勇往前行再出发,伍超博士马里兰州众议员的征程

勇往前行再出发

伍超博士马里兰州众议员的征程

大家好,我是伍超。现任马里兰哈维郡教育委员(school board/BOE member, 任期 2018-2022)。2022年2月18日,我正式宣布竞选马里兰州众议员。恳请大家支持我!

我于马里兰大学获得博士学位。我在马里兰学习、工作、成家,迄今已经在马里兰生活了接近二十年。我和夫人有两个小孩。这些年我除了数据科学家的全职工作, 还一直在为社区做志愿服务。

2018年我第一次参加竞选,还记得11月6日大选投票日,华裔社区两百多位志愿者在大风大雨中,在哈维郡各大投票站点举着我的竞选牌子,给一个个选民分发我的BOE竞选传单。是社区的每一份捐款和每一张选票的支持,是大家顶风冒雨一票一票的争取下,我才能以五万四千多,第二高票,当选教育委员;是大家一起携手,创造了哈维华裔第一代移民草根参政的历史;是大家的力量,让我成为了你们的声音。我于2018年12月3日,正式宣誓就职哈维郡教育委员。 哈维郡公立学校有近十亿美元的预算,58000学生,八千教职员工。

这四年我莫不敢忘大家对我的支持!

很多住在哈维的华裔,和我一样也是为了孩子的教育才搬来这里。知识改变了我的命运,我们也希望教育可以让我们的孩子在更广阔的天空飞翔。

教育质量是我们华裔非常关心的议题。我刚上任那年,学校系统有财政亏空,财政预算讨论的时候,有教育委员想缩减G/T和音乐项目。 我第一个指出不能这么做,并成功说服大多数委员支持我的立场,保留了G/T和音乐项目不变。

学区重划也是对我们华裔影响非常大的议题。2019年因为有些学校过度拥挤,要进行全郡范围的学区重划。8月底学监提出的学区重划方案要挪动将近7400个学生,对我们华裔社区的影响尤其大。我立即推出自己的解决方案,以学生为本,只须挪动3000多学生就可以解决学校过度拥挤问题,尽量减少对学生的影响。可惜那一年我们在BOE没有足够的票数支持我的方案,我们不得不从另外一个教育委员的挪动9000多学生的方案开始。在形势不利的情况下,我通过反复努力和修改,从他们要挪动9000多人,改动到只挪动5000多人。当时我已经尽了最大努力,可惜我们没有足够的票数,来通过我当时提出的挪动3000人的方案。学区重划期间,还发生了一起华裔家庭被骂“go back to Asia” 恶性事件,我随即在接下来的一个board meeting 上严厉谴责了这种种族歧视行为。

因为2023年新的第十三个高中会启用,今年2022又要进行学区重划。在2022年1月27日,BOE投票决定学区重划的范围。开始的时候有两个议案是要全郡大规模重划,这次我们有四票反对,所以最后通过的议案是只围绕新高中做局部重划。

亚裔是少数族裔,还有文化差异,有时候会受到不公正待遇。我任职的这四年里,在公立学校系统里面,当听到几例对亚裔学生抄袭的不公指责时,我立即跟学监交涉,帮助学生们解决问题,同时在学校系统范围发出指导性修改政策。在我担任教育委员之前,也有亚裔学生和家长碰到类似事情不知道怎么处理,我上任后只要我知道了,一定一管到底。

很多华裔家长是第一代移民,都是第一次接触美国的公立学校系统。家长们通过微信,电话,email都可以找到我,咨询各种问题和向我反映情况。上任这四年里,我花了很多时间和家长们交流。在任上,我每年花时间,参观学校(哈维一共有77所学校),有效地了解学校具体情况,和学生直接交流,鼓励他们参与学校的事情,同时也让亚裔学生感受到支持的力量。

亚裔的历史也是美国的历史,亚裔是美国的一部分。在亚裔社区的努力下,也在我们华裔教育委员的督促下,我们学校历史上第一次成立了AAPI Advisory Committee, 定期跟学监讨论各种亚裔关心的话题。在华裔社区和其他社区的共同努力下,学校系统开始系统性地庆祝各种宗教和文化节日,也包括农历新年,让学区文化更具有包容性。

