Board of Education → Education Matters

Education Matters

Hosted by the Board President, Education Matters is a 30-minute talk show where guests discuss education news, curriculum programs and initiatives, as well as challenges that schools, teachers and students face. The show features school success stories and what Montgomery County Public Schools is doing to overcome barriers to student achievement.

Ensuring Student Safety and Board Roundup

Board President Michael A. Durso leads a discussion about the procedures, policies, and partnerships that Montgomery County Public Schools has enacted to make sure students are safe from neglect and abuse. Guests include Donna Hollingshead, associate superintendent of school administration, Office of the Chief of Staff; and Debbie Feinstein, chief, Special Victims Division, Office of the State's Attorney's for Montgomery County.  During the Board Roundup, Board members discuss the strategic plan, innovative schools, extended year programs, and early learning initiatives. Guest Board members include Patricia O'Neill, Jill Ortman-Fouse, and Student Member Ananya Tadikonda.


Past Episodes

Board Roundup and School Security

Education Matters (May 2018): In the Board Roundup segment, Board of Education (Board) members discussed the issues and actions of the Board, including the negotiated agreements with the three employee associations; the Distinguished Service to Public Education Awards; identifying and nurturing highly able learners; Policy JED, Residency, Tuition, and enrollment; Policy FAA, Long-Range Educational Facilities Planning; and Career Technology Education.  The program also included an in-depth discussion regarding the recent measures of the Board to ensure that all students, staff, and schools, are safe and secure. The show is hosted by Board President Michael Durso and featured Board Vice President Shebra Evans, Board Member Patricia O’Neill, Student Member of the Board Matthew Post, Michael Harting, supervisor, Department of School Safety & Security; and James Song, director, Department of Facilities Management.

Board Roundup and Fiscal Year 2019 Operating Budget

Education Matters (March 2018): In a new segment called the "Board Roundup", Board members discussed issues and actions of the Board of Education, including safety and security, decisions concerning the Capital Improvements Program, state legislative news, and the naming of the new elementary school.  The program also included an in-depth discussion regarding the Fiscal Year 2019 Operating Budget in another new segment called the "Deep Dive". The show is hosted by Board President Michael Durso and featured Board members Jeanette Dixon, Patricia O’Neill, Jill Ortman-Fouse, and Rebecca Smondrowski.

Montgomery County Public Schools Calendar and Budgets

Education Matters (November 2017):  Board President Michael Durso spoke with guests about the changes and decisions surrounding the Montgomery County Public Schools academic calendar, as well as the process and expenditures of the school system's capital and operating budgets. 

Technology and Leadership at Montgomery County Public Schools

Education Matters (October 2017):  Vice President Judy Docca led a discussion about the important roles that technology plays at Montgomery County Public Schools, and the many roles of principals who provide strong leadership at their schools. 

Partnerships

Education Matters (June 2017):  Board President Michael Durso led a discussion about the varied partnerships Montgomery County Public Schools has fostered with government agencies, businesses, and organizations, and the benefits they bring to students and staff. 

Meet the Teacher of the Year and New Student Member

Education Matters (May 2017):  Board President Michael Durso chatted with the newly named Montgomery County Public Schools Teacher of the Year, Nancy Shay, and the newly elected Student Member of the Board, Matthew Post.

Meet the New Board Members

Education Matters (March 2017):  Board President Michael Durso talked with newly elected Board of Education members Jeanette Dixon and Shebra Evans about their backgrounds, their educational ideas, and their work on the board.

Recruiting & Retaining Diverse Teachers

Education Matters (February 2017):  Board President Michael Durso led a discussion about the school system’s initiative to recruit and retain a more diverse teaching staff. 

Student Engagement

Education Matters (December 2016):  Board President Michael Durso talked with teachers and students about how lessons and extracurricular activities are engaging students with hands-on experiences, project-based learning, and real-world applications. 

Safety & Security

Education Matters (October 2016):  Board President Michael Durso led a discussion about the measures and supports which are put into place to keep our students, staff, and schools, safe and secure. 

Meet New Superintendent Jack Smith

Education Matters (July 2016):  Montgomery County Public Schools Superintendent Jack R. Smith Ph.D is the special guest on Education Matters.  Hosted by Board President Michael Durso, the show included conversations about the Superintendent's educational career, his view about the art, science, and heart of education, and his vision for Montgomery County Public Schools.

