Maryland 2022-3 Poll from Goucher College

The Goucher College Poll measures the opinions of Maryland residents and voters on important policy, social, and economic issues.  The poll results and a methodology statement are released to members of the media and other interested groups as a public service to the state. Goucher students help research survey questions, design the questionnaire, and analyze the results.

  • Maryland residents feel impact of price increases, a majority hold a positive view of the state economy; Residents divided over how state should spend the budget surplus, view crime and public safety as the top priority; Hogan remains popular, opinions divided on Biden; Residents support the legalization of recreational cannabis
  • Marylanders support local jurisdictions ending mandates and restrictions, give their local health departments and Gov. Hogan high marks on handling of the pandemic; Concern over contracting COVID-19 in decline; Residents see the most significant impacts of climate change on sea level, wildlife and ecosystems, and weather patterns in Maryland

https://www.goucher.edu/hughes-center/goucher-college-poll/

Presentation: the Ideas behind the blueprint for Maryland future with Wu comments

THE IDEAS BEHIND THE BLUEPRINT FOR MARYLAND’S FUTURE
A Presentation To The Accountability And Implementation Board

National Center on Education and the Economy (NCEE) Briefing on the Ideas Behind the Blueprint for Maryland’s Future in Four Parts

Marc Tucker, President Emeritus
Betsy Brown Ruzzi, Vice President Emeritus

Quick summary: The presentation is not of high quality, and some key facts are wrong because the authors mixed things together.

I believe the authors for this report failed to separate the Maryland, Maryland counties, USA, world cities, city-like countries and provide a much more solid analytic solution/suggestion for us. I know the comments may be a little harsh. Unfortunately, this presentation will be used for policy makers to make important policies. AIB has to figure out a way to fund the blueprint first.

  1. Starting the report, there is a problem. Comparing with Finland, Ontario(Canada), Shanghai (China) and Singapore, four of the highest performing jurisdictions on OECD’s PISA surveys. This is a wrong comparison. In order to have a better comparison, beyond the education part, the demographics, political, culture, economical aspects should be included in the discussion. Education is not alone in this discussion. Education is intertwined with other parts of the society. If we could not compare or change other part of our society, we should not expect we can change/reform education as other societies are doing.
  2. Ignore AAPI students in their report. I got it. It is a typical stereotype that AAPI students are not American students such that they did not realize they miss their presence in their presentation, or assuming they are doing very well academically, they don’t count AAPI students in their discussion.
  3. Put the wrong facts to support their point of view. For example, students in poor counties in Maryland actually receives higher(or no less) spending per student. NCEE probably used some talking points from their templates and they did not look at the true numbers in Maryland.
  4. Childcare supports are much stronger in many other countries as the report correctly stated. One key reason is that they have much lower birth rate. The government has to put the incentive to encourage the birth rate.
    1. By the way, if you have more kids, each kid will receive less attention and resources given everything else is the same.
  5. Make CTE attractive and prestigious. This an important point. I totally agree with it.
  6. There is some made-up stuff: for example (Page 71, the PDF page number): For more than 20 years, accountability in the United States has meant threatening schools with takeovers and teachers with firing if their students failed to meet state targets for student performance. There may be some marginal discussion on this in other states, but I never heard this in Maryland. The report focuses on Maryland blueprint but puts the wrong/inappropriate content in the presentation. At the same time, the report did not discuss/mention another dominant policy maker on the table: the teacher union.

There are many other points I don’t want to highlight. The report is very long.

One suggestion based on my personal experience

  1. Don’t lower the admission bar for teachers in college application but offer free tuition for students who choose teaching as career. A few of my relatives (brothers and sisters) studied hard and became great teachers following this philosophy.
  2. Can Maryland do this? Yes. It can. Assume $30k per student per year, for 1000 teacher. The cost is 30 million dollars in the state budget. Furthermore, if we consider 10% of teachers (in total, we have around 60k teachers in MD) coming from this trajectory, it costs only 180 million dollars per year. At the same time, we can get rid of many promotional or wasteful programs for this purpose.

The presentation is attached below:

Control the city(Columbia)

“Control the city”, “Ownership and monopoly-like control over small cities” are those phrases really catching my eyes when I read the Howard Hughes Corporation’s Q4 2020 presentation.

The opportunity to control cities and monopoly-like control

Columbia

By the way, in the slides where it talks about Ward Village, Honolulu, they are building really expensive houses, for example, 36 million dollars houses.

The presentation is attached here:

HCPSS opinion on Blueprint for Maryland Future ( Kirwan commission)

This is the letter from HCPSS superintendent Dr. Martirano to our senators on the Blueprint for Maryland Future legislation (Senate Bill SB1000/House Bill HB1300). The full letter is attached here.

The letter talked about good side of the legislation:

There are more challenges laying ahead.

Challenges Specific to Howard County: Lack of Local aid increase/budget pressures

  • Local funding for teacher salary increases
  • Salary increases for Non-Teachers
  • Dual Enrollment costs
  • Administrative costs

Broader Implementation Challenges

  • Budgeting and reporting
  • Career Ladder Implementation
  • Early Childhood Education
  • College and Career Readiness
  • Accountability and Oversight

the really slow moving train

I was driving today on Randolph road and stopped for a train to pass. There were hundreds of cars waiting from both directions. More that ten years ago when I stopped there to wait for a train to pass for the first time, it was fun and I was excited to see a train in such a short distance. Now while waiting for the train to pass really slowly, I was wondering how many hours have been wasted for so many people for so many years. Why no bridge has ever been built?

The train of USA needs to move forward a little faster or at least not stop here, wasting people’ time. Hope the bullet train is coming to us in Maryland in my life time.

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