Hamilton, Clermont County, OH November 2, 1999 Election
Smart Voter

Pam Boedeker Answers Questions

Candidate for
Board Member; Forest Hills Local School District

Candidate Answers Questions on the Issues

The questions were prepared by the League of Women Voters of Hamilton County and asked of all candidates for this office.

Read the answers from all candidates.

Questions & Answers

1. What effect would the community (charter) schools have on the public schools in your district?

Already the Forest hills District buses approximately 7,200 students to over thirty-five schools! Furthermore, Forest Hills' open enrollment policy allows students in the distrcit to make application to any of its six elementary or two high schools, subject to space availability. Therefore, choice is not new to this district. By all criteria, Forest Hills would continue to ba an excellent school district with or without charter schools. Charter Schools would dilute funding to public schools. Legislators should hold charter and non-charter schools equally accountable to the same standards.

2. Evaluate the adequacy of support services, beyond state standards, presently provided for special-needs students in your district.

The Forest Hills' district motto is "Success for All Students". This motto applies to disabled students, at-risk students, average students and gifted students. Long known for its exceptional special education programs and services, Forest Hills has continued to be an advocate for special needs students. Education for special needs students is prescribed by an Individual Education Plan (IEP) which is required by law. Highly qualified special education teachers and parents work with the student to devise the learning program that will best meet the student's unique needs. In Forest Hills, the number of special needs students and the severity of their needs are increasing dramatically, particularly in the pre-school population. Funding from the state has not increased proportionately as services such as summers school must expand. Forest Hills is paying a significant cost beyond that which is provided by the state in order to meet the needs of its disabled students.

3. Has the use of proficiency tests in your school improved the education of students?

It is too soon to know the impact of proficiency tests. We don't know yet if they will affect student's attitudes and performance or if they will be associated with future success. Proficiency test requirments have prescribed assesment and testing, though Forest Hills had a comprehensive testing program in place long before proficiency requirements. Proficiency tests have standardized education. Proficiency tests have brought about curriculum and instructional changes. Proficiency tests have caused us, as a community, to look closely at specified areas. I question if the fourth grade reading requirement is developmentally appropriate. As a former teacher I sense that the mandated emphasis on proficiences has taken away from the creativity of teaching and learning. I wonder what the next steps will be as we are drawn into local regional and national comparisons.

Responses to questions asked of each candidate are reproduced as submitted to the League, but formatted for Web display. Candidates were asked to limit their responses to 300 words for all 3 answers. Simple spelling or typographical errors were corrected after confirmation with the candidate.

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Created from information supplied by the candidate: October 19, 1999 04:55
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