Because of the "equity" movement that has swept the country over the past few years, the old institution of Standardized Testing is under assault. Public education and university officials have increasingly moved away from testing students to screen them for acceptance to more rigorous coursework, such as "gifted and talented" programs (G.A.T.E.), Advanced Placement classes, and Calculus pathways in mathematics. But in the most dramatic turn yet applicants to both CSU and UC may no longer submit SAT or ACT results to demonstrate aptitude for college. Today at Chico Unified and in California, standardized tests are only given for the enlightenment of a student's parents and teachers as to the child's learning and grade level, but the tests have no little to no bearing on their class placement or G.P.A. With this abandonment of standardized testing, it is now a question of "when" not "if" the quality of education in California will diminish at all levels.
We as a school system no longer have the option to "punt" an under-performing student over to a standardized test, allowing them to rise or fall on their own merit. We are living in a world where time-tested measures for objectively rating our effectiveness and aptitude are being eliminated, and Chico Unified will need to have integrity as we take on the task of educating every single child who comes through our doors.
There is still quality education to be had in public schools -- including those run by Chico Unified -- and at public universities, but parents and students will need to be fully informed about what realities might limit our actual learning as students make the progression from kindergarten to career. For those who for whatever reason are not called to college, we should ensure they are shown the full gamut of Career Technical Education (vocational) options that are available at CUSD.
As someone who still values teaching fundamentals of education -- the things that will materially benefit our precious little ones as they work their way to a productive and stable life -- I will bring value to the Chico Unified School District. A measured degree of "Diversity, Equity and Inclusion" is sensible, but I fear that a hyper-focus will lead to a degradation of our educational programs generally. I can confidently say I'm the only current Board member, and the only candidate in this race, who will prioritize academic integrity, bringing more value to our kids and society in uncertain times.