Radnor Patch has reached out to local candidates to find out more about them. Here is information from Bruce Lenthall.
Name: Bruce Lenthall
Running For: Radnor School Board Director
Party Affiliation: Democrat
Positions Held Previously:
None elected. However, I am the Executive Director of the Center for Teaching and Learning at the University of Pennsylvania, where I also serve as Advisor on Educational Initiatives to the Vice Provost for Education and teach in the History Department.
Why are you running for office:
I am running for School Board because we have vital choices to make for our schools and our community. We must choose what we want a Radnor education to be. We must choose how best to reach all of our students. We must choose how to provide our students with the skills in science, writing, math and reading to meet the challenges of the 21st century. And most of all, we must choose whether we will make the promise of education a reality or not. We saw this at the spring’s school budget debate, in which one side proposed a modest tax decrease – and the other called for chopping $2.3 million from the school budget, even knowing that mandated increases in future expenditures loomed. If we believe in the possibilities education can offer for all of us, we must choose to support those possibilities.
These choices matter for all of us because education matters for all of us. It matters for our students: the education we receive helps to shape the horizons and potentials of our lives. It matters for our community: a major reason Radnor is such a desirable place to live is because of the quality of our schools and the opportunities – personal, cultural and economic – that go hand-in-hand with them. Our high-quality schools are critical to maintaining our home values. And it matters for our political enterprise: we, the people, make the decisions to govern this country, and our educations help to give us the tools to make those choices.
But schools do not deliver on these values automatically. We have to choose whether and how to make the most of our schools. It is because Radnor is making these choices right now, that I am running for School Board – because we can build something as important as our schools together.
What do you think are the biggest issues you would face in office:
The new School Board will have the opportunity to focus its attention on the question of what our schools deliver for the community and to consider what we want our students to learn from a Radnor education. We will have to decide how best to provide a high-quality education for all of our students. This requires a nimble and flexible approach because our students are at different places in their development with different talents. We need to be able to teach our students where they are – recognizing that that varies across subjects and time – at the same time that we hold them to rigorous standards with an eye on where we want them to be in the future. And we need to determine how to do this in a financially responsible manner.
With a new superintendent in office and a new strategic planning process beginning, this is an apt moment to take on such a challenge. The current School Board has put Radnor schools on sound financial footing. While maintaining historically low tax increases (including a decrease this year), the board has prepared us well for to manage the major expenses that are forthcoming – required pension payments and building projects. That means we can now turn our ambition to pursuing what it is we want our schools to accomplish.
If elected, what would you aim to accomplish:
I am eager to join with the rest of the board, with administrators, with teachers and with the community to discuss what we want our students to learn and how they can best learn it. I aim to engage in discussions of our curriculum, including our science, technology and math teaching, as well as reading and writing. Our students should learn not just science, but to think scientifically; not just to read, but to see themselves as readers. We need to consider what it means to teach students to think critically and creatively – and how we can do so in an environment littered with standardized testing. As we ask such questions, I will seek to open up a discussion about how we develop our teachers and equip them to succeed. Excellent teachers are essential, and we need continually to push ourselves to help our teachers to thrive – so they, in turn, can do the same for our students, and, ultimately, all of our community.
Website/other information to promote: http://www.radnor2013.com/