Steve Berrey: School District Needs Accountability
Recently, the Times-Union decided to endorse career politician Eric Smith - a life-long democrat who showed up at the Republican Executive Committee meeting in July - over the other three candidates for Duval County School Board District 6.
I'm very honored that the Jacksonville Observer saw through the 'good-ole-boy' network of the Unions and the powerbrokers and picked my campaign (along with another candidate) for its recommendation.
My campaign is one of very simple ABC's. We need accountability and accessibility for our teachers. We need to streamline the bureaucracy that's clogging up the learning process, but most importantly, we need to give teachers control of their classroom.
I want to massively downsize the bureaucracy that is 1701 Prudential Drive... I want to restore teacher control of the classroom and end social promotion - for the students and the administrators that have often failed as principals so we move them up. We cannot continue to tell our teachers they don't matter. This is what the Board effectively said when hiring a 'Strategic Marketing Specialist' and spending $129,000 on a salary - which is twice what most teachers make.
My business background is secondary to my concerns for our economy. We cannot continue to lose residents to Clay, St. Johns and Nassau counties due to our poor schools.
But when a teacher is told to "stop writing referrals" that makes no sense to me. When a principal is told to "not suspend so many students" you
handcuff both the teacher and the principal from doing their jobs... then we blame them when the test scores go down.
It's time we ENFORCED our dress code; our truancy policy; and our attendance policy. It's time we let the teacher TEACH ... Not instruct or baby-sit. We need education reform - it starts and ends in the classroom.
Finally, I will not draw a salary during my term as a representative on the school board. I don't think it's just to declare that we are in financial dire straits, lay off teachers and then pay our school board members $37,000 plus benefits. I will create a continuing education grant program with my salary so that teachers can further their education without cost. Or, I will donate the salary to a school. That will ensure that we are able to keep at least one teacher from the unemployment line.
Steve Berrey is one of two candidates the Jacksonville Observer has endorsed in today's District 6 race. The other candidate is JSO officer Gary Oliveras.
To learn more about Steve Berrey: https://sites.google.com/site/steveberreydistrict6/
To learn more about Gary Oliveras: http://www.garyoliveras.com