Vancouver resident Phil Kronebusch offers his support for Evergreen School District board candidate
Editor’s note: Opinions expressed in this letter to the editor are those of the author alone and do not reflect the editorial position of ClarkCountyToday.com
I’ve been attending Evergreen’s school board meetings for the past year and a half now with Gary Wilson. He’s been coming to them much longer and has the knowledge of our school boards shortcomings and has a plan to get our district’s academic standards back to respectability.
Evergreen, once the best school district in the county, now has the worst percentage of students meeting academic standards in all three academics (English 37.6%, Math 26.9% and Science 35.7%) of all 9 Clark County school districts.
Since 2016, Evergreen has been declining each year overall in the 3 academics hitting rock bottom at 33% for 2022 and 2023. His opponent blames the pandemic (which did not help), however, Evergreen has dropped every year since 2016 showing the 4 years before the pandemic we were dropping every year. We need solutions not excuses.
Gary has solutions. First, he wants to compare our curriculum’s K-12 to Camas and see where they are different and if that explains part of the disparity between Camas averaging 70% overall in the 3 academics compared to Evergreen’s 33%. Camas Math students are at 64.2% meeting standards compared to Evergreen at 26.9%. Gary has also answered the critics saying Camas is just too affluent to compare to by projecting our low income % of students on to Camas which does lower their Math % of students meeting standards from 64% to 54%, however, Camas when comparing apples to apples is still over twice as proficient at teaching their students Math compared to Evergreen. Again Why?
Gary also wants to look at each of our teacher’s percent of students meeting standards for the past 2-3 years starting with Math, our lowest score. If some are averaging 26% and other teachers 50%, what can we learn from the successful teachers? How can we help the underachievers?
Also, if we’re averaging 26% some teachers are sadly likely to be averaging less than 10% of their students meeting standards. What do they need? More classroom help, more academic training? This analysis will help identify areas of strengths and areas of concerns. We can’t fix the problem if we don’t know where to concentrate. Gary will do the hard analysis and hold administration accountable and help give teachers the ability to discipline their classrooms.
We also need more para educators and Gary plans on cutting more heavily in admin positions by streamlining and possible admin salary decreases in the future to funnel those funds down to para’s. We need to raise our academics and that is not going to happen with the recent trend of cutting closer to teacher positions while keeping admin in-tact.
Finally, I’m an eye-witness to The Columbian lying and accusing me of words I did not read aloud in Gary’s place at a library board meeting last December. Gary, I and other eyewitnesses have public record requests proving that what they wrote is a distortion of the speech I gave. The Columbian has every right to express its own opinions, but not to characterize a formal speech without simultaneously representing its explicit content. Vote and tell your friends that Gary Wilson is the person for the Evergreen School Board Position 3 for much needed change. Our kids deserve it.
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