County. In the past, I wrote each month and the articles are listed here: https://chaowu.org/articles_in_english/
I am now starting a new journey in our school system as a newly elected board member in our Howard County Board of Education.
Together, we can continuously provide quality education to our students.

Public Notice For Hearing on HoCo Bills in 2019 Legislative session

Public Notice For Hearing on Local Bills (UPDATE 11/20/18)

If you are interested in the update, please email   hoc1@mlis.state.md.us and ask them to include your email.

There are two bills related to education, both are proposed by Delegate Atterbeary. 

Ho. Co. 1–19 proposes 2020 (2024, 2028, etc) BOE board members are elected by council district (2020 BOE candidates can run a smaller scale campaign) .

Ho. Co. 3–19 proposes to raise development impact fee which closely relates to the school capacity( should help to mitigate the school overcrowding problem).

Ho.Co. 8-19: Howard County – Board of Education Redistricting – Requirements, Ho.Co. 08-19 ,By: Chair, Howard County Delegation. Legislation still in Bill Drafting (not sure what will be inside).

The Howard County Delegation of the Maryland General Assembly, chaired by Senator Guy Guzzone and Delegate Terri Hill, will hear testimony from the public on drafted local bills. No testimony on other issues will be permitted as a second hearing devoted to statewide bills will be scheduled.

Any individual may testify for up to 3 minutes, as long as they are signed up.  Signup will begin at 7:00pm in the Banneker Room and will close at 7:20pm.  Advance sign up is not available.  The delegation encourages you to bring written copies of your testimony (preferably 15) to distribute to us, though it is not a requirement to speak.  The hearing is scheduled as follows:

Monday, November 26th, 2018 – 7:30 p.m.

Banneker Room, George Howard Building

3430 Courthouse Drive, Ellicott City, MD

The 2018 legislative session will begin on January 9, 2019

Full text of the proposed Howard County bills can be accessed, as they become available from Bill Drafting, beginning Wednesday, November 14, 2018, at 6:00pm on the Howard County website (Home>About Howard County>State Delegation>Proposed Local Legislation): https://www.howardcountymd.gov/About-HoCo/State-Delegation/Proposed-Local-Legislation. Please monitor this page regularly for the most recent updates. This list of proposed legislation and the order of presentation at the public hearing is subject to change as determined by the Delegation Chairs. Short descriptions of the local bills are included below.

Bond Initiative Requests

Butterfly Building for Visual Arts Gallery and Guest Services – Design and Build, Ho.Co. 05-19, $2,000,000

By: Delegate Hill

Historic Barnard Fort House Restoration, Ho. Co. 09-19, $150,000

By: Chair, Howard County Delegation

Historic Thomas Isaac Log Cabin Relocation and Rehabilitation, Ho. Co. 10-19, $100,000

By: Chair, Howard County Delegation

Harriet Tubman Community Center and Museum – Development and Improvement, Ho. Co. 16–18, $500,000

By: Delegate Atterbeary


Proposed Local Bills


Howard County Board of Education – Elected School Board, Ho. Co. 1–19

By: Delegate Atterbeary

FOR the purpose of requiring that certain members of the Howard County Board of Education be elected by the voters of certain districts and certain members be elected at large by the voters of the county; providing for the application of this Act; and generally relating to the election of the members of the Howard County Board of Education.

Howard County – Orphans’ Court Judges – Qualifications, Ho. Co. 2–19

By: Delegate Atterbeary

FOR the purpose of proposing an amendment to the Maryland Constitution to prescribe different qualifications for judges of the Orphans’ Court for Howard County; requiring judges of the Orphans’ Court for Howard County to have been admitted to practice law in the State and be members in good standing of the Maryland Bar; and submitting this amendment to the qualified voters of the State for their adoption or rejection.

Howard County – Authority to Impose Fees for Use of Disposable Bags, Ho. Co. 4–19

By: Delegate Hill

FOR the purpose of authorizing Howard County to impose, by law, a fee on certain retail establishments for the use of disposable bags as part of a retail sale of products; limiting the amount of a certain fee; defining certain terms; and generally relating to the authority for Howard County to impose a fee for the use of disposable bags.


Howard County – Alcoholic Beverages – Marketplace License, Ho.Co. 06-19

By: Delegate Hill

FOR the purpose of establishing a marketplace license in Howard County; authorizing the Board of License Commissioners to issue the license to certain individuals; specifying the scope, hours of sale, and fees for the license; authorizing the license holder to sell beer, wine, and liquor within the marketplace under certain conditions; authorizing a license holder to obtain a refillable container permit and a nonrefillable container permit under certain conditions; specifying certain standards to be met by the marketplace; defining a certain term; and generally relating to alcoholic beverages in Howard County.

