A new vision for the students and parents of Idaho – Idaho EdNews

Parents, teachers, community members, and business leaders deserve an engaged leader with a strong vision to actively connect them to funding and program support. As Superintendent of Public Instruction, I will lead Idaho education with honesty and transparency to empower parents, strengthen local control and prepare our students for the workplace needs of a growing state.
Traveling the state over the last several months, I’ve heard the struggles of many groups. Often what I hear is frustration on many different levels. However, that frustration is mixed with hope for a vision that strengthens the value of an Idaho education. Idahoans want to have confidence in the education of their children with a statewide leader they trust.
My education goals have been created from my interactions statewide, and my recent editorial explaining my vision for Idaho education provided valuable feedback and productive discussion. What I’m hearing continues to prove my most basic but important goal for education in Idaho; the need for unity, driven by effective and collaborative leadership.
One of the biggest challenges and opportunities school districts will face in the coming years is meeting parent expectations. Whether parent involvement was ignited by a COVID school year, one thing is clear: Parents want to know what their students are learning and how that learning environment looks. I can provide leadership to repair the deep educational rifts and the breakdown of trust between parents, districts, and the state. Parents have shown they’re willing to be part of the solution, and I will show parents they have a statewide leader who is a partner in ensuring each child has their best opportunity for success.
Across the state, a lot of great work has been done for school and home engagement. I can propel the hard work being done by local school leaders and inject the energy needed to fuel the learning and growth of Idaho’s kids. With local innovation, we can provide our children the education that enables their individual successes and collectively keeps every Idaho community a place of opportunity for generations to come.
In November 2021, nearly half of school board trustees up for re-election lost their incumbency. The newly elected board members are excited about the future and bring new energy to local districts. They, too, desire and deserve a visionary leader. Under my leadership, local stakeholders can expect a visible, consistent presence that provides direction and will work to re-establish trust between state and local education systems, leading out efforts of local districts to build trust in their communities.
I believe in Idaho— our students, parents, teachers, communities, main street businesses, and industries. Success in the classroom means a prosperous future for the people of this great state. That’s why I’m seeking your support as the Superintendent of Public Instruction. My commitment to you and Idaho’s educational system is driven by a clear vision of restoring value to an Idaho education.  I am humbled and motivated by the support I’ve received. I recognize that Idahoans endorse my candidacy because I’m dedicated to ensuring our public school system prepares students with the skills and values it takes to be the neighbors and workforce Idaho needs. I respect parents as the primary stakeholder in the education decisions of their child, and that parent role strengthens local control. I am anxious to provide the leadership and vision Idaho’s future deserves.
Debbie Critchfield, former Idaho State Board of Education president, is a Republican candidate for State Superintendent of Public Instruction.
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