3 Minutes at the Times-Call Candidates Forum

For those of you who would like a jump start on tonight’s candidates forum, I have posted my talking points below.  They will be familiar themes for those of you who have read my blog.

Each candidate is allowed three minutes for a statement.  There will be 20 minutes of Q&A after.  I will do my best to keep track of questions and my answers to post here later.

Talking Points

Good evening.  My name is John Creighton.  Thanks to all of you who chose to hear us rather than watch the Rockies.  We appreciate it.

I’m running for school board because I’m bullish on public schools.  We can provide our children with opportunities our parents and grandparents could not have imagined.  To deliver on these opportunities, we must understand public schools will change.  They must change.

In a few years time, if not already, families will seek out schools that…

          Tailor curriculum to EACH students’ unique needs, interests and passions so that students are eager to learn.  A love of learning is an essential attitude and an essential skill in our era.

Families will seek out schools that…

          Cultivate creative skills, risk taking, as well as working collaboratively with diverse groups.  Narrowing the curriculum to focus on a small set of core subjects is not sufficient.

Families will seek out schools that…

          Enable teachers to focus their energies on high-value instruction; that integrate technology into all areas of learning; and that provide learning experiences in and outside the classroom.

Future generations will not know what we mean by field trips because the walls between school and community will begin to disappear.

Families will seek out schools that…

          Base student promotion more on knowledge and less on classroom time.  We all know that every student learns at their own pace.  We need our schools to better reflect that reality.

Families will seek out schools that…

          Enable their students to take more responsibility for their own learning.   Today, accountability rests disproportionately on the shoulders of schools and teachers.  That doesn’t make sense.  We must develop systems that support every student’s RIGHT to be responsible for themselves.

Families will seek out schools that…

          Allow ample time for personal relationships between adults and students – as well as between peers.  We know healthy relationships are essential to a quality learning environment.  We must be intentional about creating time and space for relationships.

          And, we must make it a priority to reclaim public school’s role to build community.  History teaches us we are at our best when we find ways to bridge our differences.  Public Schools are one of the places in which we can cross divides and learn from, with and about one another.

If we focus on creating schools with these qualities, I am confident we can deliver on the unprecedented goals we have set for our public schools – to prepare every student for schooling beyond high school and to enable every child to pursue their own potential.

But our schools and teachers can only accomplish so much on their own.  We must choose to support our schools.  Yes, with our wallets.  But, just as important, with our energy, our minds and our hearts.

This is what has made our communities and nation so great:  Our vigilance, indeed, our passion for investing in the next generation.

I am running for school board in honor of those who invested in my generation and because I want to be part of the effort to accelerate our progress toward schools…

          That families want

          Where students can thrive

          And, where teachers are appreciated

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