Maryland’s transition from a Governor-appointed Board of Education to an elected Board representing councilmanic districts gives county residents a real voice in the future of the education system – how Anne Arundel Public School System (AACPSS) operates, how its resources are allocated, and where its priorities lie.
Equal access and equal opportunity in education includes ensuring that graduating students are equally prepared for career or college no matter where in the county they live or what challenges they face. The difference between high- and low-performing schools is astounding. According to the Maryland State Department of Education, 2017 PARCC test scores 17.1% of students in one school exceeded expectations compared to 8.6% in another. Likewise, in a high-performing high school, 75% of students who took an Advanced Placement exam scored in the highest range (3-5), while in another school just 48% did. These differences likely extend to other performance areas, with real world impact on student readiness for a workplace or college.
AACPSS faces other challenges as well. Its performance compared to other Maryland counties has decreased each of the past four years; our teachers are paid less than surrounding counties, causing critical retention issues, especially of our best and most experienced teachers. Transportation challenges, especially in South County, make getting to some of the school system’s premier programs nearly impossible.
Take Action AAC is committed to the creation of a level playing field across the county for all students. In the coming year, we will hold the Board of Education accountable for increased budgetary transparency, differentiated funding for schools based on the students’ needs, and increased teacher pay.