Why do you want to serve on the county school board?
Scott: I am committed to the belief that as a result of my dynamic leadership, creativity, vision and good sound judgment, I have an obligation to help improve the education for children in Baltimore County. My major strengths lie in the fact that with the support of the community I will advocate to create and communicate an inspiring image that I have of our children’s educational future. Through my hard work and tenacious advocacy, the education issues facing the 4th District will be properly addressed and resolved.
Has the county’s use of educational technology in the classroom been appropriate? Do you support the system’s expenditures for student laptops?
Scott: I feel that the County’s use of educational technology in the classrooms has been appropriate and is needed to prepare our children for the technical future. Laptops have become an essential part of the learning process for children so I do support the system’s expenditures for student laptops. Tools such as laptops help to bridge the digital divide facing children in so many communities.
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?
Scott: I feel that the current system could be re-accessed to ensure that the resources are fairly and equitably divided among all Baltimore County schools. The system needs to put more resources into schools with large populations where there is overcrowding. Often times schools that are faced with overcrowding are under-resourced and are schools with large populations of minority and low-income students. These situations create pockets of poverty that are stifling for students’ educational growth and can have a detrimental impact on their academic future.
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?
Scott: The board should make sure that the duties of the superintendent are well outlined and follow-up with the superintendent to ensure adequate oversight. The board must maintain oversight and work to make sure that the process is followed and that the superintendent is meeting tangible objectives. It is also the responsibility of the board to make sure that protocols are in place to ensure that the board manages the superintendent. As a member of the board, one of the first things I’d like to do is to make sure that the superintendent gets help from either legal or ethics on exactly what the expectations are when submitting applications and filling out ethics forms. The board should work with legal to make sure that the income requirements are clear and offer assistance to explain what is expected on the form. I see a difference in that Verletta White may not have fully understood the distinction in what was considered income.
Are the system’s rules on ethics, conflicts of interest and financial disclosure sufficient?
Scott: The system’s rules on ethics, conflicts of interest and financial disclosure forms should be explained clearly and supported by the ethics and legal division. There should be the opportunity to get a clear definition of expectations and could be explained more by legal and ethics in clearer more concise manner.
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?
Scott: The current discipline policies leave room for improvement in our schools. They are reactive rather than proactive to prevent disciplinary issues in students. I would work to ensure that proactive measures were put in place to prevent behavioral issues at schools. I would also make sure that there was adequate funding in the budget to give schools the resources necessary to appropriately address behavior issues.
What are your views on the Common Core and the PARCC exams?
Scott: Both Common Core and the PARCC exams are markers of achievement for our schools and our students. However, as a result of the low test scores at certain schools, I believe that these test should be used as a guide to help the board identify the schools that have lower test scores and to develop a holistic plan of action to improve those test scores.
Should diversity be a factor in decisions about drawing new school attendance zone lines?
Scott: Yes, diversity should be one of many factors to take into account when drawing new school and attendance zone lines. The world that our children are growing up in has a diverse population. Our children should be educated in a diverse school that teaches our children about differences in people, culture, and background.
How would you set priorities for school construction and renovation? Has the county devoted adequate resources to maintaining or replacing school buildings?
Scott: The county could devote additional resources to maintaining or replacing school buildings. I would set school construction as a priority based on the age, condition and if the school is overcrowded. I would put together a needs assessment report that would identify which schools were most in need of renovations or new building projects based on overcrowding, the age of the school and the condition of the school.