By Kurt Rohrs |
Just what exactly are the priorities of the Chandler Unified School District (CUSD)?
Every parent and taxpayer would love to know. But unfortunately, these priorities do not seem to be clearly presented in any readily available public communication. This makes it difficult to understand what the district is doing, why they are doing it, or hold them accountable for their performance. It’s time for the district to be much more transparent with the public.
That’s why I would like to suggest these five priorities for CUSD, which should be communicated clearly and made readily available to the taxpaying public that supports them.
- Catch up on learning loss from recent school closures. Some information indicates that our students are up to two years behind on their academic achievement. Many are falling behind, and CUSD must take this seriously.
- Ensure that Reading and Math proficiency is greater than 50% at every school. CUSD should direct massive amounts of resources to any school that falls far below this standard.
- Increase student retention. The district must compete effectively to increase their headcount by better satisfying the demands of parents who will ultimately make the decisions on which schools their children attend.
- Increase staff retention. It is critical to reduce the turnover rate for Certified (Teaching) Staff and Classified (non-Teaching) Staff. But CUSD must remember that issues with staffing aren’t always about money. While that is certainly something that needs to be examined, staff working conditions should be carefully considered as well. And the district should ultimately work to determine the primary reasons that staff leave their positions and take appropriate corrective actions.
- Improve career and technical education. CUSD should refocus attention back to developing practical knowledge instead of social conditioning. The primary mission should be to develop functional adults capable of supporting themselves and contributing economically to the community.
If CUSD is serious about the future of its students, it must refocus its priorities. And it should take a much more pragmatic approach to its communication. This will not only make the district more relevant, but it will improve engagement with the community, especially the parents who have the ultimate say in how their children are educated.
Kurt Rohrs is a candidate for the Chandler Unified School District Governing Board. You can find out more about his campaign here.