The Terry Kemple “ABC” Plan
A Plan to Improve Educational Outcomes
I’m running for Hillsborough County School Board to help all students have better educational outcomes to improve their futures, and to improve the future of our community, culture, and country. There are three primary areas where I will focus attention.
= Parents’ Advocate
Most of the problems in our educational system would be immediately solved if more parents were more involved in their children’s education. As a school board member I’ll look for ways to reach out into the community to encourage more parents to take an active role in their children’s education. We need to continue to develop and perfect programs that will reach parents where they are. All parents need to feel that their opinions are valued and that their involvement is desired. We need to make it easier for those parents who want to be involved to break through the bureaucratic maze that seems, at times, to be designed to keep them at arm’s length. Technology needs to be leveraged to maximize outward communications with parents and allow them the greatest opportunity to find information and to communicate with the district.
= Back to Basics
My goal is to see every student be able to read, write, and calculate at grade level. Our teachers are to be praised for the sacrificial effort they’ve invested in bringing 60 to 70% of our students to the point where they’re able to perform at grade level in the tested subject areas. At the same time we mustn’t forget the 30 to 40% who can’t. In recent years there have been repeated efforts to remedy the shortcomings in our education system by ushering in a series of what I refer to as “next new fads”. They’ve been motivated by good intentions and each “next new fad” comes in with the promise that it’s going to fix all the problems that were created by the last “next new fad”. The reality is that whether it’s Outcome Based Education, Voyages, Springboard, Empowering Effective Teachers, or now Common Core, each of these initiatives continues the downward spiral of our students’ education into mediocrity. The focus needs to be placed on proven learning methods. The ability to add, subtract, multiply, divide, spell, and construct meaningful sentences are foundations that must be reintroduced into our children’s education if America is to regain global prominence in educational outcomes. Our young people need to leave school recognizing that America is a special country. They should understand and that it has grown to be the world’s leader because of the principles and disciplines initiated by our Founders and that as we drift away from those principles and disciplines the very fabric of our nation is put in jeopardy.
Since the establishment of the federal Department of Education (DOE) there has been a continuing assault on local control. By taking tax money that would have been locally directed to education and “giving” it back to the states the DOE puts itself in the position of controlling educational processes at the state level. This control comes in the form of things scholastic, psychological, and philosophical that must be taught and records that must be kept to prove compliance. This is compounded as the state requires many of the same types of processes and records keeping requirements in order for the local districts to be “given” the money back that their citizens pay into state, rather than local coffers. No one knows better what and how to teach the students in a district than the people who live in a district. The closer to home the control is the better the outcomes will be. This isn’t a problem that can be easily or quickly resolved. However, as the 8th largest school district in the country, Hillsborough County could be a leader in the effort to return the responsibility to local parent, education, and community leaders.
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