Question: What is most important in improving the quality of Montgomery County schools?



(1 seat; top two vote-getters will run in November election)) Frances Brenneman Donald R. Buckner Beatrice B. Gordon Frances Brenneman 4236 Sandcastle Lane, Olney Age: 39

Adjunct professor of reading to incoming freshman, Montgomery College, 1979-present; MS, reading, State University of New York, Albany; certified teacher, nursery, elementary, junior and senior high; member, Latch-Key Subcommittee, Interagency Coordinating Board; former delegate, Montgomery County Council of Parent Teachers Association; former PTA president; former member, Sherwood Demographic and Boundary Committee, Frances Brenneman, candidate, Board of Education; member, Education Specifications Committee for Hopewell Middle School; former corresponding secretary, Greater Olney Civic Association; member, NAACP; B'Nai Shalom of Olney; married, two children.

A. Reducing class size ratios will greatly improve the quality of education. Every child is special; individualized attention will help all students. With smaller classes, teachers can differentiate and use creative teaching styles to help each student. Recruiting and retaining qualified teachers and assistants are essential. Cooperative learning and interdisciplinary teaching in math and science will be enhanced with smaller groupings; children's interest in these subjects will increase. Smaller classes will help ensure mastery of the basics; tutorial help should be offered if necessary. In primary years, small classes are extremely important; they are also neccessary in the upper grades for better understanding of subject area. In addition, parents' participation is vital to support their children's progress in school. Knowledge concerning the educational process will foster parent involvement, which in turn, encourages their children's learning. Educational quality will improve by teaming parents with teachers to focus attention on student's individual needs. Donald R. Buckner 12513 Eastbourne Dr., Silver Spring Age: 58

Administrator and researcher, National Library of Medicine, National Institutes of Health; member, National Accreditation Commission of Dental Schools, developing policies for and conducting evaluations of education programs; doctorate degree in education testing and teacher preparation; teacher, principal, school and Cleveland State College of Education administrator and lecturer; curriculum writer, consultant, Montgomery County schools; academic test developer and editor of Medical College Admissions Test; conducted test-taking workshops in community; former president, education publishing firm; developed original plan for first publishing house in a black college; wrote first minority test report on MCPS; served on PTAs; chairman, board of trustees, Peoples Community Baptist Church.

A. Most important in improving the quality of MCPS are: Support for high-quality teaching programs. Advance and renew teachers' skills. Rekindle appreciation for academic achievement and work performance among youth. Develop more efficient budget and effective funding. Explore means of reducing school construction costs, i.e. movable modular schools. Improve female and minority performance in math/sciences. Reduce class size. Expand parent/school/business partnerships in determining programs and assessing school effectiveness. Emphasize guidance, career and substance abuse counseling. Expanding technical/vocational education. Provide second foreign language fluency for all students. Support full-day kindergarten in every primary school. Require principals and area experts to serve as educational leaders accountable for reviewing research findings on different learning programs, teaching or motivational techniques for transfer to schools. Beatrice B. Gordon 1321 Mimosa Lane, Silver Spring Age: 41

A. Special education instructional assistant and English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) tutor, William T. Page Elementary School; Page school PTA board member, 1981-87, and coordinator of volunteers, 1982-87; Montgomery County PTA co-chairman of Facilities and Long-Range Planning Committee, 1987-90, and coordinator of Paint Branch Cluster; member, Planning, Educational Programming and Principal Advisory committees, Briggs Chaney Middle School; member and chairman, Human Relations Committee, Page school, Title IX liaison; Tamarack Triangle Civic Association member, 1977-90, and board member, 1977-79; member of principal selection committees at Paint Branch, Page and Briggs Chaney schools; married; two daughters in Montgomery County schools.

Meeting the needs of an increasingly diverse population, while continuing to provide an outstanding program for average and gifted students, is the most important key to improving the quality of education in Montgomery County. I believe this can be accomplished in several ways: providing resources at the early childhood level so that children learn how to learn; providing differentiated instruction for gifted, average and special learners; continuing the emphasis on ESOL, special education and minority achievement; reducing class size and providing instructional assistants to reduce class size above the county average; identifying and servicing "at risk" children early; providing adequate and up-to-date facilities; and encouraging open communication and active participation by parents, business, staff and the board. Unless we are able to give a quality education to all children, we will not continue as leaders in education into the next century. We must find experienced, committed leaders for our schools.