Howard County – Flood Control Standards – Tiber – Hudson Branch, New Cut Branch, and Plum Tree Branch, Ho.Co. 11-19

By: Delegate Flanagan

 FOR the purpose of requiring the Department of the Environment to adopt regulations that establish certain flood control standards to be adopted by the Howard County Council for a development or redevelopment project located in certain watersheds in Howard County; requiring the Department to adopt regulations that specify that certain stormwater management plans for a development or redevelopment project located in certain watersheds in Howard County be designed to implement certain flood control standards; and generally relating to flood control standards.

Property Tax Credit – Elderly Individuals – Eligibility, Ho. Co. 16–19


FOR the purpose of altering the definition of “eligible individual” by requiring that an elderly individual must live in the same county, rather than the same dwelling, for a certain number of years to be eligible for a certain statewide optional property tax credit against the county or municipal corporation property tax; providing for the application of this Act; and generally relating to the eligibility of certain elderly individuals for a certain property tax credit.

Howard County – Ethics – Limit on Developer Contributions, Ho. Co. 12-19

By: Delegate Miller (ADDED TO THE LEGISLATIVE AGENDA 11/19/18)

 Legislation still in Bill Drafting.

Impact Fees – Calculation, Ho. Co. 3–19

By: Delegate Atterbeary

 FOR the purpose of altering the amount of the school facilities surcharge in Howard County; authorizing the County Council of Howard County to enact a local law providing for the annual alteration of the amount of the school facilities surcharge based on a certain calculation requiring the school facilities surcharge to be used only for the benefit of schools within whose attendance area certain residential construction is located; requiring the County Executive of Howard County to submit a certain report to certain persons at a certain time; defining a certain term; and generally relating to the school facilities surcharge in Howard County.


Howard County – Board of Education Redistricting – Requirements, Ho.Co. 08-19

By: Chair, Howard County Delegation

Legislation still in Bill Drafting.

For further information, please feel free to contact me.


Erinn Camp Mansour

Howard County Delegation Administrator

Maryland General Assembly

The Maryland House of Delegates

6 Bladen Street, Room 214B

Annapolis, MD 21401

phone: 410 -841-3360, 301-858-3360

CA board meeting summaries 2018-11-8

This is an unofficial summary. 

Board Work Session

Resident speakout:

  1. Chris Alleva, missed his talk. In his written testimony, talked about CB73, which was withdrawn and could possibly come back in front of the planning board in next January (Royal Farms SDP 17-041)
  2. Brian England, missed his speech.
  3. Amy Gallagher, talked about mold issues related to the facility they rented and impacted their operation, created extra financial burden and operation hardship.
  4. Alan Klein, representing his village, talking about the mold issue and thanked CA staff.


Howard County Phase 2 Land Development Regulations Assessment:
  1. There are 36 different zoning codes. That is one of the reasons the County Government wants to rewrite the zoning law and recude the zoning category.
  2. Out-parcels with Columbia Planning area: there are 7% ( 365 acres) for undeveloped residential parcel for future residential development.
Discussion of the Most Recent Development Tracker
Capital Projects and Open Space Updates
Four Easement Requests from Howard Count

Board Meeting

The board approved the pathway system in the Merriweather Park in Symphony Woods with condition from board final approval.

Merriweather Park at Symphony Woods


Thank you for the general election win

I am so excited that Team Wu won the second place in the 2018 HoCo BOE election with more than 51000 votes.

Thanks to the voters who trusted me and my volunteers who worked in the rain, in the cold, in the heat and dropped the literature in the neighborhood. It is a collaborative effort to get to this place.

I appreciate other candidates’ effort. Each candidate provides a unique perspective to our school system. I always say “Once a volunteer, always a volunteer”. I am looking forward to working with all of them in the future.

I am looking forward to working with all board members to serve HCPSS. I will not forget “A vote for Wu is a vote for you”.

2018 HoCo general election amendment guide

Amendment 1: (YES)

Let’s fix the loophole and keep the promise (using gambling money to fund education). Even I don’t agree with funding the education by gambling money or marijuana tax.

Amendment 2: (NO)

Same day registration will create much longer waiting line and cost more money. It is unnecessary.

Two thoughts on this:

  1. I feel we need have a study whether eight days early voting is increasing the voter participation or not. We should shorten it to be four days. By the way, I totally support more voter participation/awareness, the better community.
  2. We need make Election Day a federal holiday. If everyone agrees election is so important, and every vote is so important, let’s celebrate election with a day off and offer people more convenience to vote.

Amendment 3: ( YES)

Howard County Council will have more time for a bill. I agree with it. It does not hurt giving them extra days. Last time, they passed a bill which expired and I hope that will not happen again.

