1) What background or prior life experience qualifies you for a position on the Board of Education? What inspired you to run for a position on the BOE at this particular time?
My educational resume is one of delayed maturity. I have a BS in Business Administration with some post graduate work in Marketing. I realize the importance of educating our children to make them good citizens, and give them the tools they need to have a prosperous future. The future of Bristol is in their hands. It is our obligation to our children and community.
If elected, what would be your immediate priorities?
It is to research ratio of teachers to administrators, to end unfunded mandates and to improve some teacher to parent relationships. Some parents must take a more active part in their children’s performance.
What is the role of parents and teachers in educational decision making? How will you seek out the input of each and maintain communication?
I plan to visit with Principals, teachers and PTAs to help identify underperforming kids, and to assist where possible the interdiction with parents to stress the importance of education in their children’s lives. Perhaps there is a study to assist in this process.
What are the dividing lines between parents, teachers and administrators when it comes to accountability for student progress?
The elected Board of Education has the ultimate responsibility for student performance. Administration in the Superintendent’s office is responsible to the BOE. School principals are responsible to the Superintendent’s office. Teachers being the first line of interaction with the students and parents must perform their duties as prescribed by the BOE. All hopefully to a satisfactory conclusion.
What is your opinion of the NCLB (No Child Left Behind) act and its legacy?
I think it was affective at first because of the great need to improve student performance. However as the requirements for achievement became more stringent, it became unrealistic to expect 100% achievement. At present we are stagnant with only small gains. The goal is admirable, but should be revisited to consider different levels of ability. The Gettysburg Address should have said every person has equal opportunity, not that we are all created equal. Clearly some have more ability than others.
What else would you like our members to know about your candidacy?
I have been told that the relationship between the BFT and the BOE is good, which is a credit to both organizations. I would like to keep it that way. I know of no issues that would change that relationship. My goal is to help make teachers more affective in achieving better test scores regardless of the opinion of some regarding so much testing. I believe that some of the fluctuation in test scores from year to year is because of better motivational skills by some teachers. That does not imply that we have some poor teachers, only that some teachers are more effective than others. The less affective should be identified and encouraged to improve their motivational skills.
More ways to involve parents in school activities must be found and utilized. All of us have the same goals. None of us should be exempt from doing our very best to achieve those goals. The performance of Bristol schools is not bad, but there is always room for improvement. If we do not meet goals, we must all claim responsibility.
I promise to make every effort to carry out my duties and responsibilities as an elected Board of Education member if elected.
Thank you for this opportunity to express my thoughts. I would be happy to discuss this questionnaire with any of you.