Local education policy leaders Delegate Eric Ebersole and Matt Gresick launched a podcast looking at education from the inside out.
The pilot episode of the new local education podcast Brick and Mortar was published on April 21. The podcast, founded and hosted by Ways and Means Education Subcommittee Chair Eric Ebersole and Maryland public school teacher Matt Gresick, aims to explore the state’s education system from the “inside out.”
The Brick and Mortar website states:
Education from the inside out! With over a half of century in public school teaching, Delegate Eric Ebersole and Matt Gresick dive into their first episode about the Blueprint for Maryland’s Future and public school teaching in general.
The 15 minute pilot episode, titled Maryland Blueprint for Education, introduces the hosts’ substantial backgrounds in education and provides an introductory overview of the Blueprint for Maryland’s Future (“The Blueprint”), an omnibus law reforming the state’s public education system over a ten year period.
During the episode, Delegate Ebersole highlighted some of the priorities of The Blueprint, including:
- Expanding pre-K and early childhood education to set a foundation for k-12 education;
- Bolstering Career and Technical Education (CTE) to strengthen career pipelines and alternatives to four-year college; and
- Establishing alternative pathways to professions in public education, including teaching and classroom supports.
Gresick built off of Ebersole’s comments and highlighted that the Blueprint tries to reach the most vulnerable of Maryland’s students via prioritizing community schools and reaching areas of concentration of poverty:
We have so many kids in the state that come from lower socio-economic backgrounds and the Blueprint is really trying to build in that infrastructure, trying to build in that enthusiasm for reaching those kids and getting to them in a real, meaningful way.
The hosts also helpfully addressed the differences of Thorton, Kirwan, and the Blueprint and the progression of system reforms in Maryland:
- “Thornton” was a similar omnibus law in the early 2000s to increase school funding. That law required the state to revisit education reform.
- As a result, the “Kirwan Commission” was formed to evaluate Maryland’s existing public education system and make recommendations to reform the system.
- Those recommendations ultimately informed the comprehensive omnibus reform law now known as the “Blueprint.”
Ebersole and Gresick also noted the funding set aside in the Blueprint for specific educational programming, like community schools and CTE. Other topics mentioned in the first episode included “compassion fatigue” among Maryland’s educators and supporting school staff’s wellbeing.