Dist. 200 Hopefuls Turn Attention to Basics Candidates Focus on Curriculum, Methods
Gutowski, Christy, Daily Herald (Arlington Heights, IL)
Byline: Christy Gutowski Daily Herald Staff Writer
GRAPHIC: District 200 Race
Six candidates seek three seats on the Wheaton Warrenville Unit District 200 school board. Unlike past elections, the candidates all support a tax increase for building expansions and repairs. They differ, however, on some curriculum issues. Here's a look:
Raise high school graduation requirements in core subject areas like math, reading and science; increase number of in-service days for teacher training.
Eliminate whole-language approach to teaching reading; prefers phonics; suggests district look into year-round schooling.
Push for more consistent delivery of curriculum across schools and within grade or course levels; more timely review and purchase of textbooks. School system should set higher educational standards.
Science curriculum in most need of improving. Supports more teacher training, as well as evaluation on their success in teaching the curriculum.
Review reading and math programs; infuse foreign language in elementary grades; raise high school graduation requirements to include fine arts and technology; promote more parental support in middle and high schools.
Develop districtwide study standards; provide more consistent delivery of curriculum across schools and within grade or course levels; more timely review and purchase of textbooks; more money toward talented and gifted programs.
Source: candidate interviews
The last time Wheaton Warrenville schools upgraded its social studies texts, Ronald Reagan was president, the Iran-Contra scandal dominated headlines and Oliver Stone's "Platoon" won best picture.
Plans for the overhaul were shelved years ago because of budget restraints. The 1986 copyright - along with others that date back to the 1970s - shocks school board candidate Robert Infanger.
"Countries have come and gone in that time," he said.
A more timely review of textbooks is just one curriculum initiative being pushed by some candidates in the Unit District 200 school board race.
More phonics. More homework. More graduation requirements. More teacher training.
The platitude of "raising the bar" is a popular one these days as candidates turn away from brick-and-mortar debates of past elections and talk more about education.
Six candidates are vying for the three, 4-year seats in the April 13 election. …