Election: Teachers need more time to implement competencies, Green says | RecordCourier.com

Election: Teachers need more time to implement competencies, Green says

Merrie Leininger, staff writer

Randy Green said he is running for the school board Area 7 seat because he wants to change an unfair law and he wants to contribute to the community.

Green has taught government at Douglas High School for 24 years and raised two daughters here, Kelley, 21, and Kaycee, 19, with his wife, Karen, a Carson Valley Middle School teacher.

Green said when he filed to run, he hoped the existing trustees would work with him to get the state law changed to allow teachers on the board.

“I think even though they voted not to do anything until after the election, they will eventually challenge it if I get on the board,” Green said. “Basically, their strategy has been to scare the public and convince them this will be such a horrible thing to happen to have a teacher sit on the board. We believe the electorate has a right and a responsibility to make choices.”

Although opponents say Green will have a conflict of interest as both a teacher and a sitting board member, Green says anyone who knows him will understand his intentions are honorable.

“From the beginning, I’ve had all the confidence in the world the people who know me can make a fair assessment of my intentions and motivations. Personally, I don’t see myself as a threat to the education system,” Green said.

He said if the voters choose Raker on election day, he will continue to lobby for a change in the law.

“I still believe the classroom teachers’ input is critical to achieve the reforms the district wants to put in,” Green said.

He said he had high hopes for the competencies when he sat on committees to help develop the standards, but the teachers feel their input is no longer important and their questions are not being answered.

“Teachers are stuck in a situation that it is hard for them to support the system. They are the ones who will have to tell someone they can’t graduate, sometimes when the student hasn’t received all the information or the assessment is flawed in some particular way,” Green said.

Other working conditions have the teacher morale down, Green said, and as a board member, he would be in a good position to help the board understand teachers’ needs.

“Their concerns are not about the contract, but working conditions and what we are ending up doing to our young people,” Green said.

He said he thinks the solution is to continue to implement the competencies without holding students accountable for them in order to graduate. He said he would like to have a solid base of data and then move forward.

“One of the problems is they never did anything to prepare the staff. They are not where they need to be. We are not moving staffs far enough and fast enough to be ready,” he said.

Green said many teachers never believed the program would be successfully put into place and so a small number of teachers have been involved with piloting the competencies.

“They didn’t attempt to bring teachers on board, they just adopted it. Teachers didn’t prepare themselves, and the district didn’t help the staff until they were confident with the system. It doesn’t matter who’s to blame. What matters at this point is teachers need time to feel comfortable with what they are teaching and the assessments they are giving.”

Green said he would like to see more involvement by supervisors in evaluating teachers so the yearly review isn’t “a superficial piece of paper.”

“We need to have a structure to help the people who aren’t getting the job done. We also need to encourage good teachers to be great teachers. I see that as a win-win situation for students. There is nothing more important than making sure there is quality instruction in the classroom,” Green said.