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Education news and notes from Tampa Bay and Florida

Students need to dress better, Pasco School Board candidate Skipper says

6

August

skipper.JPGPasco County schools have a serious discipline problem, one that could be partly resolved by stricter attention to dress code, District 3 School Board candidate Sallie Skipper says.

"We either need to improve it or enforce the one we've got," Skipper said of the district dress code. "We all behave better when we're dressed nicely. I'm not saying uniforms. Just appropriate dress."

While the board is at it, she continued, it ought to give teachers and administrators more authority to deal swiftly and firmly with disciplinary problems in the classrooms.

"Let's see how far we can push the envelope with discipline," Skipper said. "You betcha."

Read on to see more of Skipper's views on a St. Petersburg Times questionnaire.

Do you support or oppose levying an additional quarter-mill property tax this year?

Oppose.

In light of Senate Bill 6 and the promise from legislators to seek a new version of it next year, should the district be moving toward changes in teacher pay/performance and developing end-of-year tests in each subject?

Yes; and Not sure, but initial thought is: no.

Would the school district and its students and families benefit from a magnet school approach to gifted education or one that has part-time programs at every school?

Yes.

What specific ideas do you have on balancing the school district budget? Would you consider furloughing employees, cutting benefits, reducing salaries or other personnel cost reductions?

I have no specific ideas, and am open to discussing all suggestions. That would include considering those which you have listed.

What is your position on amending Constitutionally required class sizes? How do you propose to finance the long-term costs of the class-size amendment if voters choose not to alter it in November?

I support the amendment to provide more flexibility to the class-size requirements. I have no proposal to finance the long-term costs of its implementation and continuation.

Increased parental participation at schools is cited as a common need nearly universally. How would you propose to get parents more involved in their children's education?

You're absolutely right. Parental participation is essential in providing students with quality education. One way may be to bring the PTA to the parents via Facebook or some other online tool. Each school may have its own social/networking page, and/or bulletin board where needs may be broadcast or services offered. Parents could then become involved and informed on their own time - and not when it conflicts with their careers. If parents are more informed, then they are more likely to become engaged in the education process. They may have something to offer, but no one has asked before.

Do you support or oppose the expansion of charter schools? What do you think is the appropriate role of charter schools in public education and what should be the benchmark for performance?

I support charter schools. I'm not certain what you mean by "appropriate role", and I'll have to get back to you on the performance question when I know more about it.

What is your opinion of Superintendent Heather Fiorentino's job performance?

She is hard working, intelligent and professional. We are fortunate to have her as a superintendent - particularly with her background not only as a teacher, but as a legislator.

Describe why voters should consider you for this office and what you hope to accomplish:

I have lived, worked and raised my children in Pasco County for the past 30 years. My healthy respect for education is reflected in my own academic accomplishments. I believe in giving back to our community, and I work hard toward solving problems. I know when to lead and when to be a team player. I have no agenda. What I would hope to accomplish is to work with the other board members, the union and the superintendent toward providing a world class education for Pasco's children.

[Last modified: Thursday, August 5, 2010 4:07pm]

    

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