2018 Primary election results

Patricia Ann Dorsey

Patricia Ann Dorsey
  • Non-Partisan
  • Age: 68
  • Residence: Westminster

About Patricia Ann Dorsey

Education

I received a Bachelor of Science degree from Morgan State College (now Morgan State University) in 1972; a Master of Education degree from Western Maryland College (now McDaniel College) in 1983; and a Doctor of Education degree from the University of Maryland College Park in 1999 in the area of education policy, planning, and administration.

Background

I completed a 39-year career in the Carroll County Public School system as a classroom teacher at William Winchester and Westminster Elementary Schools, a Title I Resource Teacher, Assistant Principal of Eldersburg Elementary School, and Principal of Taneytown, William Winchester, and Friendship Valley Elementary Schools.

Questionnaire

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1
Teacher pay
Given the financial situation facing CCPS and assuming no significant changes to state funding formulas or commissioner funding support, where does improving teacher salaries rank as a priority for you and why? If you believe it needs improvement, how do you propose doing so?
Dorsey: Providing competitive salaries to staff is second to providing safe, secure environments that are conducive to learning. In order to provide rigorous instruction to meet the needs of all of our students we must recruit and retain quality staff members. Teachers make important decisions about planning and instructional delivery. Teachers are crucial to meeting the needs of learners. All staff members who are responsible for developing our students should receive competitive compensation. Carroll County Public School salaries should be competitive with those offered in surrounding counties.
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2
School safety
In light of current school shootings and security discussions, what do you believe are necessary steps CCPS should take to ensure the safety of its students? What are your thoughts on School Resource Officers? Crisis counselors?
Dorsey: CCPS has established procedures to ensure the safety of students and staff. Schools have specific safety plans in effect. Entry into all buildings is secure with cameras and intercom systems in place. Drivers’ licenses are used for identification. There is a Supervisor of School Security who trains staff members and monitors procedures that are to be in effect. It would be appropriate to expand the Office of School Security to include trained persons to work with the Supervisor of School Security. Trained School Resource Officers are important to ensuring the safety of students and staff. A recent Senate Bill (1265, Maryland Safe to Learn Act) to take effect on June 1, 2018, will provide either a School Resource Officer or adequate law enforcement protection to every public school in the state. This will enhance the safety of all students and staff in CCPS. The bill provides that the School Resource Officers must complete specialized training. By September 1, 2018, each local school system must establish one or more assessment teams to identify and provide intervention for students or staff who may be a threat to school safety. Crisis counselors are instrumental in providing stability and coping strategies to students or staff members who are experiencing a crisis.
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3
Curriculum
In previous years, there have been discussions about CCPS graduates having to take remedial math and English classes at Carroll Community College. Do you believe CCPS curriculum is rigorous enough and what specific improvements would you like to see made at the local level?
Dorsey: The CCPS curriculum is rigorous enough when it is implemented effectively. Careful planning and instructional delivery are needed to ensure students’ success. County benchmark assessments are used to monitor students’ progress.
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4
Career/Tech
What further steps if any should the district take to improve career and technical education offerings?
Dorsey: Career and technical education offerings are available at the Carroll County Career and Technology Center in Westminster, MD. The Center provides opportunities to all high school students in Carroll County to pursue career and technology programs based on their interests and the possibility of being successful in their chosen program. The learning opportunities prepare students to enter employment and continue their education. Students are educated in an environment similar to the environment in which they will work. CCPS can explore additional partnerships with businesses.
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5
PARCC
What are your thoughts on PARCC and standardized testing in general?
Dorsey: The Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC) and standardized testing should be used as intended to measure students’ performance in various subject areas. Our curriculum and instruction are based on standards that specify what students know or understand and should be able to do in various subject areas. The state assessment, PARCC, measures students’ progress on achieving the standards. The aim is to make sure students are on track to succeed in academic areas. Teachers and parents can determine if younger students are acquiring the necessary skills and knowledge to progress to the next level, and older students can see if they are on track to graduate, ready for careers and college. The results of the standardized testing can be used to make comparisons among other schools. The results can also be used to formalize goals for School Improvement Plans, thus ensuring students’ needs are targeted and achievement gaps between high- and low-performing students are lessened or closed.
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6
Diversity
How important is improving the diversity of the CCPS workforce and how would you proposing doing so? What would be appropriate goals for diversity hiring?
Dorsey: Improving the diversity of the CCPS workforce is very important. Our county should be appealing to all applicants. I would suggest forming partnerships with historically Black colleges and universities to involve students in practical experiences in our school system, for example, observing classes, completing required hours for specific courses, providing professional development partnerships, or completing student teaching. I also suggest recruiting our current students who are interested in becoming part of our workforce and interviewing them for possible openings once they are ready to work. Providing support groups or partnerships for minorities would be important. CCPS must continue its efforts to provide diversity training for all members of the workforce, including Board Members, to enhance a nonthreatening environment for everyone. Appropriate goals for minority hiring include: (1) hiring members of ethnic groups that equal the percentage of minorities reflected in the student demographics (2) having the minority recruiting and retention rate reflect the rate of non-minority retention
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