Only 16 days left until election day and Lakers4Change endorsed candidates and volunteers are out meeting voters every day. We want to know what the greatest concerns about our school district are. We are not at all surprised that our well-educated voters overwhelmingly agree that the number one issue driving them to vote for school board candidates this year is ACADEMIC ACHIEVEMENT. Sadly, our district is not the destination district we once were due to academic excellence and this does not make parents and tax payers happy.
They want CHANGE.
Also not surprising is the expensive mailer (Image 1) we had predicted would be sent out to households by the teachers UNION (a.k.a. Prior Lake Savage Education Association or PLSEA) was already being handed out by their endorsed candidates Jessica Olstad, Michael Nelson and Jonathan Drewes at the City of Savage Halloween Bash last weekend (note that the disclaimer states that it is “not approved by the candidates nor are the candidates responsible for it. Which appeared to be untrue since candidates were reportedly handing out these mailers with treat bags to children). What is shocking are the priorities listed on this mailer that appear completely out of touch with the community these UNION ENDORSED CANDIDATES represent. In fact, ACADEMIC ACHIEVEMENT is no where to be found on “These candidates” list of priorities and one may conclude that they “These candidates” do not support academics at all when reading that they “Believe there is more to student success than a test score and want to support the whole student in their learning.”
While the UNION ENDORSED CANDIDATES, three of whom were given the opportunity to represent the people of Prior Lake-Savage Area Schools (PLSAS) for almost 4 years, have been busy not believing in the importance of test scores, our precious children’s ACADEMIC ACHIEVEMENT has been PLUMMETING. Well, we can guess what their answer will be for why PLSAS proficiency scores have been falling, the pandemic, of course.
We do not deny that the pandemic has had a massive impact on ACADEMIC ACHIEVEMENT but what we do want to bring to light is that test scores were falling well before the pandemic (figure 1) and we expect leaders to take accountability for the impact that their failed policies have had on the wellbeing of our children.
According to the most recent NAEP data, as reported by edweek.org, “Academic declines on NAEP were sweeping, spanning low-income and wealthier students, boys and girls, and most racial or ethnic groups in both subjects and grades.” Ironically, as our current school board also states that they are so focused on closing the achievement gap, it has effectively been widened which is also noted in the NAEP study.
Don’t miss an opportunity to witness the current board’s priorities in action as they discuss the professional development workshop plans for our district teachers. Hundreds of thousands of dollars were paid to the previous consultant, Dr. Sharokky Hollie and CCRTL to coach our staff on Cultural Linguistics. Make sure to attend the open session tonight at 4:30pm at the District Services Center.
So the question really is, how do we get our district back on track and help our students become academically excellent, which will ultimately “support the whole student in their learning”?
Do not vote for the people who think public education is not about academics. IT IS!
LAKERS4CHANGE ENDORSED CANDIDATES want to put ACADEMIC ACHIEVEMENT at the forefront and support the whole student feel successful and optimistic about their future. These four vow to support policies that will graduate students that are not only confident to go out into a highly competitive workforce but proud to say they grew up a