|Portrait by a 4th grade ASD student|
The fact that the ASD is robbing students of a well rounded education is a serious issue that directly impacts the well being of our children. Being "cordial" is nice, but it it won't really help improve our schools, neither will going along to get along. Standing on principle would help. Doing what's right by children would help. As a committed parent, teacher, and volunteer in the ASD, I find their responses to be unacceptable and lousy. In my opinion, the only two board members who should stay are President Bob Smith, and Joanne Jackson. The rest need to go, because they don't get it, they are uninformed about what is really going on in our schools, and their decisions are not in the best interest of school children.
Bob Smith said he voted against the social studies integration in 6th grade, and he voted to restore specials (related arts) in our elementary schools. He voted against the hiring of a new public relations administrator (no background in education) at a salary of 88k. Joanne Jackson voted against the PR position, voted against the integration of social studies, and voted for full restoration of specials. Joanne is an experienced veteran teacher, recently retired, so she gets it. Bob genuinely cares about the children, and he usually responds to my letters with more than a sentence. It does bother me that he ultimately voted to approve the cuts to specials at the elementary level, even after he spoke out against it. It was reported in our newspaper that Scott Armstrong believes that axing social studies is a "cost effective solution." He, and others who have ignored me, are not qualified to serve on a school board.
We need to do better. Parents, please get involved and write letters. All children deserve equal opportunities, and a school board that understands education issues. Social studies, art, music, physical education, library, and recess must be MANDATORY subjects in all public schools. Children are more than test scores and data points. The high stakes testing, data driven, developmentally inappropriate, untested and unreliable nonsense from the business world has no place in our public schools. Enough is enough. Let the teachers teach.
UPDATE: Heard back from Ce- Ce Gerlach, see comments.