2020年12月我被选为任期一年的BOE主席, 为了使议事更有效率,我顶住压力,改进BOE会议运行流程,给每个教育委员限时提问时间。这个新建立起来的制度从最开始的受到反对, 到被大家普遍接受和认可,现在被新一任BOE主席保持下来。

除了完成BOE日程安排,我还在做推动亚裔历史进入公校教程的努力。2022年二月BOE开会,我单独把支持增加亚裔历史的州立法拿出来投票;并带头在全国性的杂志National School Board Association Journal撰文: 亚裔历史也是美国历史, https://chaowu.org/2021/07/13/aapi-history-is-american-history/。2021年当选为Maryland Association of Board of Education的board member以来,我一直呼吁增加亚裔历史教育。最近正在跟National School Board Association交涉,要求他们重视亚裔教育委员们的声音,从而成立AAPI council. 我们需要时时努力争取话语权,团结可以团结的力量,才能提升我们的现状。

全国范围内,我多次带头领导和参加支持亚裔的civil rights运动。既有在DC的游行,也有在最高法院前的抗议,还有在司法部门前的示威。这些活动,不仅起到了支持社区的直接目的,还很明显正在提高着华人和亚裔的社区影响力。通过一件件具体的事情,一篇篇文章,一次次的抗议示威,我为我们社区的努力而骄傲,也感谢大家的一直以来的支持。

我也一直鼓励我们的年轻一代更勇敢追求自己的梦想,参加他们的活动,写卡片表扬他们的成就,带intern做各种项目,给孩子们写大学和奖学金推荐信,推荐实习机会,鼓励参加学校Committee等等,多管齐下,希望他们/她们在这个美丽的天空下自由飞翔。 

七年前,我写道: 不参与,就容易被边缘化;不发声,就容易被别人代言;不投票,很可能就只有接受的命运。我很高兴地看到我们社区的变化,参与,发声,投票,捐款,甚至参加竞选,而且赢得竞选。 

四年BOE任期将满,我拟迈上新征程。我希望能在州一级的层次上,改善我们的教育系统,增强社区安全,提高基础设施,改进交通系统,创造更多工作机会。 我们社区正以前所未有的姿态,改变着我们自己,和我们下一代以及美国的未来。参与里有你有我,成功中相庆相贺,让我们再次携手跨入2022年马里兰州立法委员的大门。我珍视您的每一份支持,每一份捐款,背负社区责任和践行自己的理想,为这个自由美丽的国家,让我们一起努力!

如果你愿意加入一份努力,请看 http://www.chaowu.org/donate .

Board meeting recap 2022-2-24

Board meeting recap 2022-2-24

Public Forum:

topics: Musgrove Farm share septic fee structure, cameras in self-contained classrooms, masking, political indoctrination

Administrative Appointment/Promotion 

Student Representative Report: Mt. Hebron High School.

We are excellence, We are community, We are Hebron

Superintendent Report:

  • Howard County Public School System Class of 2021 achieved a graduation rate of 94.1 percent, which exceeds the Maryland average of 87.2 percent, and is up from 93.4 percent in 2020
  • The rates for students with Limited English Proficiency increased by 18.98 percentage points from 47.22 percent for the Class of 2019 to 66.21 percent for the Class of 2021.
  • The rates for African American, and Hispanic and Latino/Latina students, increased by 1.97 and 5.92 percentage points, respectively, from the Class of 2019 to the Class of 2021.
  • The rates for students receiving Free and Reduced Meals increased by 4.57 percentage points, from the Class of 2019 to the Class of 2021
  • And, Asian American, white, and students who identified as two or more races achieved graduation rates of 95 percent
  • As of yesterday, February 23rd, the positivity rate in Howard County was 3.32 percent and the 7-day average was 10.92 and continues to drop.
  • Also as of yesterday, our seven-day total of positive COVID cases among students was 62 and 17 among staff, and we had 112 students and 29 staff members in quarantine as of Tuesday, February 22nd. At the recent high point for the virus, our seven-day total of positive COVID cases among students was 945 and 108 among staff, and we had 6,142 students and 241 staff members in quarantine. We currently have 6 active outbreaks.
  • Mask mandate may be changed to “optional” if the Maryland General Assembly’s Administrative, Executive & Legislative Review committee votes to rescind the mask mandate tomorrow.

