Roaring Fork School Board Candidate Q&A |

Roaring Fork School Board Candidate Q&A

Name: Bruce Wampler Age: 55 Hometown: Glenwood Springs Occupation: computer and technology consultant Years lived in the Roaring Fork School District: 10+ Why do you want to be on the RFSD school board? Its all about the kids. I have seen what education means to the lives of the more than 5,000 students in our valley. Ive seen this district become one of the best school districts in the state. What are two main issues affecting the RFSD currently, and what is the best approach to solving these issues? 1. Attracting and retaining the best teachers. We must be constantly aware of this problem, and take bold initiatives such as our attainable housing project in Carbondale. 2. High School Reform. We must make sure we provide a learning environment that keeps our kids in school and prepared for all the different life opportunities that they will face in their futures. 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? There is an achievement gap between our Latino and Anglo students. While we havent cut the achievement gap as much or as quickly as wed like, this is a common issue that really hasnt been solved by any school district in the state. Our teachers and staff have focused on this problem for several years now, and we are seeing some significant positive gains as a result of the innovative approaches of our district. What are your thoughts on standardized testing, and what role should it play in the schools? Standards and accountability can be good things, but the way theyve been implemented by federal and state government is poor. They unfairly penalize school districts with high numbers of students who dont speak English as their first language. While the district tries to use the imperfect data the mandated tests provide, they dont drive how our district teaches our students. Is enough being done to ensure that advanced students are getting the education they need as well? The PEAK program for our advanced students has been expanding over the past few years. We are offering ways for our advanced kids to get class credit for upper level grades, dual credit for college classes, online classes, and other innovative opportunities.

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