Editor’s Note: Primary election mail-in ballots are now being accepted, three drop-off boxes will open on May 21 and two polling places will be open on June 2, though in-person voting is highly discouraged. The Times will publish letters to the editor endorsing candidates (one per writer) through May 26, as space allows.
Coronavirus will have lasting effect on education
Schools are closed. They may re-open in the fall. While there are students and families who have the resources and discipline to make distance learning work, many don’t, and while there are teachers who have the know-how to provide quality instruction remotely, for many that’s simply a bridge too far irrespective of the crash training they may be receiving at the moment.
Good intentions aside, we need to be honest about the outcomes we should expect. I think it’s fair to assume most students will not achieve the same learning outcomes they would have achieved had the school year not been interrupted by the coronavirus. I fear that fact may have a longer lasting impact than many realize.
Questions about grades, graduation requirements and the like will be answered soon enough by the state and county bureaucrats who make those kinds of decisions, but the fact remains, students are missing thousands of hours of instruction and that’s something educators are going to need to address whenever school does resume. I don’t think anyone should underestimate the scope of that challenge. Hopefully, CCPS is planning now for how it will remediate the learning gaps students are sure to bring with them in the fall.
Beyond that, the school system needs to figure out how it will address the long-term capacity of its teachers to provide quality instruction remotely. Current circumstances have clearly demonstrated that’s a teaching competence that can no longer be considered a luxury, and one which needs to be an ongoing skill development priority for the school system, not only so it’s prepared for the next crisis that closes schools, but because in the 21st century, it’s simply how many students prefer to learn.
For those teachers who have already worked hard — mostly on their own — developing the skills they need to provide instruction remotely, unfortunately today they face an onerous list of restrictions which deny them access to far too many online tools. Whether these bureaucratic restraints are really necessary is something the school system needs to take a close look at. Taking the time and effort to train educators how to teach remotely, only to deny them the tools they need to apply those skills is shortsighted at best.
The coronavirus is causing society to re-examine how a whole host of things get done. How we educate our children and prepare our teachers for that supremely important task should be among them.
Support for Titus in Circuit Court judge race
Good day, my fellow Carroll County residents, My name is Dave Lewis, I have been a police officer in Maryland since 1976, that is to say, for 44 years.
I have appeared before judges in District Court, Circuit Court, Grand Jury and Federal Court. In my career, I have never seen a judge that impresses me more than Judge Richard Titus, a sitting judge in our Circuit Court.
I know all three candidates for the elected position of Circuit Court Judge, coming up in June. I like all three of them. But, it is hard for me to think about an attorney who has spent their entire career as a defense attorney, completely changing their way of thinking to become an impartial judge.
Judge Titus comes into the courtroom 100% prepared, having already familiarized himself with the case file. He has an intimate knowledge of criminal, traffic and civil law, and he consistently makes spot-on, fact based decisions.
I am proud to say that I will be using my mail-in ballot to keep Judge Titus as a sitting judge in June. I hope you will join me in keeping this valuable asset in our judicial system.
Stay safe, and stay healthy.
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