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As Long as We Remember...

September 27, 2017

One Reason to Reject Afzali for County Executive

Cindy A. Rose

As a conservative, let me tell you why you should not vote for Kathy Afzali for county executive. Actually, there are too many reasons than my limited word count will allow in this column, but here’s a sample. Perhaps I’ll write about others in future columns.


Maybe Delegate Afzali doesn’t read the Baltimore Sun: “Less than half of Maryland students pass English, math assessments” was the August 22, 2017, headline. Maybe she hangs out with too many progressive Board of Education members, I’m not sure.


The reason “more than half” of our students did poorly on The Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC) tests is because of the Common Core Standards and its supporting curriculum.


During her September 23 interview by Jennifer Charlton, of Success Matters, on WFMD, she said:


“Common Core is not a topic in Annapolis … because Common Core is about local curriculum … I think the Feds said do it if you want, don’t do it … because the locals do the curriculum … in order to influence that [the curriculum], parents can do that …  Common Core was largely misunderstood…”


Neither Delegate Afzali, nor Mrs. Charlton, understand Common Core and “standards” vs. “curriculum.” The Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) locks schools into the failed Common Core standards based on “acceptability” to the U.S. Department of Education. To date, the only standards that are “acceptable” are the Common Core State Standards.


“Curriculum” is secondary. The “standards” are primary to control “what” our children will learn and “when” they will learn it. The “curriculum” is the mechanism used to teach them. PARCC assessments measure how well a student learned them.


“Standards” are the blueprint; “curricula” are the materials used. Do we want to be the architect of our children’s education? The builder? Both? Right now, we’re only the janitor cleaning up everyone else’s mess.


What any education loving legislator, and county executive hopeful, should be aware of is that Maryland (not even the State Board of Education) has control over our “standards;” thus, we do not control our classrooms. If we don’t control that, it’s hard to control the budgets that fund them.


Parents have no influence over the curriculum. Parents are struggling to maintain the most basic of their rights in regards to public education. Perhaps Delegate Afzali is unaware of all the dissatisfaction and legal troubles between parents and Frederick County Public Schools (FCPS)?


Mrs. Afzali could actually help alleviate some of distress, but her personal feelings refuse to allow her to do the right thing. Or, maybe she really doesn’t care about disabled children? Either is unsettling.


Del. David Vogt has been fighting for these children for three years now by way of Ben’s Rule, which recognizes that parents have the power to refuse to allow their children to participate in these insignificant, wasteful, sometimes dehumanizing assessments. It recognizes we “can” say “no.”


Delegate Afzali has not co-sponsored Ben’s Rule. Dels. Karen Lewis-Young (D) and William Folden (R) are both co-sponsors. In actuality, the bill had a lot of bipartisan support because it’s a common sense bill to protect vulnerable children. Delegate Afzali doesn’t like Ben’s mother, so she refuses to sign on.


To clarify, Delegate Afzali was challenged by the writer of this column over her stance on Common Core years ago, and she has held a grudge ever since.


Mrs. Afzali will not abide being confronted with tough questions on her positions. Sheriff “Chuck” Jenkins, understands the level her resentments will take. You’ve even read about them in the Frederick News-Post.


I won’t tell you for whom to vote, but I urge you not to waste a vote on Kathy Afzali if you value, impartiality, integrity and honesty.





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