Ask a Teacher: What Does the Protect Our Schools Act Mean to You?

Eight educators on why POSA Matters

Allison Heintz

There’s a misconception that teachers are in favor of POSA because it gives more power to unions. This bill is about giving more power to local stakeholders, including what factors determine school success and how to deal with failing schools. Our governor has been vocal in supporting vouchers, and I’ve probably been one of the most vocal on his Facebook page. Politics often seems like the last thing we as teachers have time for. If we don’t speak up for our students and our communities, who will? — Allison Heintz, Anne Arundel County

Timothy Moraca

School accountability measures should include inputs as well as outputs. Continuing to ignore what goes into a student’s education and instead focusing solely on the results is akin to treating symptoms with willful ignorance of underlying causes. When we include measurements of the opportunity gap instead of just the achievement gap, we are finally addressing the true inequalities in our schools and our society. — Timothy Moraca, St. Mary’s County

La’Shore Redmond

Educators must lead the shift from a linear model of test-taking to a more holistic one. Student attendance, teacher quality, discipline, and class size are all integral parts of a quality education. Our students and communities will flourish academically, financially, and globally when we focus on the whole child. — La’Shore Redmond, Prince George’s County

Brendan Maltese

As a music teacher, I appreciate how the Protect Our Schools Act puts less emphasis on testing and maintains local control of schools. If we hand over our students to schools that are looking to make a profit, my job will be on the chopping block to increase profits or make room for more teachers in tested areas. POSA allows communities to decide what is best for their schools, not politicians in Annapolis and the for-profit education industry. — Brendan Maltese, Anne Arundel County

Meddo Swaby

Test scores are not our schools — it is the people in them. We can’t continue to focus on test scores should without every effort being made to ensure that every single stakeholder has the appropriate resources to achieve success. — Meddo Swaby, St. Mary’s County

Sandy Skordalos

Emphasizing accountability on test scores ignores the variables and inequities inherent in testing students from diverse backgrounds. School accountability should be measured by variables that are directly controlled by a school system and that have been proven to result in future success for students. Teacher quality, school safety and discipline, class and caseload size, and student attendance have an enormous impact on success in school and focusing on these measures would mitigate some of the inequities in our schools. — Sandy Skordalos, Baltimore County

Annie Mewborn

While I agree there should be accountability measures in place, test scores are not enough. Utilizing multiple accountability measures and other relevant information creates a clearer picture when making educational decisions about our students. — Annie Mewborn, Talbot County

Debbie Haan

This campaign will help our lower and poorer students feel like they can learn and be proud of the job they did. POSA will allow teachers to teach what their students need. — Debbie Haan, Charles County