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  • Writer's pictureRachel Langan

Foundational Pillars Part Two

Today we’re talking about the foundational pillars that support our mission at Back to Basics. The five pillars (Transparency, Parental Rights, Finances & Fiscal Accountability, Keeping Politics Out of the Classroom and Academic Excellence) provide a lens through which we view educational issues locally, regionally, and nationally. In the coming weeks and months, we will provide examples of how our district is handling issues that are related to each of the pillars.

  • Transparency refers to how forthcoming our district is in their communications. This covers everything from what is stated at board meetings to communications between the district and individual parents. We believe that the district should be as transparent as possible, in as many areas as possible, from curriculum to finances, and from discipline to school safety, to name just a few.

  • Parental Rights. Are you familiar with the phrase in loco parentis? It’s a Latin phrase that means “in place of parents”. When our children walk into a school building, the school is functioning in loco parentis throughout the school day. Where is the line between parental rights and in loco parentis? Do parents abdicate their rights to the school under in loco parentis? We will be exploring this topic in the coming weeks and months.

  • Finances & Fiscal Accountability Have you ever tried to read through the board packet that accompanies a school board agenda? These documents are hundreds of pages long, and the financial portion of the document is cumbersome and difficult to understand, even for those who enjoy financial challenges. We intend to examine the district’s finances more closely in an effort to help all of us better understand how and where our tax dollars are being spent.

  • Keep Politics Out of the Classroom Public schools exist to educate children. How much of the school day is devoted to education vs the teaching of political ideologies*? We’ll examine the trend of politicization of education, and we will continually call for our classrooms to be apolitical spaces for our children. *Discussion of political topics has a time and place within schools, such as within Civics of Government classes.

  • Academic Excellence How much of our district’s budget is allocated for academic endeavors? How much time at each board meeting (or how much of any given board agenda) is devoted to examining and/or improving academics? How much of the school day is focused on learning vs PSSA and Keystone test prep? We believe that the WCASD is equipped—with excellent teachers and ample funding— to provide each child with an excellent education. In the coming months we will be examining trends in education and we’ll be asking how these trends pertain to academic excellence.

Which of the pillars do you think is most important? Let us know in the comments below!

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