Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Tim Osborn for Alpine School Board (What It's About)

The 2010 general election is about five weeks away. I'm running for a second term on the Alpine School Board, representing American Fork and part of Pleasant Grove.

I've worked hard for the last four years to provide an excellent education to the children and youth of the Alpine School District, while limiting the burden on taxpayers. I have listened carefully to many parents and others who have come to feel that the district is uninterested in their input.

The district and its schools have many strengths and some major challenges. We've seen important improvements in the past four years. For example, I've been a major force in improving math instruction in the district. Schools may now choose their own math curriculum, rather than having to use one which was popular with the administration, but which many parents, teachers, and students could see was not working well at all.

Math was a crucial issue in my last campaign. The major question in this campaign is related, but even larger: Do the public schools belong to the public or to the administrators? And who, therefore, determines the educational philosophy of the public schools, the public or someone else?

There is a sense among the rest of the Alpine School Board that our job as a board is essentially to approve whatever the district administration brings to us. On many occasions they have reminded me that asking hard questions or imposing our own will as elected representatives “undermines the administration.”

It's important for the school board to support our teachers and administrators, yes, but we should do so from a position of leadership. The public schools belong to the public, and school board members are the people's elected representatives to govern the system in the people's behalf – not to serve the system without question.

This conviction puts me on the losing end of some 6-to-1 votes, and I have acquired a reputation for disagreeing with the rest of the board on some important issues. But, with your help, I'd like to keep working for the people for four more years.

Thanks for your support.