Laurie McCaulley (District 1) School Board Candidate

EDITOR’S NOTE: With the goal of keeping local parents (and voters) as informed as possible about all things parent-related, the editors of RCM compiled “9 Questions for the Candidates.” We asked all the Huntsville City School Board candidates to answer the same set of questions and we will run one response each day this week unedited and in the order we received them. We encourage all of our readers to exercise their democratic right and vote on Tuesday, August 28.

Q. What made you want to run for this office?

Please allow me to answer your question from a different perspective. When a teacher expresses she knows she can call you to stand in the gap for a parent in an assembly to applaud for a child as their name is called or a parent who whispers gently “thank you” for helping me with my child or a former student says to you, “Mrs. McCaulley, do you remember me? Thank you for helping me. I graduated.” It is those precious moments, I reflect back on those eyes and I remember why I do, what I do.

3 Priorities for our schools

  1. Close the achievement gap that exists between the identified subgroups
  2. Provide teachers the necessary resources to be successful in the classroom by connecting technology to instruction
  3. Modernize facilities

Q. Are you capable of and willing to do the research necessary to ask questions about the policies, procedures and recommendations that the superintendent is bringing to the board for approval?

Yes, by adhering to the 7 Habits of Highly Effective Board Members adopted by the Alabama Association of School Boards.

Q.  Do your children (or school age relatives) attend Huntsville City Schools?

Yes

Q. What is your vision for the schools in your district?

My number one priority is providing a world class education for our children because they deserve nothing less. This will be accomplished by continuing to:

· Push to ensure a standard curriculum for our students to excel.
· Push to make our schools move to high performance status
· Promote the Law and Public Safety Academy at Johnson High
· Modernize the facilities
· Engage parents as partners

Q. What is your plan for working with the other school board members, superintendent, staff, teachers, community to implement this vision?

Although each board member represents a different district it is only one Huntsville City School Board. Therefore collaboration and mutual respect must co-exist among the board members, superintendent, staff, teachers and the community. My plan for facilitating this effort will be driven by the 7 Habits of Highly Effective Board Members adopted by the Alabama Association of School Boards.

Q. What is your view of high-stakes standardized testing, and the use of those test results for the evaluation of teachers?

My views of high-stakes standardized testing are these tests were designed to track academic progress for the benefit of the student. Also, if the teacher knows what areas need work, they can better help each individual in the classroom. Most importantly, these tests aren’t an absolute measure of a student’s intelligence. The results of these tests should be only one of many other factors utilized in the evaluating teachers.

Q.  What is your view of how the district’s limited funding should be divided among the needs of the district?

We must take a balance approach. We must meet the academic needs of our children on all spectrums. Every child has the same value in Huntsville City Schools.

Q. What is your view on the superintendent’s plans to close, consolidate, “turn around”, and “restart” many of the schools in our district?

I support consolidations when it financially feasible and it provides stability for the community. Also, it ensures the families we are putting our best effort toward providing a world class education to all of our children wherever they may reside. As far as a “turn around” and a “restart” situation, every child deserves the opportunity to attend a school with a strong instructional leader at its helm and effective teachers in every classroom.

Q. What is your view of the role that parents and the community should play in the governance of our schools?

I embrace the concept that parents and the community need to be partners in education. Partners have a vested interest in the success of the business. Education is our business and we have their most precious asset in our facilities.

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