Who is FEI?
We are a diverse, broad-based community coalition whose members span all regions of Howard County. Our sound alignment and strong unified voice stems from the core belief that every student in Howard County deserves an outstanding education.
We firmly reject any racist arguments opposing the Superintendent’s plan, and vehemently believe such racists are not welcome in Howard County. Racism is not tolerated in FEI.
We recognize the need to address overcrowding in HCPSS – and, support redistricting that would directly resolve this issue. We reject Superintendent Michael Martirano’s 2019 Proposed Area Adjustment Plan. A new plan is needed given the failed research and flawed public policy behind the superintendent’s plan, which, based on published, credible research, will cause significant harm to the most vulnerable children and their families. We firmly believe additional time is needed to develop a plan that listens intently to community input, follows Policy 6010 to address capacity issues, and utilizes evidence-based solutions that directly address closing the achievement gap. And, we want to be part of the solution. The bottom line, a transparent inclusive process is needed to ensure our elected leaders get it right, the first time. Too many young, impressionable lives are in the balance.
We Ask the Howard County Board of Education to:
- Reject Martirano’s Proposed Area Adjustment Plan. His proposal is flawed, won’t adequately address the achievement gaps and wasn’t inclusive. Process is as important as outcome and Martirano was not transparent when creating the Adjustment Plan.
- Conduct additional research in a community inclusive, transparent manner to find an evidenced-based solution to close Howard County’s achievement gap and resolve capacity issues versus shuffle FARMs ratios. We must get it right the first time – our children’s future depends on it.
Why reject Superintendent Martirano’s plan?
- Research shows that misguided attempts to address the opportunity gap through socioeconomic integration, without any understanding of its root causes, poses harm to low-income students. Despite proponents’ claims of “decades of research” supporting socioeconomic integration as a mechanism to address the achievement gap, the research is in fact inconclusive.
- According to the Maryland Equity Project of the University of Maryland, Howard County is the most integrated school district in the region. And, according to the U.S. Census Bureau, the diversification of Howard County has surpassed that of the state and nation. Howard’s minority population has grown by more than 30 percent since 2010, compared with roughly 14 percent in both Maryland and the U.S. Achievement gaps exist in HCPSS by race and socioeconomic status DESPITE being the most integrated school district in Maryland.
- The superintendent ignored the top three
Boundary Review Process concerns of parents and students indicated in the 2019
Howard County Community Survey. They are:
- Keeping feeds of students together from one school to the next – Policy 6010 IV.B.2.a
- Maintaining contiguous communities or neighborhoods – Policy 6010 IV.B.2.b
- Transportation considerations – Policy 6010 IV.B.1.d
FEI does not endorse any candidate for any elected office at this time. FEI remains interested in engaging with all candidates to learn about their positions on issues of importance to FEI. FEI may endorse candidates for the Board of Education after the November 21st decision on the redistricting proposal to allow sufficient time for the FEI to assess which candidates are in line with FEI’s mission and share FEI’s values.