Written by CAPA-JRC Reporters Joy Jiang and Robert Sun
Edited by Julie Yang, JRC Project Advisor
On February 1, 2020, the Chinese American Parents Association - Junior Reporter Club (CAPA-JRC) attended Jay Guan’s Board of Education Campaign Kickoff in Clarksburg. Guan has been an advocate in Montgomery County for years, serving in various MCPS advisory committees such as the District Assessment Advisory Committee. Now, he is running to be an official member of the Board of Education.
Guan believes that all MCPS students should be ready for the future by the time they graduate high school. He thinks that a key component of that future will be technology. “We are on the edge of another technological revolution,” said Guan, “so out-of-this-world futuristic technology is not that far away.” As a result, Guan wants to expand special programs (currently only available at certain schools) to every school in the county, increasing accessibility. With increased accessibility of these programs, Guan believes that students will be more successful in the future.
“We are on the edge of another technological revolution,” said Guan, “so out-of-this-world futuristic technology is not that far away.”
A particular part of the new technological revolution Guan thinks can potentially be integrated into the MCPS curriculum is Artificial Intelligence (AI). At the event, Guan gave a brief overview of how he would make AI into an advantageous point for the MCPS’ curriculum. When speaking to CAPA-JRC, Guan candidly expressed that “we want to introduce the concept of AI to our kids at a very early age.” He furthered that he wants to enrich the understanding of AI as students grow older, and have them delve deeper into the concept. Guan hopes that this structured plan of the AI curriculum can boost students’ technological curiosity by helping students answer questions such as “what is the role of AI?”, “how does AI make decisions in replacement of human cognition?” and “what does AI do?” Guan believes that these questions and the application of AI in the school system will also help him achieve his other goal: an enriched early age technology education.
A Reliable and Transparent Board
At the campaign kickoff, Guan mentioned his desire to make the Board of Education’s plans and decision-making processes more transparent. Guan plans to make this a main priority if elected to become a member of the Board. “The Board of Education has lost the faith of the community,” stated Guan, providing examples such as the MCPS Boundary Study Analysis. In order to make this happen, Guan proclaimed, “The first thing we [The Board] have to do is to provide genuine community engagement to have a more clear and effective strategy of communication.” Guan hopes that this will help rebuild the faith and earn the trust from the community again.
The first thing we [The Board] have to do is to provide genuine community engagement to have a more clear and effective strategy of communication.”
A New Voice
Jay Guan’s Board of Education Campaign marks a pivotal moment for the expression and involvement of the Asian American voice in Montgomery County. Aside from former 2001 Board of Education member Dr. Alan Cheung, having been the only elected Asian American Board member, no other Asian American has been present on the Board for over a decade. Jay Guan is optimistic that he is about to change that history. In fact, many have already supported this change. Guan has already received endorsement from Maryland State House Delegates Lily Qi and David Fraiser-Hidalgo, as well as the mutual support from both the former president of the Board of Education Mike Durso and former board member Dr. Alan Chueng.
Guan thinks he will bring a new and unique voice to the Board of Education. Guan mentioned that he is the only candidate with a “STEM (Science Technology Engineering Mathematics) background, who understands the challenges technology will bring to our world and the opportunities we can take from it.” Additionally, he believes his pragmatic ideas and rationale will allow him to resolve previous issues in the past, and ameliorate them into strengths of the school system. “I’m the ‘healer’”, says Guan. “At the end, I am the candidate who is forward looking to rebuild the BOE’s title [notoriety] in the community and one who looks forward towards the future.”
“I’m the ‘healer’”, says Guan. “At the end, I am the candidate who is forward looking to rebuild the BOE’s title [notoriety] in the community and one who looks forward towards the future.”
The Next Journey
Jay Guan’s campaign kickoff was filled with an enthusiastic audience and unequivocal support of his ideas. Guan’s campaign begins off with a high note, but now the real journey begins. For the next few months, Jay Guan will be in the midst of his campaign, conducting informer-stimulator activities and meeting locals across the county. Just like Jay Guan’s slogan“Ready for the Future”, it is now time for you to prepare for the future as well. To learn more about Jay Guan and his campaign, visit www.jayguan4boe.com. Additionally, make sure to vote in the primary election for your next year Board of Education members on April 28, 2020.
This article was provided by Chinese American Parents Association Junior Reporter Club (CAPA JRC) with members who interviewed, audio recorded, wrote, translated, and video recorded. CAPA JRC has 19 Montgomery County middle to high school students. They have created a bilingual platform delivering news and serving the community.