October 2, 2003 - Grand Junction Sentinel: Colombia RPCV Dan Robinson serves on School Board in Grand Junction Colorado

Peace Corps Online: Directory: Colombia: Peace Corps Colombia : The Peace Corps in Colombia: October 2, 2003 - Grand Junction Sentinel: Colombia RPCV Dan Robinson serves on School Board in Grand Junction Colorado

By Admin1 (admin) on Thursday, October 02, 2003 - 12:16 am: Edit Post

Colombia RPCV Dan Robinson serves on School Board in Grand Junction Colorado

Colombia RPCV Dan Robinson serves on School Board in Grand Junction Colorado

Well-rounded students aim of school board candidate
By GARY HARMON The Daily Sentinel

School District 51 has to look beyond the test-oriented Baldridge management model as it aims to provide education to 20,000 students in the Grand Valley, said Dan Robinson, who is seeking a second term on the school board.

Robinson, who represents District B on the board, is the only incumbent in the November school board election. He is challenged by small-business owner Gary Roahrig and retiree George L. Hurd.

The district has become enamored of the Baldridge model which aims for incrementally improving performance on the Colorado Student Assessment Program to the detriment of other aspects of education, Robinson said.

Test scores are important, he said, but there is a limit to what the district can do to achieve high scores when 40 percent of its students fit into the lower socioeconomic strata of the valley.

Mandatory summer school and "aggressive and innovative interventions" are needed when those children fall behind, he said.

Nonetheless, he said, the district has done much to improve test scores, including bringing five of six district schools up from the needs-improvement classifica- tion.

The district must look beyond the test scores to make sure its graduates are well-rounded and prepared for life and citizenship after their school years, he said.

One way of approaching that goal, he said, would be to settle on a health curriculum aimed at issues well beyond sex education. Nutrition and the health costs of inactivity need to be addressed, he said.

Robinson said he expected that Deep River School, which has been at odds with the board, will achieve charter status. Robinson, who was the most reliable voice in favor of two charter-school proposals, Deep River and Nuestra Escuela, said charters have to be handled with caution because they can bankrupt a district.

It's too early to say where and how the district should build schools, but Robinson said the district was studying its buildings and that negotiations were under way to acquire land for school sites. The Pear Park area, he said, is the most dramatically overcrowded area in the district.

Robinson said that the board of late had been too willing to discuss matters behind closed doors.

"I think we overused attorney-client (privilege)," he said. The board can talk more freely on several subjects, he said.

"Generally, as much as possible needs to be discussed openly.

Robinson, the director of the Grand Mesa Youth Service Center, was elected to the board four years ago. He has been a teacher in Connecticut, a member of the Peace Corps in Colombia and is a former juvenile coordinator for the Mesa County District Attorney's Office.

{M4Gary Harmon can be reached via e-mail at gharmon@gjds.com.

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Story Source: Grand Junction Sentinel

This story has been posted in the following forums: : Headlines; COS - Colombia; Secondary Education



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