The board voted to make mask “optional” starting Tuesday, March 1st, 2022

English Language Arts Strategic Plan

Picture of the Day, HCPSS Kindergarten Art Work

Board Meeting Recap 2022-1-27

Public Forum:

topics copied: discipline discrepancy, mental health support need.

Personnel

Current legal counsel Mr. Mark Blom is retiring. Thanks for his service. We are hiring  J. Stephen Cowles as our new general counsel.

Superintendent Report

  • Employee bonus 1800 dollars
  • covid positivity rate is 11.22% and 7-day average was 48.34
  • Dashboard data update: use Synergy to synchronize. only show cases took place in HCPSS.
  • HCHD updated quarantine protocols: 5-day
  • At home test kit distribution: purchased 66000 units will be distributed to every student and staff member.
  • Mask update: keep the mask mandate now
  • Technology update: 7850 more chromebooks will arrive earlier.
  • President’s Day Inclement weather makeup (Monday Feb 21, 2022)
  • Juneteenth National Independence Day: June 20, 2022 school will be closed. If the board choose to use President’s Day as an inclement weather make-up day, then students will not be scheduled to be in school on Monday, June 20th. However, if an additional inclement weather days are required, we will need one more inclement weather day on June 22, 2022.
  • Valuing all people.
  • 2017 Office of Civil Rights Accessibility Audit closure.

For parents, call 211 for children’s mental health, etc. (https://211md.org/)

SMOB report

9th grade orientation, mental health support, etc.

Appointments:

Howard County Educator Association (HCEA): presentation from Swansfield ES about restorative justice successful practice.

Howard County Association of Supervisors and Administrators (HCASA)

Administrative Agenda

  1. Proclamation: African American History Month
  2. Bids and Contract: Information Technology Research and Advisory Services
  3. Student Enrollment Projection Accuracy Report
    1. As of September 30, 2021, the countywide K-12 enrollment of the HCPSS was 55,899. The projection developed in the Spring of 2021 for the same timeframe was 58,208, a 2,309 student difference (Attachment 2). Approximately 57 percent of the projections by school had error rates at or below 5 percent. Approximately 10 percent of the projections by school were within 10 students of the actual student enrollment (Attachments 3 and 4). The mean absolute percentage error (MAPE) by school was 5.0 percent.
    2. The 2021 projection was developed and finalized prior to the onset of the recent variants of COVID-19. Much of the 2,309 student difference is due to families choosing to homeschool, transfer their students to private schools, or delay kindergarten enrollment.
  4. Legislative Report (state bills and council bill from council member Deb Jung)
  5. HS 13 Boundary Review: Move approval to direct the Superintendent to initiate the boundary review process outlined Policy 6010 during calendar year 2022. This review should include boundary modifications to establish an attendance area for New High School #13, including related adjustments.
  6. Operating Budget Review Committee (OBRC)
  7. Proposed Modification for the 2021-2022 Academic Calendar 
    • Move to use Presidents Day 2022 as a school day to replace one of the January inclement weather days.
    • Move to close schools and offices on the observed Juneteeth as a holiday
    • Move to make an inclement weather make up day for June 22, 2022

Public Forum 7:00

topics: girls on the run, lunch quality , student discipline, vision screening for students, mask mandate,

Public Testimony

  • school start time
  • school budget
  • school calendar

For those who celebrate the Lunar New Year, Happy New Year, Year of Tiger.

BOE meeting recap 2022-1-13

BOE meeting recap 2022-1-13

Public forum:

  • topics include: environmental literacy, mask breaks, concerning about covid-19

Student Representative:

  • Homewood

Student Board Member (Peter Banyas) Report:

  • talked about the student townhall on covid, board virtual coffee hour, HCASC virtual general assembly.

