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Q&A: FW school board candidates share views/Question 1
To set policy that complies with state mandated education reforms and to ensure that the superintendent and the administration carry out those policies. We have a responsibility to the voters to express their concerns and desires back to the Legislature when things dont work.
The school board is responsible for setting the vision and direction for the school district and education reform is one component. Public education has been reforming since its inception more than a hundred years ago. Educational standards have grown lax over several decades and must be strengthened and raised so our students, who are our future employees, employers, and community leaders, may be productive and contributing citizens of our community.
Scott G. Best:
I believe it is the school boards responsibility to implement policies that require every student to meet grade-level expectations in core classes (reading, writing and mathematics) every year. If a student does not pass, the student does not advance. The most qualified person in the district to assess students is their individual teacher. Thereby, education reform and accountability lies with the teacher.
Charles R. Hoff:
The state has mandated standards for graduates of 2008. Local school boards must take the actions necessary to raise the standards of academic achievement of ALL students. To do so, school boards will have to engage ALL parents, educators and students in a much more direct approach to the mastery of basic academic skills. It is the school boards responsibility to direct the superintendent to put in motion a leadership imperative that will accomplish this.
Education reform in a broad sense is local school boards conforming to a legal climate in order to receive funding. As long as these funds are received we are obligated accept the federal and state stipulations such as testing, programs, etc. Until such time as schools can provide independent financing of education, school boards will have to pursue local preferences within the framework of this reform.
Earl Van Dorien Jr.:
There are way too many definitions of Education Reform, so heres mine: The boards responsibility is to provide our students with a quality education. Many say were failing because our 2000-2001 WASL reading scores are flat; math is down. Reform to me would be to change whats not working and implement solutions that have been tried, tested, and proven successful in other districts. Oh lets do it at the local level, not as a federal mandate!
To set or align policy that complies with state mandated guidelines. To
ensure that the Superintendent deploys those mandated guidelines.
William A. May:
The board needs to empower the administration with the required tools, structure and programs to meet the requirements of education reform. As a district we are expected to provide learning that meets agreed upon standards. Our students and parents are expecting the school district to deliver a classroom experience that meets these standards. As a district the school boards administration needs to hold teachers and students accountable to these standards so that the product of Federal Ways Schools is a student population that is well prepared for either college or gainful employment.
First to make certain that our district is following all mandated state reforms. Second to assess those reforms and to make our local recommendations back to Olympia.