Two announce candidacies for school board

April 07, 1994|By Anne Haddad | Anne Haddad,Sun Staff Writer

A Hampstead councilman and a Westminster education major are the first two people to announce they will run for two Carroll County school board seats this year.

Councilman Gary L. Bauer of Hampstead is the only candidate to have filed his intention to run.

Carole M. "Cyd" Pecoraro of Palmer Terrace in Westminster said she will file early next month.

Independently, each of the candidates raised the issue of meeting the need for school buildings and offices for Carroll's growing enrollment.

Mr. Bauer, a Baltimore city firefighter, has been on the Hampstead Town Council for nine years. His term is set to expire in May 1995, but state law would require him to resign if he were elected to the school board in November, he said.

He has been among the most vocal and active opponents of outcomes-based education, an approach toward which Carroll and other school systems around the state and nation have been moving.

Outcomes-based education involves setting goals for what students should know and be able to do by the end of a course or their schooling, and then tailoring the curriculum to meet those goals.

"Outcomes-based education is so far along that it will be almost impossible to stop it because of what's going on at the state and national level," Mr. Bauer said.

Schools will need to go along with the approach to get state and federal dollars, he said.

"I'm still opposed to it; I don't like what it entails," he said.

Although proponents of outcomes say they are academically based, Mr. Bauer and others disagree and claim they delve into feelings and qualities rather than solid facts.

For example, he said the Carroll County schools' goal that students will be "lifelong learners" is unnecessary; most people will be that way anyway.

Mr. Bauer said he would like to focus on getting schools back to "academics," and fact-based tests such as the California Achievement Test, rather than just the state performance tests.

Ms. Pecoraro, a full-time elementary education major at Towson State University, said she is not opposed to outcomes.

But she said she wants to know more about how student progress would be monitored and measured.

She said she had been concerned enough about outcomes-based education to volunteer last year to be on a panel of teachers and parents who spent four days working on the issue.

"When I got there, I learned a lot," she said. "I still have some concerns, but I don't think the general public has a real grasp of it. I don't think outcomes-based education is a bad thing. I think they're all good goals.

"I'm just not sure about the accountability aspect of it -- how are we going to measure the progress, who is going to be held accountable, how are we going to grade the students."

Mr. Bauer and Ms. Pecoraro each raised the issue of school space as one of their primary concerns.

"We're growing so fast and we don't have room," Ms. Pecoraro said. "I think the school board has an impact on the planning and development, and where we need to expand.

"The school board really needs to form a partnership with the county."

Mr. Bauer said he would push for building "expandable" schools and look at having students attend school in shifts to make maximum use of space. He opposes year-round schools, however.

In addition to school space, he said, the administration and programs need a central location for all offices, which are now spread out mostly in Westminster but also in other parts of the county, wherever space allows.

Mr. Bauer also said that, if elected, he would hold public meetings similar to those Carroll County Commissioner Julia W. Gouge holds, in which residents may come to talk to him informally about their concerns.

Mr. Bauer, 47, is a member of the Carroll County Republican Central Committee. He has served on several county and town committees, and has been active in the Maryland Municipal League.

He is married to Dena Bauer, who also has been a vocal opponent of outcomes. He has two children, Heidi, 16, and Christopher, 12.

Ms. Pecoraro, 26, serves on the Carroll County YMCA board of managers and is president of the Furnace Hills Homeowners Association.

She is married to Greg Pecoraro, a member of the Carroll Democratic Central Committee and an assistant to Sen. Paul S. Sarbanes, D-Md. She has one daughter, Alex, who will be 2 this month.

Ms. Pecoraro grew up in Dallas and studied broadcasting at North Texas State University.

Although her husband's family has been politically active in Carroll County, Ms. Pecoraro said she leaves the politics to them.

"I guess the school board is political, but I don't think of it as politics. I think of it as a community service," she said.

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