2018 Primary election results

Matt Gresick

Matt Gresick
  • Non-Partisan
  • Age: 38
  • Residence: Catonsville

About Matt Gresick

Education

Bachelors in Secondary Education with an emphasis in history from Indiana University of Pennsylvania Masters in Curriculum and Instruction from McDaniel College Administrative Certificate

Background

Mentored special needs individuals throughout undergrad. Student taught in an at-risk high school and overseas in an English parochial school. Over 15 years teaching Maryland Public Schools. Two and a half years teaching 6th-grade ancient history at a Title 1 Middle School. Have taught US History, World History, American Government, Ancient History, World Religions, Sociology, Leadership, and AP Human Geography. Professional Development School Liaison with Towson University Mentor Teacher of the Year with Salisbury University Justice Institute Fellowship Coached middle school intramural soccer, flag football, basketball, and chess. Coached high school varsity football, basketball, and mock trial. Professional Development Leader World History Curriculum Writing Howard County Education Association Government Relations Chair

Questionnaire

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1
Why
Why do you want to serve on the county school board?
Gresick: Teachers are rising up in this country for our profession, schools, and students. I became a teacher to make a difference in the lives of kids and I hope to do the same on the Baltimore County Board of Education.
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2
Technology
Has the county’s use of educational technology in the classroom been appropriate? Do you support the system’s expenditures for student laptops?
Gresick: Educators clearly needed more time to prepare and plan lessons to integrate those devices into their pedagogy. In an ideal world, I would have liked to have device carts and STAT teachers for each grade in elementary. The STAT teacher would then be a part of the grade level team and act as co-teacher implementing devices, apps, and new techniques throughout the school year making sure to work with each class. This plan would have negated parental concerns of screen addiction along with giving educators more time and flexibility to work out the inevitable kinks and drawbacks that come with a massive initiative.
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3
Resource equity
Are the system’s resources fairly and equitably divided among its schools? Does the system provide adequate support for students with large populations of minority or low-income students?
Gresick: More needs to be done for those schools with higher amounts of poverty from employing more pupil personnel workers to social workers. The Summer meals program should also include some type of Summer engagement/enrichment program that would prevent that “Summer slide” of academic skills that occur from one school year to another. Older kids could also be added into this equation by employing them as tutors and mentors for the younger kids.
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4
Oversight
What additional steps, if any, need to be taken to ensure that the board exercises adequate oversight over the superintendent? Do you see a distinction between the disclosure failures that led to former superintendent Dallas Dance’s guilty pleas and those that interim Superintendent Verletta White has admitted to?
Gresick: Having an elected school board that’s accountable to the community they serve is a great step in ensuring oversight by electing people that will be objective but not obstructive in their professional relationship with the superintendent. Dallas Dance conned numerous people in and around BCPS and while we expect our institutions to be perfect they are still liable to the frailties of human beings. That being said, I believe there is a distinction between interim Superintendent White’s failure to disclose and the actions of Dallas Dance. She has taken proper actions to rectify the error in judgment. Whether or not her lack of disclosing funds was intentionally misleading needs to be considered during the search for our permanent superintendent.
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5
Ethics
Are the system’s rules on ethics, conflicts of interest and financial disclosure sufficient?
Gresick: The rules need to be reassessed as to how clear and thorough they are in disclosing information related to ethics, conflicts of interest, and financial disclosures. I personally can see how schedule H needs to be clarified in order for there to be no confusion in future financial disclosures.
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6
Discipline
Do you think the school system's discipline policies keep students safe while appropriately disciplining students who exhibit poor behavior? What, if any, changes would you propose to the school system's discipline policies?
Gresick: The issue is not in policy but in practice of implementing those policies. Data shows us that our students of color across the country are being disciplined more frequently and more harshly when they commit the same offenses as other students. Instead of trying to fix this on the back end by underreporting, we need to ensure that discipline policies are being implemented uniformly. A good first step is implementing restorative practices to rebuild trust and relationships in our schools.
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7
Common Core/PARCC
What are your views on the Common Core and the PARCC exams?
Gresick: The rollout of Common Core was problematic; however, the principles of voluntary standards for educators to use their own professional discretion to engage students in learning is a positive step in education. The PARCC exams along with other standardized tests are one way to measure student success, but they should not be the be the only way we judge our educational institutions. Often these standardized tests get in the way of actual instruction. I would like to see more longitudinal data on how our institutions prepare our students for the next steps in their lives.
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8
Diversity
Should diversity be a factor in decisions about drawing new school attendance zone lines?
Gresick: Red lining and other racially discriminatory practices are a definite part of our past as a community and we need to recognize that fact. At the same time, disrupting neighborhood schools due to busing causes major public strife, which is why the community school model needs to be embraced and enacted for those schools that have the most need. As a teacher in a diverse school, I believe that all students benefit from being around peers that are different from them, and while attendance zone lines can play a part in that benefit, it shouldn’t be the only method.
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9
School construction
How would you set priorities for school construction and renovation? Has the county devoted adequate resources to maintaining or replacing school buildings?
Gresick: I think the best first step is to follow the model that Anne Arundel has established, tailoring it to our own unique needs. Baltimore County needs to make a concerted effort to provide more resources for the maintenance and replacement of older structures.
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