A fearless voice.
On the Issues
If you've been paying attention to school board issues over the last two years, you will know that lack of transparency has been a consistent complaint from the public. From parents' questions not being answered by administrators or accusations of burdensome, but legal right-to-know requests, it is time for district information to be easily accessible by the public. Whether it's curriculum, staff performance, assessments, or surveys - it benefits us all to do business above board and at the same time, easing pressure on our valuable human resources and reducing costs to taxpayers.
Data is how we assess progress and identify problems. Technology exists to funnel information and compute it so that we may make data-driven decisions without wasting time or making a guessing game of our children's education. It would be easier to turn a group of small boats instead of a big ship. Right now, our district is a big ship and we need to be able to drill down into our organization to mine for weaknesses and shore up the leaks - because we have some major leaks! For instance - 60% of our students are BELOW PROFICIENT in mathematics.
It is easier to lay blame than to accept responsibility - but it's time to do both. Parents are likely the single most important factor in determining a child's success or failure in school, but let's be honest, managing a household, a career, and a family is easier said than done. A vital part of improving our local schools will be engaging parents as much as students. Let's leverage the power of technology to re-connect parents and guardians to teachers and administrators via quick, interactive text or email based surveys. Communication is critical and reducing speed-bumps is essential to this being a success.
Is there anything more satisfying than crossing something off your to-do list? Creating a goal-oriented organization will have a positive effect on both staff and students. Goal-setting coupled with data and accountability will be shared publicly when appropriate or discussed regularly, but privately when it's a student matter. Common goals and comradery are essential aspects of interdependent relationships. Although independence is a virtuous, American trait, no man is an island.
The entire chain of command needs to be held accountable for successes and failures. From the school board to administrators to students to parents - we are only as strong as our weakest link. We must also keep clear boundaries regarding the chain of command to maintain trust in public education. (Public > School Board > Adminstrators > Teachers/Staff). Accountability will be possible when performance is measured and successes/failures are identified. Let's do more of what works and use data to motivate better outcomes.
Like any organization, we have high, moderate, and low performing staff members. Pay should be based not purely on tenure or degree level, but on performance. Excellent educators should be recognized and rewarded (and not just with a paycheck). Administrators, instead of micro-managing staff, should be keeping track of data-driven metrics based on parent/student surveys and assessments to understand and encourage more of the teaching techniques that produce positive results. This information should be accessible to the public much like Google business reviews.
MY PROMISE TO YOU:
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