Superintendent report:

  • promotions and transfers
  • Student Board Member Peter won the United States Senate forum in DC.
  • 25% salary increase for substitute teachers

Howard County Educator Association (HCEA) presentation

  • presentation from Prof. Meagan Fitzpatrick

Policy

  • Policy 1025 Title IX Sexual Harassment, Report
  • Policy 2010 Student Representation, approved
  • Policy 4100 Investment, approved
  • Policy 4070 Fund Balance, deferred
  • Policy 9090 Wellness through Nutrition and Physical Activity, approved.

Public Forum Evening

topics included: reading strategic plan, covid-19 mitigation strategies and loss

Administrative Agenda

  • Bids and contracts
  • Class Size Report
  • School Start Times
  • Operating Budget Review Committee
  • 2022-2024 Proposed Academic Calendar

I am attaching some student’s art work hanging in the BOE central office.

HCPSS Seeks Members for Instructional Technology and Library Media Advisory Board, by Dec. 21, 2021

HCPSS Seeks Members for Instructional Technology and Library Media Advisory Board, by Dec. 21, 2021

Apply by Tuesday, Dec. 21, 2021

HCPSS is currently seeking Howard County parents/guardians, community members and staff interested in joining the Instructional Technology and Library Media Advisory Board. Committee members share their expertise and exchange ideas to advise, support, and advocate for the continuous improvement of the instructional technology and library media program and support students in becoming college and career-ready.

The advisory board supports HCPSS staff in:

  • Establishing short and long range goals for services, resources, and technology integration
  • Maintaining a current collection policy/collection development plan
  • Implementing special program activities and celebrations
  • Advocating for the instructional technology and library media program by encouraging community support and funding

The committee will meet periodically during the school year, with the first meeting on Friday, Jan. 7 from 7:30-9 a.m., which will be held virtually. Future meeting dates will be determined at the Jan. 7 meeting.

Interested participants are asked to submit a statement of interest by Tuesday, Dec. 21, 2021.

For more information, please contact the Office of Instructional Technology and Library Media at 410-313-7141 or email Melissa_Daggett@hcpss.org or Julie_Wray@hcpss.org.

Board meeting recap 2021-12-16

Board meeting recap 2021-12-16

Public forum:

topics: covid concern at some high schools, school sports cancellation issue,

Superintendent Report

As of yesterday, December 15, our seven-day total of positive COVID cases among students was 333 and 49 among staff, and we had 3,712 students and 132 staff members in quarantine. We have 26 current active outbreaks but please note that this number is not fully reflected on the Maryland Department of Health website due to its recent hack. We have a total of 170 students who were initially identified as close contacts and ultimately tested positive over the
14-day quarantine period.

The numbers speak for themselves. For reference, on Nov. 18, our seven-day total of positive COVID cases in schools was 75, with 1,151 students and 34 staff members in quarantine. As of yesterday morning, we were nearing 300 positive COVID cases in schools for the first three days of the week. Since that announcement yesterday we have already seen over 250 additional positive COVID-19 cases and that is just as of 1 pm today.

We have all witnessed too many stories of violence and threats at schools across the nation. Unfortunately, we have experienced similar situations right here in Howard County schools.

Dr. Russo talked about Oakland Mills HS and Hammond HS’s outbreaks. Dr. Rossman talked about testing for athletes as one mitigation method. Dr. Rossman also said there was no higher infection rate in cafeteria.

Motion Passed:

  1. Move that the Board direct the Superintendent to immediately resume all in-person outdoor activities and indoor activities which has mask mandating and to initiate a test to play for sports on January 3, 2022.
  2. Move that, for SY21-22 only, Midterms be suspended, and finals be given a grade weight of 10%.

Student Representative Report

Wilde Lake High School

Student Board Member Report

Personnel

A lot of promotions and transfer

Policy 6010 School Attendance Areas

approved with some revisions

Board meeting recap 2021-12-7

I am beginning to document some board discussion and voting for easy digestion.

If you register to speak virtually, please make sure your name on Zoom matched your registered name such that our tech team will move you to be a speaker.

The board elected Ms. Vicky Cutroneo as Chair and Ms. Antonia Watts as vice chair.

