Letters: Shank will represent all voters in Annpolis; BOE candidate pledges to put teachers first

All Carroll voters need representation in Annapolis

If you are upset about immigrants “taking” your jobs, consider that no immigrant can be employed without the capitalist employer making the choice to hire them.

I recently visited the websites of our Annapolis representatives and found quotes such as, “The Democrats in Annapolis want to make Maryland a sanctuary state for those who ignore our immigration laws by not enforcing them and putting out the welcome mat for those who steal jobs from citizens and those who prey on the law-abiding such as the criminal MS-13 gang. Haven is fighting for enforcement of immigration laws on the books at the State and local level.” I’d like all those who support Shoemaker to try and have a meal without the hard-working hands of an immigrant having something to do with getting that food to your kitchen table or restaurant table. Go speak to the many folks working our farms. Do you know Spanish?


Another Carroll County representative’s website states, “Susan …works with other like minded legislators to offer solutions to the challenges facing our state and Carroll County.” We don’t need representatives that choose to work with only “like-minded” legislators. We need representatives willing to reach across the table to work with all types of legislators. High-ranking Carroll County public schools and our public library system are a great example of this type of meaningful cooperation. Even though both organizations are full of liberals and conservatives, these folks are able to work cooperatively and support all of the community members that enter their doors.

We need representation like Emily Shank! While it is true that there are more Republicans in our county, that is not the only group of constituents that need representation. Krebs, Ready, Rose and Shoemaker are only interested in listening to the conservative voters in our county. They all make it clear on their websites. Fortunately, not all Republicans feel that Trump represents them. We are supposed to be the United States of America. Being united means listening, sharing ideas and searching for consensus. If you are a voter in Carroll County, I ask you to think of your neighbor, your family, your friends and consider how any of those relationships has changed since the election. Have they deepened because you felt alone and isolated and so you finally reached out to see if there was anyone that felt like you? Has a chasm been created? I know my relationships have been impacted by this election. Hopefully, we can be inspired by candidates like Emily Shank to reach across the table and discover the common ground. Let the healing begin with your vote for Ms. Shank.

Anne Stoner


School board candidate Howard pledges to put teachers first

Carroll County has long enjoyed good schools. The commitment of great teachers, dedicated students and involved parents has been a hallmark of a school system that was historically one of the top systems in the state. However, declining enrollment, reduced state funding, excessive standardized testing, ever changing curriculum, a top heavy central office and an ineffective Board of Education have left our schools in decline despite a considerable increase in county funding for schools. We owe it to our kids and our community to change this course.

We need to remember that the true value of education is when an excellent teacher is teaching a motivated student in the classroom. The whole mission of the school system should focus on this point and decisions should be made in this light. Whatever issue is being discussed, the criteria for what to do should be based on whether it helps or hurts having the best teacher in the classroom with the time, latitude and support to truly teach. And, it must include safe, drug-free schools so students are secure and fully engaged.

“Teachers first!” starts with how we negotiate with the teachers’ union. The union has long tried to control education in Carroll. The union wants to hand select the three candidates it wants to negotiate with, and continue the practice of negotiating all unions raises together. This means we cannot get the money we need for teachers without giving huge increases to administrators and central office. This is wrong.

“Teachers first!” will negotiate salaries for teachers, then in-classroom personnel, then in-school personnel and then central office. With this approach, even with limited resources, we will improve teacher compensation, the classroom experience and our school system.

“Teachers first!” will also work with teachers and staff to lessen the obsession with standardized testing and the continual change of curriculum that is the current policy. These test scores are not the best measure of student achievement. We need to give more time and latitude to the classroom teacher, and the administration needs to back up teachers in their grading and classroom discipline.

I seek a position on the Board of Education to fight for these changes, board transparency and to be the best school system in Maryland.

I need your help! If you can support our effort contact me at Vote Doug Howard and put teachers first.

Doug Howard


The writer is a county commissioner representing District 5 and a candidate for the Carroll County Board of Education.