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The League Asks This Question: “What Are The Biggest Challenges Facing The Kettering School System?”

I’ve been thinking about how to answer the question posed by the League of Woman voters to Kettering Board of Education candidates. The question reads: “What are the biggest challenges facing the Kettering School system and what plans should the board be making to address those challenges in a proactive way?”

This is a great question and, since my answer will be printed in the DDN and may be the only words from me some voters might hear, my answer should reflect my general campaign message. But, the tough part is, that according to the League rules, I need to limit my answer to 75 words. Wow. The challenge of brevity.

The deadline is a couple of weeks away, so I’ll probably go through several versions before I submit my final answer. I’m wondering if I’ve sufficiently addressed that last part of the question — “what plans should the board be making to address those challenges in a proactive way?” — but, here is what I have so far:

“Public education needs transformation. To achieve 21st century quality, we must stop simply replicating the present system. Authentic change is rare, because it is not easy. It requires leadership and strong public support. The biggest challenge for the Kettering School Board is to inspire and empower teachers and citizens to work together to define system excellence and to create a plan for long-term transformation that will result in a great future for public education in Kettering.”

I am trying to build on ideas I wrote about in this post: “What Is The Purpose, The Aim Of Public Education?” — Every School Board Candidate Should Answer”

I wrote, “A good understanding of aim / purpose is crucial in order to make valid planning about the future. It is impossible to make good judgments about the future without a guiding aim / purpose with which to evaluate those judgments. The aim for public education has become lost in the blizzard of state tests that has confused the whole question of school purpose. I write about it in this post: A Great Question: How Can We Tell If a School Is Excellent?”

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2 comments to The League Asks This Question: “What Are The Biggest Challenges Facing The Kettering School System?”

  • Mike,
    I met you at the Board of Elections office while we were both turning in petitions. The League of Women Voters also sent me a ‘questionnaire’ with one question, two parts actually, with a 75 word limit that I wanted to share with you.

    “What needs to be in place to maintain the Miamisburg School District’s state rating of excellent? How can this be done while controlling expenditures ? ”

    Like your response, mine has been revised and shorted about 10 times! Though it appears they tailor questions for individual districts, the question sent to you is something that , I believe, should be asked of all candidates in all districts. Even school districts rated excellent or excellent with distinction face their own set of unique challenges that need to be dealt with by school boards in a proactive manner. Challenges that are not dealt with proactively by a school board will eventually become real problems.

    Best of luck with your campaign!

  • Eric

    What needs to be in place to maintain the Miamisburg School District’s state rating of excellent? How can this be done while controlling expenditures?

    Doesn’t the district already have an answer for this? A better question: “Will the district consider suing the state if the unfunded mandates from the Governor’s education ‘reforms’ in HB-1 threaten to derail existing plans to maintain excellence while controlling expenditures?”

    What are the biggest challenges facing the Kettering School system and what plans should the board be making to address those challenges in a proactive way?

    It’s hard to be proactive when Ohio’s Governor works with Democrats in Ohio’s House to ambush the rest of the state with education ‘reforms.’ Kettering will be afflicted with numerous unfunded mandates bearing little if any relationship to the priorities the district has already identified and committed to. Perhaps the chair of the Montgomery County Democratic Party can explain to Kettering voters how the Governor’s mandates will help Kettering schools move to “Excellent.” Otherwise, perhaps Kettering voters will get proactive with Ohio’ s Democrats.

    The LoWV appears not to have noticed that school board members are no longer responsible for keeping their oath of office–constitutionality has now been centralized in Columbus and school board members now ensure strict accountability for spending the districts money on priorities identified by the State–although excellent districts still have some discretion.

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