As a father of two boys, each 5 years apart in age, I have seen firsthand the extreme changes throughout Wicomico County Public Schools that has degraded education over a period of 20 years. Throughout my children's grade school journey, I noticed this more and more as each year passed. Using the oldest child as a baseline, this deviation was measurably disturbing. The educational system has shifted from a student focused-model to a collective group-focused model where everyone is to have the same outcome, which is impossible to achieve. This is known as Equity, which replaces Equality. The problem is, everyone is at a different level of learning and retention, and possess different gifts, processes information differently, and thinks differently. I would hope everyone is different, as everyone cannot be a Plumber. To falsely achieve this outcome, the school system had to lower the bar in attempt to "normalize" and regulate the student population. Treating kids as cattle, they must be rounded up and programed to do the same.
Over a five year period, the school system lowered the Lexile Reading Level required at each grade level. 7th grade reading material suddenly became the material for 9th grade. Feelings were taking priority over facts, students were getting free passes to not put in the effort, and group lessons were being directed for a specific outcome.
The transformation is scary. To make up for the loss in achievement, grades were skewed and the scaling of tests were changed and even eliminated in some areas. Their attempt to normalize the student base is oppression.
Although most parents are kept in the dark by the school, there is a campaign to promote parent involvement, which they deceptively portray. For example, if you ask for your child's homework back, it requires a parent to file Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request . If you ask to receive a copy of a lesson or curriculum, a parent has to go to the WCBOE headquarters. A parent is hovered over by faculty to make sure you are intimidated, don't have ample time to review or able to take pictures. That's obstruction. There's a reason for all of this, as they don't want you to see what's being taught in the classroom. When the pandemic came along, that exposed a bunch of issues that were previously concealed. With a shift to virtual learning, parents were witnessing the extreme agenda in the curriculum. Now, parents are aware of the destructive reality - they're absolutely indoctrinating our kids.
Don't get me wrong. We have amazing teachers in our school system. Like anywhere, there are a few that are not so good. As a whole, the school system tells teachers the foundation of what to teach, including the hiring of extremist-consultants to teach our faculty in woke workshops as mandatory training. Some teachers are well pleased, and most are not. The classroom has no place for political activism. This creates a divide in education, separating teaching from indoctrination.
You'll either agree or disagree with what I'm saying, but there's one inexcusable truth. Our school system is not failing, IT HAS FAILED. What do we do? We need an entirely new elected school board with integrity, represents the citizens and not the establishment, knows their roles and responsibilities, and a committed heart to do what's right. They're not here to make administration happy, but to fix and maintain the system. Nothing is perfect, and nobody is perfect. The school system will never be 100% perfect, because humans are there. However, there are no excuses not to be the best that we can be.
In the last election, it was the very first time we had an elected board. I don't think that the citizens really grasped the fact or realized that the existing appointed board were shoehorned into their elected seats that chose by popularity over abilities. To date, they have failed to understand their role as board members. Instead, they carry out their roles in representing the system and not the citizens that elected them. This has to change, where an elected board must represent the people in who they represent.
Traditionally, board members are appointed or selected based on their background. The unwritten rule is that a good board member should be a retired educator. Problem one is there's a great disconnect. They don't have children in the school system, they have no clue on what's really going on in the schools, and their spoon-fed a fairy tale by administration. Most never ran their own business, and lack understanding of managing and monitoring a large operational budget in the corporate world. Then, they are introduced to a nearly $300 million dollar WCPS budget. Most also never dealt with any personnel issues, and lack the understanding of state and federal law. It's important to have an educator on the board, but more importantly business men and women, who understand operational business administration. In the corporate world, you should have profit if you manage the budget and maintain operations efficiently and effectively. In the non-profit world, they receive guaranteed funding with a 3.8% annual increase. Waste is of no concern to them, as long as the money keeps coming in from the funding sources. With a "use it or lose it" mentality, they become spoiled, careless, and negligent. Hand a 13-year-old $50,000 cash and see what they do with it.
Meanwhile, every year the school system exploits parents to purchase school supplies for the class, so that the teachers have enough supplies and dry erase markers to teach the class. Teachers never have enough copy paper. This is beyond unacceptable, and school-wide waste is rampant.
Perhaps if they weren't so wasteful, we would have money that could be put to better use for education, including better pay for our teachers. It must be extremely insulting to be a teacher and to see how the finances of the school system are handled. Administration will brag that they received countless awards for budgeting and fiscal management, while the auditors are limited to what is provided to them. Auditors are not looking at appropriation or budgetary compliance, but inspect to make sure that numbers add up. This is hit and run audit that lacks reliability.