The Role & History of the Student Member of the Board

Education Matters (June 2016):  The current Student Member of the Board (SMOB) Eric Guerci led a discussion with Montgomery County’s first SMOB David Naimon, who served from 1978-79, and former SMOB Alison Serino, who served from 1989-90, about the history and significance of this student-elected position.

Mentoring MCPS Students

Education Matters (April 2016):  Board President Michael Durso spoke with John Smith, president, Task Force on Mentoring of Montgomery County, Inc., about the value of providing mentors to students, training current high school students to become mentors to younger students, and some of his mentoring experiences throughout his educational career.

Educating African American Students Past & Present

Education Matters (March 2016):  Board President Michael Durso led a discussion about the importance of Black History Month, the education of African American students both past and present, and issues surrounding the achievement gap.  

The Montgomery County Public Schools Capital and Operating Budgets

Education Matters (January 2016):  Board President Michael Durso spoke with two principals about their newly constructed schools, the significance of the capital budget to maintain and build new space for students, as well as the importance of receiving a fully-funded operating budget, and how that money is used at the school level. 

Growing Enrollment; Increasing Needs

Education Matters (October 2015):  Board President Patricia O’Neill led a discussion about the growing enrollment at Montgomery County Public Schools (MCPS) and the efforts to increase classroom capacity as MCPS releases its new six-year Capital Improvement Program. 

Montgomery County Public Schools Assessment Strategy

Education Matters (September 2015):  Board President Patricia O’Neill discussed the possible changes to Montgomery County Public Schools testing strategy to include the phasing out of the two-hour semester final exams in high school courses, as well as new ways to calculate final semester grades. 

Meet the Student Members of the Board of Education

Education Matters (June 2015):  Board President Patricia O'Neill spoke to former Student Member of the Board (SMOB) Dahlia Huh and current SMOB member Eric Guerci about their responsibilities, duties, and issues facing the school system, students, and teachers.

Conversation with Montgomery County Public Schools Educators of the Year

Education Matters (May 2015):  Board President Patricia O'Neill talked with some of the 2015 Montgomery County Public Schools Educators (MCPS) of the Year who were recently honored at the Champions for Children's Gala. 

Operating Budget

Education Matters (March 2015):  Board President Patricia O’Neill discussed the Board of Education’s Fiscal Year 2016 Operating Budget request, the increase in funds needed to support the school system’s growing enrollment, and what is at stake if the budget is not fully funded. 

Superintendent Search

Education Matters (February 2015):  Board President Patricia O’Neill talked with Hank Gmitro, president, Hazard, Young, Attea & Associates, the executive search firm that is assisting with the hiring of the next Montgomery County Public Schools superintendent.  Together they talked about the steps in the process, how the public can share their opinions, and get involved.

Workforce Diversity

Education Matters (January 2015):  Board President Patricia O’Neill hosted a discussion about the school system’s initiative to hire and retain more diverse educators and school personnel. 

Student Learning Objectives (SLOs)

Education Matters (October 2014):  Board President Philip Kauffman discussed the new Student Learning Objectives (SLOs) that all teachers and administrators must write. SLOs provide educators with a tool to analyze student data, create specific goals for targeted groups of students, build strategies, monitor results, and reflect on their teaching. Guests talked about the implementation process, tips, and the benefits of SLOs.  

Safety & Security/Code of Conduct

Education Matters (September 2014):  Board President Philip Kauffman led a discussion about the new Montgomery County Public Schools (MCPS) Code of Conduct, as well as how MCPS keeps our students and staff safe and secure. 

Summer Preparations for the New School Year

Education Matters (July 2014):  Board President Philip Kauffman talked with Montgomery County Public Schools (MCPS) directors and principals about the many vital activities, tasks, and works that take place over the summer months to prepare for the upcoming academic year. This one-hour special program explores new MCPS construction and maintenance projects, the hiring and scheduling process, summer training, the innovative technology initiative and more. 

