Friends, Colleagues, and Neighbors,
I hope the fall is treating you all well. The weather is finally cooling down and the windows are open.
With the election less than 7 months away, I wanted to put more focus on why I am running. I am a parent and an educator. What I want most out of education is for my children to be critical and creative thinkers. I want them to be thoughtful about their decisions. I want them to be able to consider information and make informed decisions. I want them to be active members of our democracy.
We have excellent schools in Columbia County. Many of our students test at the highest levels. But, high-stakes testing is not enough. While the need for remembering information, understanding it, and applying it where it is appropriate is important, we need our students to be able to analyze information and evaluate the quality. We need our students to be able to consider various viewpoints. Ultimately, we need our students to be able think creatively and solve problems. We need our students to be doers.
This is what I want for my children. This is what I want for all children.
I order to do this, we must consider measures of success other than high-states tests and constant evaluation. We must allow students to make mistakes and not be punished for them. We must allow teachers the freedom to create meaningful learning environments that are not about the accumulation of information, but the use of information to solve problems, generate ideas, and be thoughtful citizens.
We can make our excellent schools better. We can loosen the shackles of constant testing and evaluation and move toward an innovative school system that is looking forward, not living in the past.
My name is Andrew Kemp and I am running for the Columbia County School Board for District 3. Please give me your support by donating or volunteering for my campaign.
With the exception of a year, I have been a teacher or a student for my entire life. I have taught on many different levels. I have been a middle school teacher (okay, for one semester for student teaching...because of this, I have a profound respect for middle school teachers), high school, undergraduates and graduate students. I have coached soccer in youth leagues and high school. Education is in my blood.