Nancy and Pat fully embrace all the recommendations of the Kirwan Commission on Innovation and Excellence in Education, and its resulting Blueprint for Maryland’s Future. We will include full funding in the Governor’s budget each year of our term.
We are committed in addition to introducing the Montessori method of education especially in pre-K through second grade. This method emphasizes independence, and it views children as naturally eager for knowledge and capable of initiating learning in a sufficiently supportive and well-prepared learning environment. The state will work with private and public partners to enable this transition. There is broad scientific evidence on the positive efficacy of this Montessori system. See Marshall, Chloë (December 2017). “Montessori education: a review of the evidence base”. NPJ Science of Learning. 2 (1): 11. doi:10.1038/s41539-017-0012-7. ISSN 2056-7936. PMC 6161506. PMID 30631457
We are also committed to making high school a path of continued interest and challenge for students with preparation for college (which is free under a Greens governor), for public service, and for trades and art in each high school. We support establishing service academies and technical academies as a focus point for high school curriculum. We will work with local trade unions and industries to develop curriculum and working internships to ensure each student understands they have a secure path to a good job with which to support a family in the future.
We support free public colleges, both two year and four year colleges. Some of the most developed European countries provide free college, and our state and country should do so as well. College is a part of the overall public education, and should be an option for everyone. This has been a Green Party program for decades.
We support forgiveness of student debt from Maryland public colleges, whatever the age of the student. We must free our young workers from the burden of major debt repayment to allow them the freedom to create companies, develop their artistic and entertainment talents, and also choose to serve the community as teachers, without tens of thousands of dollars of debt.
Mentoring and tutoring are a key part of helping students advance with their grade level. We will recruit adults for special early-education tutoring programs to ensure that grades 1 – 6 are on track. This tutoring is a means of giving back to the community that we think every adult should consider, as part of the invaluable role of elders in our society.
Funding for these programs will come in part from a complete audit of state and federal funds given to the schools, and of our many quasi-governmental commissions and agencies which are often inefficient or overstaffed for their responsibilities.
Pat has been a school teacher for many years, and continues to teach part-time at Great Mills High School for GED students, in St. Mary’s County. Nancy has been a mentor to three children for 25 years, through their transition to young adulthood, and has encountered the many pressures faced by disadvantaged youth in our urban centers.
We care, we show up in the difficult places, and we will dedicate the resources necessary to our children.