Preparing our children for life after K-12 must be front and center in the minds of our local government. Therefore, our elected leaders must be able to work with our local and state Board of Education. All of our 123 public schools all come with unique challenges. What works for struggling students in Severna Park may not work for struggling students in Glen Burnie. For that reason, the needs of students are not the same, so the solutions cannot be the same. While we must work with our school administrators to craft individual solutions for individual students, there are also ways to help ready our students for life after high school. Here are a few thoughts.
Board of Education and Transparency
First, we need to take a hard look at those running for seats in the Board of Education elections in 2024. Do they share your values? Are they in favor of total curriculum transparency? Or are they against making our school curriculum available to be viewed by all? Parents of our school-aged children and all taxpayers in the county deserve to know exactly what lessons are being taught to our children.
Unfortunately, schools in Anne Arundel County have stopped teaching basic life skills. For instance, our youth graduate high school without knowing what compound interest is. Many do not know how the stock market works, how to balance a checkbook, or how to invest in the stock market. Additionally, simple tasks like sewing a button on a shirt and cooking a healthy meal is no longer being taught. To this end, I believe we need to require a life skills course in high school. We need to better prepare our children for life after school.
Finally, while many students prepare for college, there are many that want to go into the trades after high school. And while Anne Arundel County has two trade-focused schools, all high schools should have a class giving students exposure to the trades. We could accomplish this by a single, multi-semester class that gives a basic overview of two to four different skills. In doing so, students can decide if a future in the trades is right for them.