Interview and report by Ibrahim Dabo
Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley in an exclusive interview with Ib’s Blog said that Maryland has the best Public School System in the United States.
O’Malley talked about Maryland’s progress in the STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) Program.
The former Mayor of Baltimore said the state has invested significantly in education and more students are expressing interest in the STEM program.
“We have the best public school system of any of the 50 states in the nation, according to Education Week magazine,” O’Malley told Ib’s Blog.
“We have earned that distinction now two years in a row because we make investments in education.”
O’Malley talked about a transformation taking place as students excel, particularly relating to their interest in the sciences.
“We are seeing a narrowing of the achievement gap between poor children and wealthier children.
“We are also seeing more and more of our kids taking [Advanced Placement] AP exams in those critical science and technology, engineering and math areas of endeavors,” said O’Malley, who in May 2010, received the Biotechnology Industry Organization (BIO) Governor of the Year Award for his work in promoting this industry as an emerging force in Maryland.
O’Malley said while Maryland has the best public schools in the nation, the goal is to make them among the best public schools in the world.
“The ultimate goal is that no child is ever failed by a public school anywhere in our state,” O’Malley said.
“There should always be places of empowerment and places that enable our children to reach their full potential.”
I was interviewing Governor O’Malley at the Associated Black Charities (ABC) 25th Anniversary Gala, where he presented the Lifetime Achievement Award to Morgan State University President Dr. Earl Richardson.
As our discussion continued, he talked about the work of ABC, saying, “Associated Black Charities is a very, very important philanthropy because it connects so much of what we hope to do through our government and through our businesses.
“Our businesses require a connection of philanthropy that is focused not on just the next year, but on the next generation and that is what Associated Black Charities is all about – focusing on financial literacy, protecting home ownership, strengthening and growing our middle class, improving education and access to higher education.”
O’Malley added: “These are all of the things that can break generations of poverty, help people make their own way into the middle class and thereby make our state and our country a stronger place.”
ABC honored eight African American innovators and role models in higher education at its anniversary gala. O’Malley commended ABC for putting together a “great event” and also recognizing the achievements of the honorees.
“There were so many giants that were honored who have done so much for our state and city,” O’Malley said.
“It was my great pleasure to be able to present the [Lifetime Achievement] Award to Dr. Earl Richardson, who has done a phenomenal job transforming Morgan [State University] for the challenges that confront us as a people and as a country.
“Morgan [State University] is such a terrific university now with its focus on science and technology, and engineering. It produces more black engineers than any other university, I think, in the country.”
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