Decisions about the education of Salem-Keizer’s children must be made at the local level. The best way to meet the needs of our children is to empower parents, teachers, and school districts with the tools they need to provide the best outcomes possible.
I am concerned about our school district’s decision to accept federal dollars that then require adherence to top-down programs like No Child Left Behind and Race to the Top that mandate standards that may or may not be what is best for Salem-Keizer.
Common Core State Standards are an example of a top-down mandate that is in place due to the district accepting federal dollars. These are complex and cumbersome standards that will cost a lot of money to implement and manage.
Planned Parenthood funded instructors teaching students at two of our high schools – the programs are mandated but the choice of instruction staff is still in the hands of the district.
Practical and prudent solutions applied to difficult economic circumstances are crucial if we are to maintain our focus on supporting and improving the education of our children at Salem-Keizer Schools.
In 2007 the school district implemented a Quality Assurance Model to ensure continuous improvement in student achievement by setting appropriate benchmarks and achieving stated goals. This helps employees understand how they contribute to the district mission, goals and objectives. It’s a great tool for decision making regarding funding that uses data to drive decisions rather than opinion. I was an auditor for the QAM while employed by the district and I will encourage the district to use this model at all levels of decision making.
I have lived in Salem since 1978, graduated from South Salem High School and watched my now 20 year old son do the same in 2010. As a Salem-Keizer School District employee, I worked for more than a decade with the many talented and caring professionals who strive every day to educate Salem’s children. I have called our South Salem neighborhood home for over 20 years and love this city!
Salem-Keizer needs leaders who make decisions based on common sense principles, which recognize parent’s as their child’s first and most important teacher, and are accountable to the community.
You won’t see my name on the ballot in May, so please write-in Denise Quinn-Nanke for Salem-Keizer School Board Zone 3!