Four Pinocchios: Former BOE Candidate Falsely Attacks Superintendent, Spreads Disinformation on State Education Blueprint

This article brought to you by Informed Carroll County.

Former Board of Education candidate and trans-activist Amanda Jozkowski recently spoke at the Board of Education meeting and took to Facebook to criticize a recent Town Hall facilitated by Carroll County Superintendent Cindy McCabe where, according to Jozkowski, it was claimed that there was “no evidence that class size relates to learning outcomes”.

The only problem with Jozkowski’s criticism was that the statement was never made by the Superintendent.

Board Member Steve Whisler called out Jozkowski online.  “I’ve never heard a board member or CCPS Staff member insinuate that class sizes don’t affect academic performance. To the contrary, I’ve heard many voice the opposite. I suspect our Superintendent’s comments may have been taken out of context.”

Shockingly, Jozkowski would concede.  “You are correct that the comments about class size were taken out of context.”

Indeed, when McCabe was referring to classroom size during the Town Hall, she was referring to the Blueprint’s approach to the issue, which prioritizes other indicators such as equity.

“In the end, what they (Blueprint commission) found, and what they have told us, is that class size is less of an indicator of student success than many other things.”

The lack of Blueprint’s focus on class size was also a topic raised by Delegate April Rose in last year’s joint meeting between the Board of Education and the Carroll County Delegation.   

“We listened to this for several years in a row…some of the justification was that they weren’t worried about class sizes, that that was something they did not care about,” said Delegate Rose.

The exchange between Whisler and Jozkowski would continue, with Whisler calling attention to the fact that Blueprint, while it establishes and enforces equity benchmarks, “has absolutely no academic benchmarks or requirements.”

Jozkowski refuted this point, claiming that the accountability pillar of Blueprint would “measure and report outcomes such as student achievement”.  However, measuring and reporting is not the same as enforcing benchmarks, and historically, the state of Maryland rewards academically underperforming jurisdictions with more funding.

The lack of student achievement benchmarks was also a concern raised by Delegate Susan Krebs in the same joint Board of Education and local Delegation meeting.

“We have always been a high achieving school district for many reasons.  For them to penalize a high achieving school district because it didn’t follow some rules on how to spend the money would look pretty bad for them.  We have to continue to remind them this is about outcomes instead of input.”

The failed BOE candidate would go on to seemingly contradict herself.  “It is true we now find ourselves in a situation where there seem to be few alternatives to increasing class sizes and shifting around educators to schools where the funding formulas require additional resources to be allocated. But it is not true that the Blueprint requires these shifts…”.  

The fact is that the shift in resources based on “equity” metrics weren’t required of Carroll County Public Schools until Blueprint arrived.  CCPS currently operates under an “equal opportunity” model, where in order to accommodate the “equitable outcome” mandate under Blueprint without drawing from existing resources, requires an additional $6 million for the education budget.   

With the state of Maryland declining to bridge the funding gap, CCPS has requested additional resources from the county commissioners.

Jozkowski also compared Carroll to other jurisdictions, claiming  “unlike in neighboring counties, I have seen little evidence of movement toward implementation.” It’s unclear which counties were being compared, however, small jurisdictions like Carroll have joined in the struggles with Blueprint.  For example, Garrett County has been forced to close their middle schools and shift those students to neighboring elementary and high schools.

A Towson University professor, Jozkowski is likely angling for another Board of Education run in 2024 to replace liberal, union-backed board member Patricia Dorsey.  Dorsey lost to Tara Battaglia and Steve Whisler, but won the 3rd board seat by a narrow margin over candidate Jim Miller after mail-in ballots were counted.


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