School District 51 District C race: Pat Kanda
■ Age: 59
■ Hometown: Grand Junction
■ Years in the Grand Valley: 59
■ Past board/committee or education experience: Served on the District 51 Board of Education from 1993 to 1997.
Q: Do you believe teachers should be paid based on their evaluations? If so, which qualities should be most important in the decision to boost someone’s pay?
A: Teacher evaluations are an important piece in determining teacher compensation. Student growth from year to year is key in determining the effectiveness of the classroom teacher.
Q: Do teachers need more instructional autonomy or should they teach the same lessons as other teachers in the district?
A: We need to use differentiation for educating the students of today. This differentiation is difficult to achieve if everyone is teaching a curriculum in just one way. I believe that the teachers should have the autonomy to teach the curriculum as they need to in order for the students to achieve the goals set by district policy.
Q: Do you believe local students are performing well? As a board member, how would you hope to contribute to improving their performance in the classroom and on Transitional Colorado Assessment Program tests?
A: I believe that the upper echelon of students are performing well. These students have active parental involvement and a drive to excel. These students will perform well in spite of us. We need to use 21st century technologies to educate our children, but not forget about basic skill sets that need to be instilled in the students beginning at an early age. By establishing policies that are more stringent than state standards we could influence a deeper level of thinking on the part of the students and place consequences on the students for their performance on TCAP (Transitional Colorado Assessment Program).
Q: Will you vote for Amendment 66? Why or why not?
A: I can’t support Amendment 66. The state of the economy in Colorado and Grand Junction is sluggish enough as it is, we do not need to burden taxpayers with another tax increase.
Q: Name an area where District 51 spends too much money. Also, are there any areas of the budget where the district should spend more?
A: After the last four years of budget cuts totaling approximately $30,000,000, I can’t believe that there are many areas where the District is spending too much money. I think we need to look at all the programs in the district to see if they are achieving the desired results.
Q: Are you in favor of longer school days and/or a longer school year in D51? Why or why not?
A: I think that both a longer day and a longer school year would improve the education of our students. Longer days would maximize our investment in the facilities of the district. A longer school year would allow teachers to teach to a deeper level in order to enhance and strengthen the level of learning by the students.