Pat King (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?

Pat King, District 1 Candidate

As a regular volunteer at many schools in my community I saw there are needs not being addressed in those schools. As an engineer bringing fun and excitement to science and math I see the lack of science material in the classroom. The school cannot participate in the Robotics Competition because they do not have materials and sufficient personnel to provide what is needed to compete.

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.

I am very capable of conducting comprehensive research and asking questions on policies, procedures and recommendations that the superintendent is bringing to the board for approval. I am in attendance at most school board meetings and have asked the difficult questions of the board. This current board does not welcome questions or dialog that differs from the recommendation set before them.

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

No, I do not have children currently in the Huntsville City School System. However, both my adult children are graduates of the Huntsville City School System.

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

It is my vision for the schools in my district to offer excellent education in a facility that represents the 21st century and beyond. It is my goal our children graduate prepared ready for the workforce or to attended any college or university in the nation without a need for remedial courses or training.

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

I have a plan and I will meet with the superintendent to discuss my plan to determine how it will fit into his plans for the system. I will work closely with the superintendent to integrate this plan with his existing plans and to ensure the plans do not conflict. I am a team builder and I will work with the current board members to ensure I become a team member. I will conduct Town Hall meetings with the community and teachers to ensure their concerns are being addressed. We will also discuss my plans and determine if my plans are meeting the needs of the community and if they need to be modified accordingly.

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

I do not believe high-stakes standardized testing tells the entire story of the individual being tested. It does not provide the insight of the learning and home environment of a student that may strongly impact the test results of a child. I believe these test should be used as a guidance to determine the weakness and strength of the test takers. These tests should be used to strengthen the weakness of a student. A teacher should be evaluated on many indicators and not just the test results of their students.

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

We should determine the greatest needs of the students in the district and determine what will have the greatest impact with the least amount of funds to meet those needs. It will also be necessary to include the business and church community with assisting in meeting some of the needs of the system. The education of our children requires team work from everyone.

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 am a firm believer in neighborhood schools and I believe it will take hard work for the entire community to keep our neighborhood schools open but it can be done. We need to build upon providing a private school education in our schools. People will then live where they desire without regard to the school because every school will offer a quality education. I do agree with turning around and restart of the schools in our system and I would like to have seen others be provided the same opportunities. I think the turn around and restarts could have been implemented differently but many requirements were attached to the monies that funded these programs.

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

Parents and the community should play an essential role in the governance of schools and they should be allowed to provide input in the direction of the school system. Parents and the community provide the funds that support the school system and it is a disservice not to allow their voices to be heard.

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