Posted: Aug 16, 2012 at 10:00 AM [Aug 16, 2012]
Businessman, former Chamber Board Member, announces Board of Education candidacy.
Dale R. Leslie, a veteran former business owner and Chamber Board member, announces his candidacy for the Ann Arbor Public Schools Board of Trustees (Education). Leslie Office Supply, Inc. was a Chamber member throughout its 36-year operation and Dale served consecutive terms on the Executive Committee of the Chamber Board of Directors, 1988-89. It was during his tenure that the board decided the Ann Arbor Area Conference and Visitors Bureau should become a separate entity from the Chamber. Later, he returned as Marketing Director and oversaw the Chamber's hallmark program, Leadership Ann Arbor.
There is one opening this year on the school board. The election is on November 6th. The main plank of Leslie's platform is to:
- Analyze, address and repair the Michigan Department of Education designated achievement gap (report dated August 4, 2012) in 27 of the Ann Arbor district 33 schools;
- Analyze, address and review the program of Community HS who achieved Reward status by the State for high student achievement and for overcoming the traditional barriers to student achievement;
- Determine how letter grades correlate with family income and class size, a theory I espouse, and address with further study for action;
- Establish a level of communication and dialogue with the AAPS, business and labor in addressing the skill set of our children for proficiency in the 21st century;
- Identify and mutually understand the bidding policy by the district and recognixe the importance of school contracts to local business and the economy.
- Answer the board's Number One Priority of lack of trust and respect among board members with an immediate plan of action; and
- Restore a Field Day at all schools patterned after the Logan Elementary School's successful annual fun and cohesive-building event. What do I remember best about fun in school? Field Day!
My style is less rhetoric and more action and a recognition that teamwork far surpasses the productivity of individual fiefdoms. I am not out to re-invent the wheel, but to grease the axle and push ahead, for instance through advance board preparation. Why can't the agenda for the next board meeting be posted on the AAPS website the Friday before the meeting? Suggest a length-of-time budgeted for each agenda item. In this fast-changing world, the board does not have the luxury to spend its sessions with a focus on harmony. Next year (2013), the insatiable learning appetite is with our first group of teenagers and younger students born in the 21st century. Should the AAPS be utilizing a 10-year-old Biology textbook in the classroom as was recently revealed to the Trustees? Is it fair to provide our 21st-century students with information that is over a decade out-of-date? Why does the board chair admit that her request for a report on the date of publication of the texts utilized in the district is allowed to go unanswered? Stay tuned.