Paul Evitts

Paul Evitts
  • Non-Partisan
  • Age: 48
  • Residence: White Hall

About Paul Evitts

Education

BA- Studio Art, Loras College, Dubuque, IA BA/MA - Speech Pathology, University of Northern Iowa, Cedar Falls, IA PhD - Speech Pathology, Bowling Green State University, Bowling Green, OH

Background

I have been a professor at Towson University since my family and I moved here in 2008. Prior to that, I was at West Chester University. Before I went back to school though for speech pathology, I was in sales for wireless communications and the yellow pages.

Questionnaire

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1
Why
Why do you want to serve on the county school board?
Evitts: The main reason I became involved was because I was tired of the current board members not putting a stop to the corruption and wasteful spending of our tax dollars. It seemed every day I was reading a story in the news about ethical violations or some other problem. All of those problems could have stopped by the existing board members. If elected, I hope to bring some common sense to the board. Plus, I feel that I am uniquely qualified to be on the board and represent the people of our district. Specifically, I currently hold four roles that will help me if elected to the board: 1) Parent of two children in the BCPS system so have a vested interest in how the board of ed operates; 2) Teacher - provides me insight into the challenges of education; 3) Professor - serve on numerous committees and know how to work as a team; and 4) Scientist -can analyze and review the research to make informed decisions.
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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?
Evitts: The county made a huge bet on the personal computers and is refuses to accept the fact that it is not the panacea that they were hoping. Remember, the whole deal was struck because of our former superintendent – who is headed for jail for corruption. The fact that they are continuing the program in its current form is sad for the taxpayers of Baltimore County. The evidence just isn’t there and too many tax dollars are being wasted to fund unproven methods. I would redirect monies to reduce class sizes which has strong research support and provide more support in existing classrooms to help teachers.
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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?
Evitts: Based on the actions of the previous and current superintendent, I think the answer is yes. Obviously, I would need to further investigate to see if there are any discrepancies as I’m more familiar with my local schools, but I think Dr. Dance’s primary focus, in particular, was to close any gap in resource allocation. As for adequate support, more has to be done to help students - and parents- in those schools to succeed.
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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?
Evitts: The fact that representatives in Baltimore found it necessary to investigate ethical violations and to propose a rule preventing current superintendents from having additional employment should say it all. The current board has done nothing to reign in the corruption and all of the problems, all of the ethical violations, all of the lost trust, and all of the bad press, is directly attributable to the current members of the board. The only distinction I see between Dr. Dance’s actions and Ms. Whites, are the extent.
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5
Ethics
Are the system’s rules on ethics, conflicts of interest and financial disclosure sufficient?
Evitts: Apparently not. If the current superintendent, who’s boss was just convicted of corruption, did the same thing and stated that she didn’t know and just made a mistake, then I’d say that changes need to be made. The fact that Baltimore County senators and representatives need to intervene to stop the corruptive practices should also tell us that the rules aren’t sufficient.
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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?
Evitts: I would need to look more into the disciplinary issues across the district to see what challenges exist. As for any fixes, I would look at what other school districts do - what works and what doesn’t and make sound decisions based on science and reported outcomes.
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7
Common Core/PARCC
What are your views on the Common Core and the PARCC exams?
Evitts: I believe that there is too much standardized testing in our schools and too many resources are devoted to the testing- both time and money. The common core takes away flexibility from the teachers and individual schools and the ability to individualize instruction. Teachers are the best equipped to evaluate students’ performance and they need to be given the time to do what they are best at– teach. Not administer standardized tests which may even accurately reflect the students’ true abilities.
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8
Diversity
Should diversity be a factor in decisions about drawing new school attendance zone lines?
Evitts: Definitely, yes. A one-sized approach to attendance does not fit all the schools in our county and each school, each area should be allowed to come up with their own approach and solution.
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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?
Evitts: Obviously, updates need to be made. For any of our kids to have school cancelled because a few schools don’t have air conditioning and its too hot, that’s an embarrassment. We need to reprioritize our funding and stop wasteful spending. We also need to streamline the renovation and repair process so that changes can be made more quickly and not get lost in red tape.
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