Askew states his case to remain on School Board in Culpeper County

My fellow Catalpa district residents,

Iâ??m Sean Askew and Iâ??m seeking your vote to remain the Catalpa school board representative.

I believed back in May that the school system had issues to fix, which is why I applied to fill the Catalpa vacancy back in May. These issues require fact based policy decision making from full understanding of the issue at hand. In that, I mean we cannot afford to base policy decisions upon perception and limited understanding. This lack of understanding will cost us, the taxpayer, money.
By getting those facts and understanding, I will be a good steward of our tax money.

I support creating policies that would give teachers greater autonomy to do their jobs. To begin with, the school board is a strategic body and shouldnâ??t get involved in the day to day operation of a classroom anyway. Day to day is the job of the staff and we need to allow them to do it. Additionally, in order to work in our current system, teachers go to school for four years and must have a teaching certificate that requires some classroom experience which means they know what they are doing. Washington and Richmond like to tell them how to do their jobs. The last thing teachers need is a school board member that is getting too involved in the classroom or putting too much administrative work on their back. This will cause us to lose staff just as quickly as a lack of pay. Teachers want autonomy and donâ??t need more â??helpâ? from politicians.

I support smaller class sizes, which reduces staff workload with the goal of better results for the students. Smaller class sizes can increase staff retention by decreasing their workload and increasing effectiveness. Smaller class sizes also allow for better and more parental interaction and involvement, which increases teacher effectiveness. Through smaller class sizes, we can foster the development of a more effective parent-teacher team. Parental involvement is one of the issues I identified as an issue during my interview. It in general is waning and has a heavy effect on student success. I support creating policies that will encourage parental involvement which has tremendous impact on student achievement.

I support creating policies that would attract and, just as importantly, maintain current staff. Maintaining staff is integral because it is a cost savings itself. Specifically, we wonâ??t have to spend money in order to hire replacements and more money to train them. Maintaining staff also improves student success because staff is more experienced.

I support your children, who need the skills to be successful. To make them successful, we need policies that will attract and keep staff, provide a better classroom environment and save us money. These policies come from a full understanding of the issues. This understanding is what I want to continue bringing to the board.

Thank you for your time and I appreciate your vote.

Sean Askew