Office Running For: Hollister School Board
Top 3 Priorities if Elected:
1. Keep kids in school
2. Improve classroom enrichment programs for all students
3. Prepare those students so inclined for college entrance
How do you plan to implement these priorities (please feel free to use the extra page given):
We know much about the causes of kids dropping out; drugs, pregnancy, problems in the home, etc. We need to improve our ability to recognize those at risk and provide effective intervention.
My own experience with providing classroom enrichment tells me that learning experiences that supplement and expand on textbook knowledge add immeasurably to positive study attitudes. I have seen first hand how the presentation of supplementary material generates enthusiasm and real student involvement. When students ask questions, it means they are thinking, and that is what education is about.
Now, classroom enrichment is not a panacea. It will not solve problems created by drugs or pregnancy, but kids are curious and it is far better for them to get in the habit of asking questions and getting answers than it is for them to be finding out through experimentation.
Historically, the United States has been at the forefront of innovation, science and technology. That position is now in serious jeopardy. At a time when budget cutbacks have forced teacher layoffs, cancelled student enrichment programs and larger class sizes. This compounds a problem that has been building for many years. The U. S. now ranks well down the list of nations in terms of student math and science scores. The U.S. 15 year olds placed 23rd in Science and 31st in Math out of 65 countries. Even using our own Nation's Report Card assessments, only one third of 8th graders qualified as proficient in math or science.
Teachers graduate from college with a degree in liberal arts. That gives them teaching skills, but does not prepare them for the critical areas of Science, Technology, Engineering and Math that today's students will need to compete in an increasingly technological world.
When we look abroad we see emerging nations like India and China graduating huge numbers of engineers. China already rivals the U.S. in the number of scientific papers published.
There is a truism in the business world that "advertising doesn't cost, it pays". The same can be said of education. Someone once said "If you think education is expensive, try ignorance".
If we focus on the average, what we get is mediocrity. We must ensure that each student has the opportunity to reach their full potential. It is only with an educated workforce that this nation will be able to meet the challenges that are now developing.
For the past 2 years I have been working with some of the teachers and students at Calaveras School. I have a background in business and science and a lifelong interest in world history. In my weekly meetings with students, I try to communicate my passion for these subjects and supplement the teacher's knowledge in those areas. The response I have gotten has been overwhelming and very gratifying. It has also given me the desire to see this sort of educational supplement expanded to include other schools. Doing so under current budget constraints would seem to be near impossible. However, I have a plan that, if implemented could accomplish this with little or no added expenses.
Years ago, when I started in business for myself, I became aware of an organization called Service Corps of Retired Executives (SCORE). They are retired business people that volunteer their time and expertise to help startup businesses. I found their knowledge indispensable in creating a new company.
It is my aim to create a similar organization of retirees, especially those knowledgeable in the critical areas of Science, Technology, Engineering and Math. It is with that aim in mind that I am running for a position on the Hollister School Board. I think I deserve your vote on November 6.
For most of us, when we enter the voting booth, selecting school board members is not one of our top priorities. However, not giving that position serious consideration could have consequences that will affect your community and your nation in years to come.