Parent activist runs for school board seat

April 13, 1994|By Anne Haddad | Anne Haddad,Sun Staff Writer

A South Carroll County parent activist, who has been a vocal presence at school board meetings over the past year, is running for a seat on the other side of the table.

Laura E. Albers of Streaker Road near Woodbine is the second candidate to file for the two Carroll County Board of Education seats that will be decided in November. She filed her intention to run yesterday.

Gary V. Bauer of Hampstead filed his candidacy last week. Carole M. "Cyd" Pecoraro of Westminster has said she plans to file papers next month.

"I think parents need a real strong representative," Ms. Albers said. "Teachers', parents' and citizens' concerns have been ignored, and local needs in academic education seem to have been replaced with an agenda.

"I am ready to stand in the gap for all citizens."

Last spring and summer, Ms. Albers and Mr. Bauer were among the most persistent opponents of "outcomes-based education," an approach the school board has supported. They have said the approach focuses on values more than academics, although school officials dispute that.

Ms. Albers said outcomes-based education is not the main issue driving her decision to run.

"Probably my main issue would be accountability to the public of projected cost of curriculums before we've adopted them," Ms. Albers said.

She said she would like to see how much the schools spend on academic material compared with what is spent on what she called nonacademic programs such as sex education, guidance programs that go beyond choosing careers and colleges, and the DARE drug awareness program.

"It should come out that there's way more spent on academics, compared to the cost of the stuff that delves into the personality of a child," Ms. Albers said.

As for outcomes, she said, "We have it. If we're going to do it, let's do it right. A year ago I stood there and said, 'This is scary.' But we've got it. My biggest thing would be to make sure parents know what's expected from the child."

Ms. Albers is married to David Albers, who works for Prudential. She has five children -- Sarah, 16; Benjamin, 14; Kirsten, 11; Daniel, 5; and Brianne, 4.

She is a youth minister at St. Peter the Apostle Church in Libertytown, Frederick County.

Her campaign treasurer is Tom Shaffer of Westminster, who with Ms. Albers was active with Carroll County Citizens for Quality Education, a group that formed a year ago in opposition to outcomes.

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