Vail Daily letter: Asking for your vote
I believe in our kids. I believe in excellence, and we have in place people in this community who can move our educational achievements to this level. My name is Robert Ticer, and I am running for Eagle County School Board.
Some formal background in education is useful to serve on a community panel like the School Board, which is why I bring to the table a master’s degree in educational leadership and experience teaching at the university and community college level.
Eagle County public schools’ academic achievement is slightly above state averages. Between 32 and 38 percent of Eagle County School District students that go on to Colorado institutions of higher learning require remediation in reading and math. This is an area that we can improve — I believe this!
I concur with our superintendent’s goal of measuring our school district against international benchmarks. U.S. public education ranks about the same as less affluent countries like Croatia, Portugal and Russia, despite much larger school budgets here. Eagle County high school students are substantially behind their peers in Finland and Asia. Reporting progress in our local schools against these benchmarks is important for improving student achievement, building support and reinforcing public trust.
I believe in open and transparent communication. I believe in frequent, continuous and comprehensive dialogue with our community, parents, teachers, board and students, and not just during election time, but all the time.
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Teachers work hard and we want the best in our classrooms. Teachers know they will not become rich in monies, but they will become rich in other ways. We need to pay our teachers and there is room for significant improve in this county. Currently, teachers are starting at $39,000 here, which is a wage difficult to live on in our community. This has negative aspects of recruiting and retaining high performing teachers, which leads to less success in our classrooms for the children. Working with our teachers and their associations is critical to student success. I have experience with labor associations, as I once was an elected district representative for a major employee association. I can work with teachers because I understand that they are the group who really knows the ins and outs of the classroom. Equally, I have held major leadership positions in government, community boards, and professional associations.
We have hard work to do in our district to close the gaps between Caucasian and minority students. In fact, more than half our student population is of a different ethnicity than white. We must focus on this because we are all equal and I want success for every student.
In my 26-year public safety career, I have seen many children end up in the criminal justice system due to lack of adequate education, lack of mentors and poor choices. Student success and academic achievement is an avenue to success for all students and, with your help, we will get all of our students on the right path and the realization of the American Dream.