Vote for Wu

Tomorrow I will work with my volunteer team on the field under a bad weather. With their strong support, I believe our voters will feel the same passion as Team Wu: All about quality education.

Even a puppy knows that.

We are prepared for the bad weather with our little volunteer to help.

Answers to Dunloggin Community

Dr. Chao Wu’s reply 


  1. What is your opinion about need for redistricting in HC? How will you vote as a BOE member to relief school overcrowding and why?

First, I am against massive-scale redistricting. We should find better solutions which will disrupt as less students as possible. We should put our students first.

Second, the process should be improved. We need get better data. We need assign a weight to each criteria in Policy 6010 (for example, each criteria is weighted 1/13=7.7% or different weight).  However, this weight should be predefined before the polygon move. Equity, community, cost, transportation, etc , all should be considered in the redistricting process.  We should not let one single factor dedicate the outcome of the redistricting.

  1. What is your opinion on overdevelopment? Is there a need to stop it? What would you do as a BOE member to resolve school overcrowding due to overdevelopment?

I testified in front of the County Council last year at 11:30 PM and asked them to strengthen the APFO which governs the development. We need continue to advocate for a planned development such that development will be paced with infrastructure, school, and transportation support.

The school board has no control on the overdevelopment because that is the county council power. However, as a BOE member, we can advocate for better planning.

  1. You attended a BOE candidates forum at Dunloggin and learnt more about our community. How would you vote during redistricting process on Dunloggin polygons: To partially redistrict Dunloggin from Centennial School To redistrict entire neighborhood from Centennial High To keep entire neighborhood in Centennial High school Please explain why you chose your answer.

I strongly support keeping community together. Our students grow up from the neighbor, play in the neighborhood and support the neighborhood.

  1. What do you think about a concept of“development polygons” tool that was recommended by Christina Delmont-Small? Would you implement it? Please explain your answer. If yes, how?

I need carefully think of it. I have no position on the development polygon yet.

  1. There are multiple school bus routs running along Frederick road and Main street, East from rt. 29. Last two floods took place during non school days. As a board member, would you take any actions to remove school bused from flood zone? Please explain the reason why? If yes, what would you do?

Student safety will be the No.1 concern for me. I want our students who go to school safely and come back home safely. If actions are needed for school bus not crossing the flood zone, I will support to change the route of the school bus.

  1. What is your opinion on social engineering? Do you think it should be applied in our public schools? Why do you think so? (you don’t have to answer this question if you don’t want to)

Our school need educate our students and make sure they learn something in the school and grow themselves along the years.  Every student has their own potential and the school system needs try their best to help them to achieve that potential.

School can’t do it alone. They need help from the families and the communities.

The school could not dedicate the success of each student, but should strive their best to provide the opportunity for them, or build the bridge for them to succeed.

  1. What do you think about having children with different levels and abilities? Do you think all kids should be at the same level or is it ok to develop gifted children? What would you do as a BOE member?

I believe we should educate our children based on their need and their capacity. There is a balance of both. We need educate our student to fit their capacity and meet their needs.

I support to strengthen the GT program. GT is for the program, not for labeling students. Our students have the need for differentiated learning experience.



Proactive Engagement in Land Development Needed (The Villager 2018-11)

Council Corner:

Proactive Engagement in Land Development Needed

 Disclaimer: This letter only represents Dr. Chao Wu’s personal opinion. It does not represent River Hill Board of Directors nor Columbia Association’s Board.

The letter will be published on Nov 2018 issue of “The Villager” of River Hill Community Association.

The Patuxent Storage Facility under construction near Guilford Road at the entrance to the Patuxent Branch Trail in the Village of Kings Contrivance has recently been the focus of the Columbia Association’s (CA) board of directors and many residents. The issue is the location of the access to the storage facility. Rather than entering from Guilford Road or through adjoining CA open space, the developer chose to locate the entrance using a road which for many years has been used by the public to access the Patuxent Branch Trail. This decision resulted in many residents feeling unhappy about the developer’s choice. After numerous meetings, the county has agreed to pay at least $200K to build a new pathway connector to the Patuxent Branch Trail. This new connector will run through CA open space to replace the old, nearly 200-meter pathway that will be used by the developer to access the storage facility The CA board eventually approved a land easement so the county can build this separate and new pathway to ensure public access to the trail, pedestrian safety, and minimize the environmental impact of the project.

What was missing in this project was a quick and direct communication between stakeholders. The community needs a coordinated effort from our county council (zoning approval agency), the county government and developers.  The community needs to be informed early in the process. In some cases, the community does not necessarily oppose the development, but would like to provide input to make the development better. Columbia has been a planned community from the start and residents expect future growth to be planned with community input.

