Hi there Sioux Falls,
My name is Peter Vaughn Pischke and I'm running for a spot on your School Board this year. When I was 18 I got sick with Chronic Pancreatitis and had my eyes opened to the problems of students who don't fit the traditional student mold. I learned that many of our students and their families struggle in our School District due to chronic issues like learning disabilities, mental development problems, low income, single-parent households, discipline problems, immigration status, poor health (like myself), and other issues which makes being a typical student very difficult.
There are many great teachers in our School District that do their best to help. However, despite their best efforts often the School structure, technology, and Common Core curriculum get in the way of teaching their struggling students.
Therefore if I'm elected to be a member of your school board I will do my best to get the following changes:
Let us make it possible for our students to be able to learn and work on school work irregardless of their situations. This will be done by reforming our technology in schools, allow for more distance learning and flex-learning, make school time for student work much more flexible, and cut any and all Red Tape that gets in the way of the relationship between the teacher and student.
Reform the technology that is used by our students and teachers. Money that is being spent on Smart Boards (which are basically glorified projector screens that cost in the thousands of dollars) will be used to make sure that the internet used by students at school is as lag free as possible. Though the Google Chromebooks are a step in the right direction, any laptop-like product that breaks when you put it inside the designated carrying case backwards needs to be relooked at. This product needs to change and/or the contract with Google needs to be renegotiated to cover the costs of fixing these Chromebooks so often. Lastly, unless internet content is for adult websites and gambling, the controls over which websites students can visit needs to be removed. At the college level Netflix and YouTube are used as often as any other website for teaching purposes. So why shouldn't we use them similarly?
3. Get Rid of Common Core
The Common Core curriculum is a complete mess. Both educators, politicians, news organizations, on both sides of the American political spectrum have strong issues with it. The math standards are non-sensical with no memorization of even the most basic math practices such as the multiplication table. The weird method of using strange visual puzzles to teach math is making this subject harder than ever before to teach students with learning disabilities. English standards focus on cold-reading, that is reading a text without the neccesary historical and philosophical context. Control over what books can be taught and shared by teachers is strict. In fact, all things curriculum about Common Core is strict. The worst part about this curriculum is the strong control it holds on how and what teachers can teach. This makes the expertise and experience of our best teachers and long-time teachers worth much less .
Because of a 2015 federal law, it is now possible for the State of South Dakota to get rid of Common Core and not be punished monetarily for it. The Sioux Falls School District should go to the Governor and the legislature in Pierre to firmly press them to get rid of the Common Core standards completely. In its place should be a new curriculum that together as a School District and a state we decide on instead of what the folks in Washington D.C. give us!
4. Make Lunch Edible
If we fed our teachers what the students are given everyday there would be a riot and a strike on our hands. The "food" we give our students is disgusting in looks, taste, and nutrition. Students need energy and nutrition to focus on school work. With so many students without access to food at home it seems silly to serve this incredibly small amount of food.
I hope on April 12th you will join me in helping our School District to put all of our students first irregardless of their status, problems, health, mental faculties, or anything else you can think of. With about 1/2 of our students receiving free/reduced lunch it is strongly apparent that we as a city need to make sure that our teachers are equipped to best help those students who are in the worst and best situations.
- Peter Vaughn Pischke,
Candidate for the Sioux Falls School Board
Here is some media for you to consume so you can get an idea about what I stand for!
Thank you to the Chamber of Commerce and the League of Women Voters for inviting me to the forum on March 31rst. The Argus Leader put in a sort of summary about what happened there: http://www.argusleader.com/story/news/education/2016/03/31/sioux-falls-school-board-candidates-forum/82465404/
Also here is summary of some of our policy points: http://www.argusleader.com/story/blogs/learningcurve/2016/04/01/heres-what-school-board-candidates-want-you-know/82509726/
Here is a nice report by KDLT News about myself and the other School Board candidates at the Democrat Forum. http://www.kdlt.com/news/local-news/meeting-the-sioux-falls-school-board-candidates/38697990
This website is my own creation and is paid by myself: Peter Vaughn Pischke. If you have a burning desire to contact me please check out my Facebook page or email below. I'll do my best to answer your questions as I can. Plus I got some signs if you want one :0)