That is the challenge that greeted two recently elected freshman Lake School Board members who took turns sharing with AARP Chapter 5199 and guests their observations about their initial attempt to tackle these issues at a recent forum in Clermont.
Stephanie Luke, a former Lake Schools' teacher and instructional specialist, who is currently a University of Central Florida teacher training instructor and supervisor, reported that her research into what made for a successful school board identified an expectation of success and cohesive leadership throughout as key requirements.
She is aware that "reliable selective achievement testing is necessary to track progress, but tests must be properly vetted to be sure that they are measuring only what we need to know."
Education must be broad based and there is so much to cover in today's rapidly changing world that time spent on too much testing can be counter productive, she suggested.
Marc Dodd, also a former teacher who came into the profession after experience in the entertainment and business world, pointed to the difficulty of re-directing a long-established culture of "the way things have been done" toward new ideas.
"it's like turning a big ship around in mid-ocean". Dodd reported that he feels he has found common issues and fixes with other board members that have already resulted in progress and he is optimistic about the future.
Dodd said he is enthusiastic about the pivotal role of teachers from his own classroom experiences.
He is especially aware of the critical importance of starting very young children off in their educational careers with high quality early childhood education.
AARP meets 1st Wednesday at 1 pm, September through June, at the Kehlor Building, 466 Minneola Ave, Clermont. For details call 407-656-4813.