I have sent surveys to each of the candidates for Fox C-6 School Board, and I will publish the responses I receive. The first survey is from Dr. Robin Hanson (Facebook page here).
Connection to district: I have a son who attends Hodge Elementary and a daughter who attends Fox High School. I am not connected to anyone in the district, employed by the city, nor do I have any connections to any current school board members. I moved to Arnold because I had heard that the Fox C-6 School District was a great district and I still believe that is true. I adopted my son from foster care and at the age of 8 he still could not recite his ABCs. The staff and teachers at Hodge have been absolutely amazing in their interaction with my son and within two years he was caught up with his peers.
What is your reaction to the scandals that have rocked the Fox district over the past year?
It’s a shame, but you always hear the bad things that happen and seldom the good. I still believe in the Fox District because we all want the best for your children and our community. The school board is in a position to oversee and hold our administrators to task for their actions. This is their responsibility and we as a community must insist that they fulfill their duty or step aside so that others might.
How would you rate the performance of the Fox School Board over the past 5 years? Over the past year?
The problems that have come to attention in the Fox School District did not start overnight, but have been building for years. I believe that the board finally sees that their actions have allowed the mismanagement of the district and that has come out this last year. Adopting a policy of no longer hiring family members is a start, but long overdue and there are many other areas that need to be addressed in a manner clearly visible to the community.
What does the leadership of the Fox district have to do to regain the public’s trust?
First – admit they should have provided a more hands-on management style that would have stopped many of the financial issues the district now faces.
Second – transparency is a must. The recent Fox School Board Meetings that only take 22 minutes for business are unbelievable. For a district that has nearly 16,000 students, major financial and ethical issues, and a new superintendent, the meeting should take much longer because of all the business being conducted. The Board must start providing more information to the community.
Third – Be accessible to the community, the teachers, parents, and students. Be visible, be approachable, and be pro-active. Be the change. I practice what I preach – I have a Facebook page (Dr. Robin A. Hanson) that provides an opportunity for the community to comment and ask questions as well as learn more about who I am.
What changes will you push for if elected?
- Opportunities for more interaction with the public, school staff, and students. It’s going to be easier to provide proper oversight if board members understand what’s going on.
- More information provided by the board in their board meetings. The board needs to bring business issues up for discussion in front of the public. I understand there are privacy issues that must be observed, but there are many other issues that should be accessible for open discussion. I would also want the board to provide some time for the public, in attendance at the board meeting, to comment on the business at hand. I believe this will lead to more community involvement in the district.
- Shift of financial focus on providing necessary books and technology for our students. My daughter came home one day with her A&P Anatomy and Physiology lab book held together with a rubber band. The fact that college-bound students have to put up with less than acceptable textbooks is disgraceful. I bought six copies of the lab book and sent them to school with my daughter to share with the other students.
- Increase the pride we have in the Fox C-6 School District. We’ve taken a bit of blow to our integrity as a district, but that’s only a momentary setback. I want to see the board members at the front of the push to bring integrity and pride back into our district and we can do this by making sure students have what they need to succeed academically, that teachers have the tools to do what they do best – teach, and that our administrators remain on task with support from the board.