By Alan Brinkmeier
I’m pleased to be a School Board candidate in the April election. I invite the three other candidates to share their ideas on these pages.
I want to share my thoughts and I promise to have an issues based campaign.
In my opinion the level at which schools are funded affects student performance. More responsibility for purchasing educational resources at the local level will correspond to student achievement. This has been true in Europe, Asia and here in North America, especially in the last generation. I’m persuaded by looking at numerous studies on this point that this thinking is especially true in the sciences and in mathematics. The statistics bear this out.
Students perform considerably better when responsibility for purchasing educational resources resides with a solid level of local government support.
In my almost two decades of studying the concept of higher education as an Elmhurst College Trustee I have learned, I am convinced, and therefore I believe regarding education the crucial question is not one of providing more private funded resources by way of user fees and cost assessments but by improving the institutional environment in which our schools function. Spending more money within an institutional system that sets poor incentives will not improve student performance. Save the money. Throwing money at it will not change outcomes.
A first goal must be established in setting proper incentives which, when done effectively, will solve some and hopefully many of the problems that face our public schools at the present time. This is done at the local level. We can't look to Springfield for Elmhurst answers. We need to listen to parents and teachers and formulate a proper, forward thinking incentive strategy immediately.
I look forward – if you voters see fit – to bring new ideas and broader perspectives to the discourse about our public education in Elmhurst. The youth in this town are among those I have volunteered hard for these past many years. In the order of my priority, students must come first in our planning thoughts and in our budget decisions.
Alan J. Brinkmeier