The Solution To Education Problems
"We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them."
The solution to creating the best possible educational outcomes for our children is an informed and involved public. It's not like the door is locked. The very systems are in place for us to assert the best policies and insure the school district pays more attention to its patrons than it does to state and national interests.
We need direct involvement from our citizens. There is no effective alternative to having dozens of people showing up at school board meetings, enthusiastic public discussions on educational issues and direct involvement of parents in their children's classrooms and education experience.
Let me suggest improvements we as citizens can make to improve education in the Alpine School District.
Board members should be encouraged to be accountable and transparent to the citizens who elected them. Board member blogs, Facebook pages and website should no longer be perceived as a threat but an asset.
Board members should be encouraged to openly and honestly state their opinions so the public can know whether all options are being considered. Once a decision is made, it is the responsibility of the district to go forward. But the minority view on the board should have full freedom to continue to advocate for their position. Opposition isn't a bad thing in government. In fact, some people think there needs be opposition in all things. It makes for a more vibrant public discussion and sincere accountability for existing policies.
If we want parents involved in their children's education, can we, at the very least, supply parents with a syllabus? Shouldn't parents know what materials are being read and what topics are being covered to better assist their children? Parents informed and involved are the cornerstone of educational success. ASD believes it is involving parents, but we can do a lot more to improve!
Parental involvement in the classroom as a volunteer is a most powerful way of creating informed and involved families. District wide, some teachers utilize parents as a resource and others do not. A consistent policy, training, incentives, and evaluation should be put in place to create a stronger parent/teacher relationship.
Did you know your child's school has its own community council? You can go to the specific schools website and usually find online information about the school's community council. You can serve on that council. Most elections are in September. Unfortunately, information about the council's elections are sometimes disseminated with student handouts and that often end up at the bottom of students backpacks. But now you know these councils exist and you should plan on participating.
Information from school community councils gets passed on to the District Community Council made up of school board selected individuals. The District Community Council participates with the school administration and school board on discussing various educational issues.
The district could do much better in being transparent about the activities of the District Council. This is another example of how we have systems in place that are used as examples of community involvement but they are not fully utilized by either the district or the citizens of ASD.
If you are ready to do your part to increase community involvement in education, I welcome you to visit my Action page. Only through an informed and involved public will achieve the best educational outcomes for our children.
Citizens committed to ensure public education
is a reflection of the local community which creates, funds, and supports its existence. We see the best outcomes of public education coming from the partnership of parent, child, and teacher. The goal is bottom up, locally controlled education supporting the
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