Michael's Take

Communication + Innovation + Accountability = Improvement

Improvement

So many people talk about change in government. I believe that change can often fall short of what is really needed. What we really need is improvement. Calling for change implies that the system is bad so we are going to make it different. Encouraging improvement implies that whether the system is bad or not, we can implement reasoned and timely adjustments to make the system better and more effective. That is my main objective in running for office.

I do not look at our system as bad or failing. I look at our system as one with tremendous opportunity for improvement and advancement. I believe that with a dedicated effort from parents, teachers, administrators and elected officials we can provide our students and our community with a better educational experience. The process to make real improvements can be broken down into three basic steps.

Communication

One of the most important roles of the Board of Education is that of communication. Board Members are elected to represent parents. In order to represent parents Board Members must have constant and effective two-way communication. I plan on having regular meetings with the parents in my precinct as well as parents from all over the district to ensure that I know what concerns parents have, what successes our students are seeing, and what ideas our community has to improve our schools.

Innovation

Once the proper information is gathered about the concerns and ideas of the community, it’s the Boards job to push the administration to come up with creative solutions to respond to the needs of the community. Without being willing to take risks and make changes there will be no opportunity for rewards. The district and especially the Board has the responsibility to push the boundaries of our capacity by creating efficient, effective and innovative programs for our students.

Accountability

I believe that accountability in the schools begins with the Board of Education. If the elected officials are not truly representing the needs of the schools, than the community should not re-elect those Board Members to serve in that office again. But the School Board also has the responsibility to ensure that all levels of school administration are held accountable. Starting with the superintendant the Board should demand the highest standard of results. I have had many people tell me that they are frustrated by the seeming lack of accountability at the school administrator level. We have some of the best principals in the world. However the Board needs to hold them responsible with sound administrative policies. Otherwise we are doing a disservice to the administrators and to the students.

These basic principles will be the guiding pillars of my candidacy and, once elected, of my service as a member of the Board.

To learn more about some of my specific plans and objectives visit my blog. You can read about my plans to better communicate with the community, some of my plans to foster innovation in our schools and my standards of accountability. Check back regularly for updated topics and to see more of my ideas for the Davis School District. Your questions and thoughts are always welcome on my blog.