Craig To the editor:
Our world is changing rapidly and our education system is struggling to keep pace. Demand for a highly skilled and educated workforce is growing, 20th-century jobs are falling by the wayside and the global marketplace is a reality. But, as a commissioner for higher education, I know we are losing too many kids and wasting too much talent. Nationwide, about one in three students drops out of school before graduation and many graduate unprepared for college and work. I also recognize that support of public education and quality early childhood programs is an investment in a better Colorado and one that I plan on making a priority if elected to the Colorado State Board of Education, third congressional district.
Kids are my business.
I believe in putting kids first and propose a whole child approach that ensures each child is healthy, safe, engaged, supported and challenged. Common sense and research tell us hungry kids can't learn, scared kids can't think and bored kids don't thrive. Putting students at the center and aligning resources to their needs engages them in learning and prepares them for a bright future and prepares students to be productive citizens through a seamless preschool through post-secondary system.
Schools can't do this work alone. I will work in cooperation with superintendents, staff, community groups, members of education organizations, state and local policy makers and others to help increase funding for kindergarten through 12th grade and higher education, educate the whole child and support public education and make it a state priority. I will promote and support reforms that will provide for a system P-20 of schools that are accountable to the communities they serve.
• Adequate and equitable funding of public education is the most important state priority. We must have adequate resources to produce desired results. Colorado's investment in K-12 and higher education are below national averages and, for me, below average is not good enough!
• I believe investing in our youngest learners is essential so we must fully fund full-day kindergarten and additional preschool slots.
• Provide strong accountable leadership and governance with a coherent and aligned comprehensive plan for public P-20 education in Colorado.
• Increase high school graduates that attend Colorado colleges.
• Revamp our expectations for students to meet the challenges of a global economy, 21st-century skills, and promote emotional and physical well-being as well as creativity, critical thinking, foster life skills in our students and support multi-pathways.
Jill L. Brake
Candidate for State Board of Education, Third Congressional District