Since the ballots have been mailed out and received by most, the residents within the Cherry Creek School District are starting to do their homework before casting their votes. This is very encouraging to me. So, in response to the many calls and/or emails, I have posted my answers here to the most common questions I have been asked.
The common core is a tough one for me, mostly because of the kids that will be caught in the middle. We need to make sure our kids are able to think. We need to make sure that with all the information out there, they can analyze and synthesize as well. I believe we need to have a common foundation that lets us all be on the same page so that we can communicate not only here in Colorado, but nationally and even globally. I believe the common core has the ability to allow all students access to basic knowledge that they are not being taught right now.
Where it gets tricky is in how it affects kids right now during the transition. For instance, if we change the way we are teaching math and we have students that have been learning it one way, it will be more work helping them understand and change to a new method. So as teachers and parents, we will have to be extra diligent in making sure that this process doesn't allow our kids to get lost. It may also be more difficult for us to help our kids because there may be concepts that we, as parents, just don't understand or know how to explain it. This can ultimately lead to frustration in parents.
What I can say that has me optimistic about the common core is that I have talked with several teachers, both in math and language arts, and not only are they aware of some of the issues, they are willing and ready to take extra care in making sure that they don't 't lose kids during this transition.
As far as Amendment 66, I am all for money at schools; however, before we raise taxes I think we should look at creative ways of utilizing the funding we already have.
My thoughts on Proposition AA: As long as they are going to make marijuana legal here in Colorado, which I don't support at all, I say tax it for sure.
My honest opinion on a vouchers system is that we are not ready yet. I believe Douglas County is moving too fast on this. The class of 2026 is in kindergarten right now and we can’t afford not to get it right and lose a generation. Moving students to unproven schools
is a scary thought, and once you open the flood gates to say here is $8,000 per student to come to your school then we will have all kinds of people who believe they have this week's answer to starting schools.
Will some of theses schools work? Absolutely, and do great things for kids! My concern is for the ones that don't. I am all for letting competition drive us to have better schools, but until we can answer questions like, "What qualifies an alternative school? What qualifications do teachers have to have? What students will they or won’t they accept? What reporting requirements are in place for these schools?” — Then we are not ready for vouchers.
We are pulling taxed funds from a community, a state and a nation to fund education so that all students have an equal access and opportunity to an education. For a voucher system to work, we need to make sure that all students have that access.
If you should have any other questions for me, please visit my Contact Page and send me a quick email.