| ISSUES AND MY THINKING
My values and beliefs are the same today as when I was first elected to the Colorado Springs School District 11 Board of Education. I have grown and learned much on that Board. I believe that I will continue to grow and learn on the State Board of Education and especially from interaction with the public.
Im running for the Colorado State Board of Education because I have a great interest and passion for the education of ALL our citizens, especially our children. I bring the respect, courtesy, dignity and ability to work as a team with other members of the State Board, School Districts Leadership and staff, parents, students,and other residents.
Priorities: Quality Education for All Students
100% Graduation / 0% Drop-Outs
1. The Colorado State Board of Education can address the minority student achievement gap by making policies that require school districts to use research-based best teaching practices and proven successful practices elsewhere. This includes using multi-cultural education methods in the classroom environment. The State Board can encourage school districts to hire and train staff, management and teachers to reflect all our cultures and integrate multi-cultural teaching practices in our classrooms.
2. Testing: We need more work in process, content, preparation activities, rules and correlation to in-class grades. Currently, the data learned from state tests are not available in a timely manner to make use of the data in the classroom. In addition, the data needs to be analyzed with factors such as student cohort group, turn-over rates (both staff and students) and other trends. School districts do not have control over all the factors that affect state test results. We need to identify which factors school districts do have control over and work with those.
3. Sex education should be taught from a public health point of view. Our community needs to ensure our children, AKA future adult citizens, are educated on public health issues and their impact on individuals and the community. Parents need to be able to opt out of sex education for their children.
4. Sexual preference and other sexuality concerns of students can be very tough parent-child issues. The Colorado State Board of Education needs to encourage parents to take responsibility for communicating with their children, not encourage abdicating their responsibility by mandating all school districts provide expert staff, counseling or facilities. This issue is an example of a challenge that requires further study to identify need, funding, and local control.
5. School districts need to have policies and rules regarding the institution of school sanctioned clubs. I believe school clubs should be focused on academic and vocational skills training (ex. Future Teachers, Future Farmer and Language Clubs) rather than social or political issue clubs.
6. Teachers need to teach the relevant knowledge curriculum, not to a mandated state test. Federal or State Acts that are penalty-driven need to be changed to reward-driven.
7. School districts have to deal with problems such as poverty, hunger, emotional illness and drug abuse as they affect our students learning environment. We need factual counseling and referrals to the appropriate agencies. I would encourage school districts within Colorado to develop partnerships with local agencies to assist students with societal problems.
8. I think the Arts are important enough that we should explore having Magnet Schools and Magnet Districts. I understand that some school districts to not have the funding for Arts. I would work towards assisting school districts in obtaining an exposure to the Arts curriculum.
9. Courts have denied the use of vouchers. We can learn from Charter Schools since they have more leeway for new research, techniques and subject matter in education. Charter Schools have to comply with the explicit rules, guidelines and process for their operation and be accountable to the school districts and/or CSI.
10. One of my goals is to have more community involvement. Id like to see board meetings open to the public; hold less Executive Sessions; have more informal meetings/work sessions. I d like to see us hold issue discussions at different locations throughout the state and continue the emphasis on recruiting citizens for committees and commissions. I would like to see these advertised on the website and make an effort to recruit underrepresented groups to apply for committees and commissions.