Roaring Fork School Board Candidate Q&A
Name: Brad ZeigelAge: 46 years
Hometown: Boulder, ColoradoOccupation: Licensed Architect/Business OwnerHow long have you lived in the RFSD: 17 years in Carbondale
Why do you want to be on the Board of Education? The reason I want to continue my service on the School Board is to use my gained knowledge as an advocate for the kids, teachers, administrators and staff in our district. My curiosity and drive to understand our school system, 21st Century learning skills, state and federal mandates as well as to get to know the children we serve in our district is my motivation. I deeply enjoy this venue of volunteerism for my community and our valley.What are the two main issues facing the district? Implementation of the Accountability Plan. Focus on student achievement, closing the achievement gap, increase graduation rates, offer 360-degree education, dual credit acquisition, seamless transition into work, job training and/or college for all graduates.Rigorous assessment of the building needs across the district as the population increases in our region. A midvalley location for a Basalt/Carbondale bus barn, affordable housing project in Carbondale and other communities, crowded facilities in Glenwood.
The establishment of the Kalamazoo Project/Endowment Fund in our school district. It is a program that will pay for part or full in-state college tuition for all Basalt, Carbondale and Glenwood Springs High School graduates of the Roaring Fork School District.What are the impacts of the constantly changing demographics in the district in terms of population and an increase of English language learners, Is it being dealt with or what could be done better? The term “constant changing demographic” is false in many aspects since we are seeing a more stable, less transient population of ELL students. We are a decade ahead of many western region school districts in programs geared to language literacy and acquisition. Our neighbors to the east are doing very well with ELL students and are increasing their proficiency on state testing. We are collaborating with them to learn about their successes and using those insights in our district.What are your thoughts on standardized testing and what role should it play in the schools? I need to make a distinction between standardized state testing (CSAP) and student achievement testing and assessment (NWEA and teacher based classroom assessments). The CSAP has been described as, “A test looking for a victim.” It compares one class of students with another, it disregards the individual students growth and achievement, it is a snapshot of a child’s knowledge on that particular day and the results come back so late that they are of limited value in timely curriculum adjustment. The NWEA and teacher based assessments are all that the CSAP are not. We may get a pat on the back or a black eye from the CSAP scores. However, we help children and their teachers with the NWEA and meaningfully aligned assessments that are presented in a Standard Based Education Model where time is flexible.Is enough being done to ensure that advanced students are getting the education they need as well? At the core of Standards Based Education is the ability and responsibility to go deeper into a subject as compared to doing more work at the same level of inquiry (ex. another worksheet, another project, more homework). This opportunity to delve into a subject is what we offer our high achieving students in primary and secondary education.
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