CMS Foundations – The Jim Peterson Game Plan

Be sure to ask your School Board representative candidate “What’s Your Game Plan?” – Hint: Most don’t have one.

Does your School Board candidate have a plan?

Here is the Jim Peterson Game Plan!

My focus is on Foundations within the CMS system.  I believe that Strong Foundations create Strong Futures.  That applies to our kids and CMS in general.  Right now our lowest performing schools are missing the mark on building those Foundations of Reading and Math.  


One staggering fact that keeps me fired up is that approximately 1 in 4 children in America grow up without learning how to read beyond a 4th grade level. Worse yet is that 2/3 of those students will end up on welfare and possibly jail.  That is completely unacceptable to me and will be one of my priorities once elected.  Yes, talk is cheap on the campaign trail, but I am an active leader with an active plan.  I am the only candidate that has an actual published game plan ready to start implementing once elected to the board. 


My plan to address low performance and struggling schools left over from our previous Board has multiple fissures that need to be worked at the same time.  


First, I am already working to rebuild the broken relationship with our County Commissioners and State General Assembly. Their trust in us is critical and I have been told by many of these leaders that I am the best District 5 School Board Candidate to continue rebuilding our partnerships. 


Second, I have worked with multiple teachers on determining what is their biggest need for success in their classrooms in terms of performance.  It is always a need for more time with struggling students.  There are different options to address this need. My first tasks are to continue reducing the size of classrooms and to get teacher assistants back in the elementary schools.  


Third, have you ever been to one of these external tutoring companies who are supplementing the learning our kids should be receiving in CMS?  I have and let me tell you, they are Always packed with the kids that can afford it.  Why is this an area we are not addressing within CMS and for all our children?  Not just the wealthy ones.  To simplify my discussion, let me just say that I will be working to bring that external tutoring back in house.  I am sure we have some teachers that would prefer to earn extra money helping their kids internally rather than being forced to take second jobs waiting tables.  Teacher salary increases and my plan to improve it is a complete other topic that I can address in future responses. 


Fourth item that will help give these struggling schools a boost is guided funding to attract strategic teachers and principles back to the system.  In the United States, 14% of new teachers resign by the end of their first year, 33% leave within their first 3 years, and almost 50% leave by their 5th year.  We simply cannot afford to keep losing our good teachers because of low pay, minimal respect, and terrible benefits. 


To sum this up, I have a strategic plan that requires our whole board to help execute.  We no longer can afford School Board members that are there just to talk or candidates that are only interested in promoting themselves.  I am an action leader and I am sure you will agree that we need an active board. As a team we can be the catalyst for change in CMS.  With leaders like Dr. Clayton Wilcox and other active School Board members we will finally make a difference for our kids.  My commitment is to Every Kid in Every School and this is just my beginning.   


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Peterson 4 CMS School Board