Why do you want to serve on the county school board?
McMillion: I still believe a quality public education can change a person’s life for the better. Students and their families in the Dundalk, Essex, and Rosedale communities, need an advocate who is going to fight to improve their educational opportunities. I feel I am the right guy for the job.
Has the county’s use of educational technology in the classroom been appropriate? Do you support the system’s expenditures for student laptops?
McMillion: I personally do not think BCPS needs to give every student a computer. Some of the students treat the devices as if they were toys. There is nothing wrong with computer labs and computer carts that teachers can sign up to use. Having written the previous sentence I now say the current School Board voted in the new $140 million devise contract, and we must learn to live it and get the “ biggest bang for our buck” in terms of student learning.
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?
McMillion: BCPS needs to be more transparent, and accountable across the entire program . Years ago you used to hear that X number of dollars were spent on every student in BC. You don’t hear that anymore so I don’t know if “the system’s resources are fairly and equitably divided among its schools.” “Adequate support for students with large populations of minority or low-income students?” Again I don’t know. As a school system let’s look at these questions and honestly answer them for the taxpaying public.
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?
McMillion: I think the newly elected BCPS School Board should hire the next full time superintendent, establishing the necessary checks and balances prior to the 1st interview. In my mind the only distinction between the two is the amount of money.
Are the system’s rules on ethics, conflicts of interest and financial disclosure sufficient?
McMillion: I think the rules on ethics, conflicts of interest and financial disclosure are pretty simple. And if necessary, you have BCPS lawyers available to assist in answering any questions prior to submitting the required paperwork.
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?
McMillion: BCPS has a Code of Conduct. Let’s evaluate the effectiveness of this document. If we decide it is adequate give the administrators the true authority to discipline according to the document. If we decide we need to alter the document, do it. We need consequences in order to change behavior.
What are your views on the Common Core and the PARCC exams?
McMillion: We test entirely too much. We brag about our graduation rates, when it appears our students graduate with less knowledge. A lot of our student can’t read and write. Go back to the basics and teach reading; writing; arithmetic; and critical thinking.
Should diversity be a factor in decisions about drawing new school attendance zone lines?
McMillion: No. Students should go to the schools located in their neighborhoods, unless the families are applying to magnet schools.
How would you set priorities for school construction and renovation? Has the county devoted adequate resources to maintaining or replacing school buildings?
McMillion: I think new construction and repair money should be divided equally across the county. Each area can then prioritze how they want to spend their allotment. It does not appear that BCPS has devoted adequate resources to maintaining or replacing school buildings.