Term: 4 Years
QUESTION: What one thing would most improve the quality of education offered by the county school system?
Suzanne M. Plogman is unopposed
Suzanne M. Plogman
90 Ridge Rd., Greenbelt
Appointed member, Prince George's Board of Education, October 1986; elected, November 1986; married; two sons; resident of Greenbelt; professional educator; taught in Prince George's County, 1978-1985; bachelor's degree, special education, Hood College; master's degree, education, University of Arizona, Tucson; appointed, Community Advisory Council on Magnet and Compensatory Educational Programs, summer 1985; member, Greenbelt Advisory Planning Board; former board member, Greenbelt Cultural Arts Center; past chairman, Prince George's County Commission for Women; former board member, Family Crisis Center; active in Democratic Party; Mondale delegate to the Democratic National Convention; past vice president, Eleanor and Franklin Roosevelt Democratic Club; past member, Lions Club.
A: The increased funding of comprehensive school programs would most improve the quality of education in our school system. Magnet schools have been a success. The same sort of enhancements that have been available in the magnet schools need to be duplicated in our comprehensive programs. Possible resources might include beefed up science and computer labs, foreign language instruction at the elementary level, or art instruction at the elementary level. These are only a few of the additional resources parents, teachers and students would benefit from in the comprehensive schools. The challenge before us is securing the funds to make these improvements a reality in all of our comprehensive schools.
Kenneth E. Johnson
Kenneth E. Johnson
22 Thurston Dr., Upper Marlboro
Director of resource management, U.S. Department of Agriculture, 1988-present; member, Committee 100; deacon, Shiloh Baptist Church; past president and treasurer, Largo High School PTSA; past chairman and board member, Kettering Federation Education Committee; past vice president, Kettering Middle School PTSA; current chairman, Kettering Largo Area Parents Advisory Committee.
A: Greater involvement by parents and communities in the education process is the one thing that will improve the quality of education in Prince George's County. This is the only thing that will have a long-term, lasting effect on education. Parents, communities and taxpayers need to understand the cold, hard facts. You invest now or pay later. It costs taxpayers less to educate than it costs to incarcerate. Prince George's County spends approximately $65,000 a year to incarcerate a criminal, yet we are only willing to spend between $5,200 and $4,600 to educate the same individual. Education makes good economic sense.
12100 Maycheck Lane, Bowie
Assistant professor, Prince George's Community College; parent of two children enrolled in Prince George's public schools; member of budget committee of County Council of PTAs since 1986; chairman, Bowie Education Committee, four terms; member of Committee of 100 since 1985; English as a Second Language teacher, 1980-82; regional vice president, Prince George's County Council of PTAs, 1985-87; member, STAC, school, community and child-related services subcommittee, 1990; selected as a participant in master teachers retreat for Prince George's Community College, 1990; participant, Maryland Congress of Parents and Teachers leadership training program, 1986; PTA president, 1983-84, vice president, 1985-87.
A: Smaller classes taught by outstanding teachers who have both the authority and the ability to reach and teach each student by whatever means necessary would most improve the quality of education offered in Prince George's County schools. Crowded classrooms in a system that seems to be in a perpetual search for the one technique or approach that fits all misses the basic elements necessary for quality education -- outstanding teachers with small classes. Smaller classes allow teachers to address the learning needs of each student. A teacher with a small class has the time to engender the love of learning in each student and to stay in touch with parents. Relationships of trust, understanding and mutual appreciation are built between the teacher, parents and student, as well as among the students. A student who feels secure, competent and appreciated performs accordingly. The classroom becomes a place of discovery, success and learning.
James M. Davis
James M. Davis
518 Round Table Dr., Fort Washington
Program analyst for Federal Procurement Data Center of General Services Administration; member, Prince George's County Human Relations Commission; legislative co-chairman, Prince George's County Council PTAs; president, Prince Georges County Council PTAs; vice president, Maryland Congress of Parents and Teachers Association Inc.; served as president of elementary, middle and high school PTAs; member, Prince George's County Magnet Evaluation Committee of 100; president, South Potomac Citizens Association; vice president, Indian Queen Recreational Council; classroom teaching volunteer at elementary and middle school levels.
A: The Prince George's County School Board has a responsibility to provide a quality education to each student in the public school system. The county must upgrade all of its schools to magnet/comprehensive quality. It must prepare students for the 21st century by strengthening their thinking skills, problem-solving skills and analytical abilities in addition to the basic fundamentals of reading, grammar and mathematics. This one change will provide all students with a foundation that will enable them to further their education in college or technical training or to enter the job market. Education must be a preparation for life.
7903 Winnsboro Dr., Fort Washington
State tax policy specialist, Center on Budget and Policy Priorities; graduate, Potomac High School, 1972; BA, political science, Morgan State University, 1977; MA, political science, Ohio State University, 1978; working on PhD in political science, Clark-Atlanta University; member, Prince George's County School Board's Task Force on Multicultural Education and Prince George's Committee on Academic Achievement; chairman, Education Committee, Southern Prince George's County Coalition on Black Affairs; director, "Saturday Morning Self-Esteem and Cultural Arts Program" at Potomac High School through COBA, 1988-89; executive board, Potomac High School PTSA; member: Tayac Elementary School PTSA, Network for the Enhancement of Self-Esteem, and Educators and Parents in Action for Students.
A: The one thing that would most improve the quality of education offered by the Prince George's County Public School System would be to change the focus of education away from minimum competency and toward academic excellence. The county spends far too much time preparing children to take minimum competency examinations, and little to no time on things that motivate, stimulate and challenge students to be the best that they can be. The consequences of this misplaced focus are high pass rates on standardized achievement tests at the elementary and middle school levels, extremely high pass rates on functional tests at the high school level, but extremely low grade-point averages for significant numbers of high school students coupled with the lowest SAT scores in the metropolitan area. Academically challenging education teaches students to think critically and inspires excellence in both students and teachers.