In the Village of River Hill, the association’s board of directors has been actively engaging in the process as development occurs around the village. Even on issues as small as the right turn exit by the McDonald’s, the association has coordinated with Kimco Realty several times to improve safety because some drivers make illegal left turns there. Current projects the association is reviewing and providing input on are:  the Erickson Living Continuing Care Retirement community with a capacity of more than 1200 residences; the redevelopment of the garden center as the River Hill Square commercial project, Cedar Creek (formerly the Simpson Oaks) residential development with 184 units; and most recently the Robinson Overlook 48-unit affordable housing development proposed on Grace Drive.

The board seeks to bring our residents’ concerns to the developers, zoning board, county government, and even the State Highway Administration to make sure that proper consideration is given to the impacts on traffic and safety and residents’ quality of life. The community association welcomes residents’ participation in various committees established by the village board so that we proactively engage with stakeholders as development projects arise. To find out more about the Traffic and Safety and Development Committees visit https://www.villageofriverhill.org/board/committees/.

Finally, please don’t forget to vote in the Primary Election on Tuesday, November 6. It is our civic duty and a perfect opportunity to begin to engage with the development process.

Chao Wu, Ph.D.

River Hill Representative to Columbia Council and Columbia Association Board of Directors

Email: superbwu@gmail.com  Website: http://www.chaowu.org



2018 Howard County early voting locations for general election

The following four centers open from 10 am to 8 pm daily from 10/25(Thursday)–11/1(Thursday). A vote for Wu is a Vote for you.

1) Miller branch Library, 9421 Frederick Road, Ellicott City, MD 21042

2) The Bain Senior Center, 5470 Ruth Kenton Way, Columbia, MD 21044

3) Howard County Fairgrounds, 2210 Fairgrounds Road, West Friendship, MD 21794

4) Ridgely’s Run Community Center, 8400 Mission Road, Jessup, MD 20794

Chao Wu for BOE, final pitch before the general election

No endorsement is better than our voters’ trust. As an independent candidate and non-partisan election, I am asking for your support to vote for me during the 2018 Howard County Board of Education election.

It is you, our voters, by making a little bit of effort to understand the candidate’s background, experience, and vision for the school system, make an informed vote. Your vote is my endorsement.  With this belief in my heart, I won the primary in June with 15600 votes without any organizational endorsement.  I am looking for your continuous support.

Here are my main points:

  1. Keep an open mind. For many problems, people naturally have different views based on their personal experiences, background and priority. These diverse points of view will give us a great understanding why some problems seem easy, but are difficult to solve. From my life experience that I was educated and lived in multiple countries with diverse cultural, educational and racial background, I will be a champion on this. I will also be the independent voice on the board.
  2. Get the data right, the process transparent and the communication channel open. As a data scientist using machine learning and artificial intelligence algorithms in my professional work, we need get the data right. We need try our best to have evidence-based and data-based analytic solutions for our problems.  With my advocacy on the board, I believe HCPSS can and should do better.
  3. Ask tough questions. When a board member asks questions, it is in general not an attack to our staff. It is the curiosity and responsibility of a board member to get the fact right and make an informed vote. This accountability will make our school system better, increase the trust of HCPSS from the general public.
  4. I have almost four-year experience as a board member on Columbia Association ( 80 million dollar yearly budget) board and have been an active volunteer in HCPSS.  The board experience and volunteer advocacy will serve HCPSS on day one. I will be a team player on the school board and together we will provide quality education to our students.

I will be your voice and you are my strength.

A Vote for Wu is a Vote for you.

Save the best for last.  ( My name is always shown at the last in the ballot)


HCPSS GT Program Overview

Last Saturday at Miller Library, HCPSS GT program director Debbie Blum gave a great seminar. I learned a lot through this very interactive seminar. Here is the slide ( too large to post here)


She emphasized GT was for the program, not for labeling our kids. I totally agree with her. The program is to challenge our kid’s learning. There are around 100 GT resource teachers in HCPSS and each school has their own.  It totally depends on each school’s participation. Some schools have over 40% students taking different GT classes and some other schools have around 10% students taking GT classes.  When there is a need, the school system will try its best to meet the student need.

From Chinese teaching philosophy by Confucius, teaching should be differentiated based on individual capability and need.  Students have diverse and changing interests when they grow up. The school should find ways to stimulate those interests and motivate them.

Students have different growth path. Some students have later or slower learning curve. The GT program may put much pressure on them and hinder their capability of free growing-up. How can our school system find a way avoid such a problem?

I have reservation on magnet schools when people asked my opinion on magnet schools. I learn some lessons from what is happening in Montgomery County School System. It is better to spread resources in each individual school, instead concentrate it in only a few schools unless absolutely needed.

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