After touting the Baltimore County Public Schools system's recent successes, said there is still room for improvement.
While Baltimore County schools have been included in several national surveys ranking top schools, Dance said he wants to see the system more in line with nearby Howard and Montgomery counties' public schools.
"We are good—clearly, very good—but as I said, we are ," said , at a Friday morning address rallying administrators for the upcoming 2012-2013 school year. "Just as the data points to our successes, it also points to the areas that need more attention."
The noted additional data that showed Baltimore County falling behind Howard and Montgomery counties in academic areas, such as SAT scores and graduation rates.
"The data is there for us to provide the needed leadership to take immediate action," he said. "We can't spend our time worrying about the past, but we can undoubtedly decide right now that these data can change—must change—and, most importantly, will change because of us."
Dance then identified four key elements to build a "culture of deliberate excellence,":
- Committed and effective people working as a team
- Relevant and rigorous curriculum
- Data-driven accountability
- Meaningful community engagement
"As we begin our journey as one team—team BCPS—we have firm ground to stand on based on this team's past wins," he said. "What our students and community will be counting on as we move forward is that our team gets even stronger and more focused."