Common Ground Does Exist IF We Listen To Each Other!

It is unfortunate that the opportunities to discover issues we agree on are missed because the “noise” of the school board bickering drowns out the ability for any of us to actually listen to each other.

The guest column published today (8/13/2014) in the Reporter Herald, was written by Pam Howard who is a current school board member and highlights several areas that we could ALL join together on and that collaboration is possible!!

I believe that parents and students should have as much choice as possible in deciding what path is best for the student to not only learn in but also to excel and thrive in.  Ms. Howard begins her column with:

“Educating kids is a complicated, messy, wonderful task. There is no single path or solution that works for each individual child — no magic bullet exists.” and her statement gives me hope that there is agreement that every child is unique and therefore every child should have the ability to choose the educational path that is best for them.

Does this mean that at least Ms. Howard views traditional and charters as equals?  Only her actions on the board will reveal if she truly believes that traditional, charter, online, home schooling. etc are all legitimate choices students should have.  So for now I am willing to give her the benefit of the doubt and accept that Ms. Howard will and does support expanding choice for our kids.

I am also in complete agreement that kids are over tested and the plethora of new federal and state mandated tests impede teachers ability to teach and kids ability to learn.

Liberty Watch was against the “Race to the Top” legislation when introduced at the State Capital as we believed was just more federal money that came with too many strings attached that would further reduce local control over our schools.  The Race to the Top (or as we call it, Race to the Bottom) had bipartisan support as too many legislators were focused on the money and not the actual outcome of becoming even more tied up and unable to decide what is best for our schools.

The “No Child Left Behind” as so many government programs are, was well intended, but ultimately has increased the paperwork and testing to a level that is detrimental to students, teachers and staff.

There are some items I disagree with, but that is for another time as right now I would rather stay focused on the common ground and the things we do agree on.

Thompson School District does have great teachers, learning opportunities and that we both want to expand educational choices for our kids so that all kids can receive the best education possible!

Nancy Rumfelt,
Executive Director
Liberty Watch






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