Octorara School Board: What Every Voter Should Know

School-HouseCan the average parent, citizen, or taxpayer say with any certainty where the majority of board members stand on issues like:

  • Accountability at every stage of schooling;
  • Higher expectations for all students;
  • The bigotry of low expectations;
  • Consumer rights in education – School Choice:
    • charter schools,
    • open enrollment requests,
    • virtual schools,
    • career and technical education programs,
    • vouchers,
    • tax credits;
  • Parents as the ultimate determiner of ethical and behavioral norms and traditions;
  • Holding teachers and administrators responsible for student performance;
  • Policies and methods that build on the basics, especially STEM subjects (science, technology, engineering, and math) and phonics;
  • Rigorous assessments on the fundamentals, especially math, science, reading, history and geography;
  • Data-driven instruction: computerized databases and assessment tools to give teachers access to large amounts of student data, and ability to tailor instruction to different skill levels;
  • Adoption of innovations like full-day school hours or year-round schooling;
  • Ending social promotions;
  • School Uniforms as a way to:
    • Distinguish those who do belong on campus from those who do not,
    • Give less opportunity to hide weapons or drugs in clothing,
    • Make social classes level and give a sense of community, and
    • Reduce the need for wardrobe policing and maintaining conservative dress.
  • Transparency, so parents and the public can discover how the school is serving their pupils;
  • Family literacy programs, which improve the reading, language, and life skills of both parents and children from low-income families;
  • Abstinence education which teaches abstinence is the only protection that is 100% effective against out-of-wedlock pregnancies and sexually-transmitted diseases including HIV/AIDS when transmitted sexually;
  • Empowering teachers to take reasonable actions to maintain discipline and order in the classroom;
  • Tenure systems based on the “last in, first out” policy being replaced with a merit-based approach;
  • Merit pay for good teachers.

You should think about the issues that are important to you in our school district. What’s your hot button? You should then voice your opinions to your Region’s School Directors, and find out where they stand on issues that are important to you.

Members of a district’s board must be believe in the democratic process and understand that their role is to act strategically, in line with the interests of the entire community.

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