Letter to the editor: Vote for school board candidates who prioritize academics

I know who I am voting for after reading all the Summit School District candidate bios this past week in the Summit Daily: Pat Moser, Kim Langley, Danielle Surette and Manuela Michaels. What do these four candidates have in common? They all listed academics as their No. 1 priority.

In 2021, only 36.6% of third graders and 37.8% of seventh graders in Summit School District met or exceeded expectations on the English language arts exam. In science, only 25.6% of eighth graders met or exceeded expectations. In math, only 23.8% of fourth graders and 26.5% of eighth graders met or exceeded expectations. Almost across the board, scores have been falling for all grade levels across all subjects in Summit County since 2016.

This is appalling.

In a country that used to be No. 1 in the world with our public education system, our community is just a reflection of the failing educational system in the United States. The Program for International Student Assessment in 2018 placed the United States 11th in science and 30th in math.

If we can’t get the academics right, nothing else matters. School sports, clubs, social issues — nothing else matters.

My personal hero Nelson Mandela said the following: “Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.”

I pledge right now to volunteer regularly in any classroom in the Summit County school system that could use my help. I challenge others in Summit County to make this same pledge. Please contact me if you’d like an extra hand in your class at any grade level.

Vote for the school board candidates that have the right priority: academics.

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