Public forum topics: LGBTQ+ textbooks, Musgrove Farm Shared Septic, African American/Special Education, plastic bag usage in lunch, mask requirement for stage performance.

Report from Howard County High School

SMOB report: school visits, etc

Superintendent Report:

Celebration:

● This year’s Merrill teacher honorees include Samuel Polack, GT resource teacher at Rockburn Elementary School, who years ago taught 4th and 5th grade GT math to UMD Merrill student honoree William Gerst.
● Next, Paula Roberts, a math teacher at Howard High School, was recognized by her former student Eunice Braimoh.
● Two teachers at Atholton High School are also being honored: Lynette Burns is a GT teacher, whose former student was Ally Merwitz.
● The other Atholton honoree is Jennifer Street, a world language teacher and instructional team leader, whose former student was Selena Cen.

Covid Update:

I have an update on our school health metrics. As of yesterday, December 6th, our seven-day total of positive COVID cases in schools was 95, and we had 1,172 students and 31 staff members in quarantine. We have 16 current active outbreaks; please note that this number is not reflected on the Maryland Department of Health website due to
its recent hack. We have a total of 58 students who were initially identified as close contacts and ultimately tested positive over the 14-day quarantine period. Overall, our numbers remain similar to those that I reported on November 18.

I am pleased to note that as of Friday, December 3, 85.2% of Howard County 12-17 year olds are fully vaccinated, with 92.6% having received their first dose. It is also encouraging that 37.4%, or approximately 12,000 children ages 5-11
have already received their first dose.

At this time there will be no change to our current protocol requiring indoor masking for all students, staff and community members, regardless of vaccination status.

Tents:

All tents are now being removed in decreasing order of school capacity utilization, which is the same as the order in which they were installed. They will be reinstalled outside each elementary school at the beginning of March 2022, with the specific timing dependent on weather condition

Staffing shortage and hiring effort

Incident at Howard High School

Special Education Statement:

I will not remove students receiving special education services from their classroom or school, or reduce or eliminate special education services.

Motion:

The board approved a motion: student performers have the same standard as student athletes on mask protocol.

Appointments

HCEA (HoCo Education Association) and HCASA(HoCo Association of Supervisors and Administrators)

School Construction Report

  • Hammond High School, 45% completed, ready in 2023
  • HS 13, 39.6% completed, ready in 2023
  • Talbott Spring ES, 42.9%, ready in 2022

Policy Discussions

  1. Report: Policy 6060 Community Improvement to School Sites or School Facilities Charter
  2. Report: Policy 4050 Procurement of Goods and/or Services Charter
  3. Report: Policy 8020 Grading and Reporting: Middle and High School (new cycle)
  4. Approved: Policy 8100 Field Trips.
    • The purpose of this modification is to allow JROTC instructors to accompany students on field trips as they are not MSDE certified. The definition of Teacher-in-Charge was modified to include Department of Defense (DoD) Certified JROTC Instructors.
  5. Approved: Policy 8010 Grading and Reporting: Prekindergarten through Grade 5
    • The purpose of this modification is to clarify that during SY21-22, students who must quarantine due to COVID-19 exposure or possible exposure but can otherwise participate in instruction would still receive additional days to hand in assignments as occurs when students have lawful absences.
  6. Approved: Policy 8020 Grading and Reporting: Middle and High School
    • For year 2021-2022 year only
    • The purpose of these modifications are, for SY21-22 only, to revise the final course grade to 5% for midterms and 5% for final examinations and clarify that during SY21-22, students who must quarantine due to COVID-19 exposure or possible exposure but can otherwise participate in instruction would still receive additional days to hand in assignments as occurs when students have lawful absences.
  7. Approved: Policy 3030 Research Involving Employees and Students

Evening Public Forum

topics covered: SMOB election, student wellness and student search and seizure

Public Hearing on Policy

  1. Policy 2010 Student Representation
  2. Policy 9090 Wellness through Nutrition and Physical Activity
  3. Policy 9260 Student Search and Seizure

Administrative Agenda

  • The board denied the charter school application ( Reading Opens Doors Charter School)

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: