Even after the failed operating referendum last fall, and the subsequent budget cuts that will certainly have a negative impact on our students, there are local political leaders and a small, vocal faction of community members that continue to spread negative messages, half-truths, innuendos, and outright lies about Eastern Carver County Schools on social media and in our local newspapers.
As a school board member, I have stayed quiet publicly over the past year and a half and tried to focus on helping our district move forward through some very difficult times. I believe it is time for myself and other locally elected leaders, regardless of political persuasion, to stand up and support our public schools by coming together to share ideas that move us forward in a positive direction.
Voicing opposition toward our school district without bringing ideas to the table to address the concerns will not make us stronger. It’s not what is best for our school district or community.
I am so proud of the incredible teachers, staff, and administrators that teach and love all of our kids each and every day. I am thankful that collectively they aren’t satisfied with our overall high test scores and high graduation rates. Instead, they are committed to continuous improvement to ensure each and every student is successful and fully prepared to pursue their dreams when they leave our system. This is the essence of personalized learning that our district has been engaged in for several years and the basis for equity work in our schools.
We have great schools in our community. This won’t change just because a politician decides they want to try to get elected to higher office by fear mongering and spreading untruths about our local, public schools.
Do we have challenges in Eastern Carver County Schools? Absolutely — particularly as it relates to achievement gaps of various student subgroups and students feeling safe, welcome and included in our schools. How do we tackle those challenges? We need all of our community, including and especially our locally elected leaders, to come together to collaborate to solve the issues, rather than criticize on social media and contribute to efforts that hurt and damage public education in our community.
The best solutions and ideas come from a diversity of thought and perspectives. I would invite any and all locally elected leader(s) to bring your best ideas to the table to strengthen and improve our public schools and the daily experience of each student. I would also invite you to listen to other perspectives and ideas and engage in meaningful dialogue to bring forth the best solutions that represent the values of our entire community.
Strong public schools have always been a trademark of vibrant communities. I am proud of our schools, proud to be a member of this community, and proud to serve with all of you as we keep striving to make our school district even more exceptional for all of our kids and families.