Education is an issue that I am profoundly interested in. I have two children, and I know from my own experiences that a solid education makes a difference in a child's life. Our kids are not getting what they deserve out of the current educational system, and we are not preparing them for success in higher education.
Accountability is critical, but CSAP is NOT the answer. In my opinion CSAP moved our educational institutions backwards in the State of Colorado, and it is going to take time to recover from this mandated tool. Teachers are not allowed to teach anymore, and we are losing touch with methods that worked for many years. They are under such pressure to "SHOW GROWTH" that we are becoming a society that creates "TEST TAKERS" instead of well rounded and analytical lifelong learners.
*We need to get back to a system that has accountability factors, while at the same time, prepares our children to have respect, core values and discipline. The biggest piece of the accountability factor is PARENTS. Parents need to be engaged in their child's education, and parents and educators need to be able to work together to do the very best job they can for our future leaders.
*I taught in the public education system for quite some time, and there are those children that want to learn and those who do not. I saw how broken are educational system is from the inside. I'm not saying that every child does not deserve a chance to learn, but the safety nets are not there for those that do not.
*Is MORE money the answer to the problems, or are we not directing the money to the areas that are most impactful for a child's education? I don't believe that more money is the answer when we have mandates and priority shifts that are constantly being added or changed. Teachers need to be allowed to teach, administrators need to chart the direction, parents need to be held accountable, and local school boards need to be fully engaged in planning and spending. Local control for education is imperative, and I believe we need to start listening to those educators that are in the classroom over the so called experts!
*Smaller class sizes and a resurgence of getting back to basics would be a start in improving our educational system. So many times I see school districts in Colorado that are top heavy in Administration and Consultants. In a time that money is hard to come by, maybe we need to look at where it is being spent. If a district can reduce class sizes by adding two more teachers do we really need the extra administrator or the high dollar consultant? The answer isn't the same all of the time in every situation, but we have to start somewhere, and local school boards and local educators need to have the dialog about what it is that is most important, and we HAVE to do it now.
*Children need a strong foundation, and locally, we need to be responsible for building that!