Substance Abuse and Students

Education Matters (June 2014):  Board President Philip Kauffman discussed how Montgomery County is handling substance abuse in schools. Topics of discussion included the role of parents, county government supports, alcohol and drugs of choice, substance abuse indicators, as well as prevention and outreach plans that foster greater communication among students, school staff, and the department of police. 

Food and Nutrition in Our Schools.

Education Matters (April 2014):  Board President Philip Kauffman led a conversation about the importance of breakfast, fresh new menu offerings, online conveniences, and how the school system works to provide free and reduced meals to students during the school year and summer months. 

The Common Core

Education Matters (February 2014):  Board President Philip Kauffman led a discussion about the Common Core State Standards to include the Montgomery County Public Schools roll-out, teacher training, new testing measures, the benefits, and challenges. 

Student Voices

Education Matters (November 2013):  Board President Christopher Barclay talked with a dozen Montgomery County Public Schools high school students about their opinions and ideas about their school system. Questions and comments centered around the possible changing of bell times, high school stressors, the importance of extra-curricular activities, testing, homework, and what makes a great teacher.

Early Childhood Education

Education Matters (October 2013):  Board President Christopher Barclay hosted a conversation about the value of early childhood education, both in the home, and in more formal settings. The show discussed many resources for parents and child care providers, and the positive impacts that early childhood education can have on students when they enter elementary school. 

Academic Partners

Education Matters (September 2013):  Board President Christopher Barclay led a discussion about the important academic partnerships that Montgomery County Public Schools has with local organizations. 

Options After High School

Education Matters (July 2013):  Board President Christopher Barclay discussed with guests the options available to students after they graduate from high school, to include two and four-year colleges, trade schools, the military, and the world of work. 

English Speakers of Other Languages Instruction in Montgomery County Public Schools

Education Matters (March 2013):  Board President Christopher Barclay discussed services for Montgomery County Public Schools students in the English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) program.

Special Education

Education Matters (January 2013):  Board President Christopher Barclay discussed a variety of issues surrounding special education which include student identification, disproportionality concerns, allowing access to the most rigorous curriculum, early interventions, Autism, partnerships, the importance of training and paraeducators, and family involvement.

Student Voices

Education Matters (December 2012):  Board President Shirley Brandman candidly spoke with a diverse group of high school students to hear their ideas and concerns about their schools and education. Topics of discussion included student engagement, building positive relationships with staff, and preparing for the future.

Educators of Excellence

Education Matters (October 2012):  Board President Shirley Brandman spoke with some of our school system’s award-winning educators to learn about their approach to teaching, how they engage and relate to students, and how they are helping fellow teachers become more effective in the classroom.

Equity and Student Achievement

Education Matters (September 2012):  Board President Shirley Brandman discussed the importance of equity in the classroom, how teachers are working to create culturally responsive classrooms, and schools, and how this will foster higher student achievement, especially among the school system’s minority students.

Social Emotional Learning

Education Matters (August 2012):  Board President Shirley Brandman discussed the importance of social emotional learning and how Montgomery County Public Schools continues to bring this into schools. This 30-minute talk show highlights the benefits of social emotional learning to include stronger life skills, higher academic achievement and an overall positive school environment.

The Power of Student Government

Education Matters (May 2012):  Hosted by Board President Shirley Brandman, this month’s Education Matters talk show discussed student governance and leadership opportunities. The show also talked about the benefits student government bring to schools, students, and Montgomery County Public Schools as a whole.

The Montgomery County Latino Youth Collaborative

Education Matters (March 2012):  This program, hosted by Board President Shirley Brandman, discussed The Latino Youth Collaborative, issues surrounding Latino youth, and what Montgomery County Public Schools and its partners are doing to better serve this growing segment of our school population.

The Montgomery County Public Schools Operating Budget

Education Matters (February 2012):  Board President Shirley Brandman led a discussion about the Fiscal Year 2013 Operating Budget, highlighting how the school system seeks community input during the budget process, the need to prioritize spending, and the importance of advocating.

Career Readiness

Education Matters (April 2012):  Board President Shirley Brandman talked with guests about career readiness and what Montgomery County Public Schools is doing to give students the skills sets needed for the 21st Century workplace.

2012 Legislative Session

Education Matters (January 2012):  Board President Shirley Brandman discussed with guests the impact that the current Legislative session in Annapolis will have on education.