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January 26, 2013

Candidates show down over scholastic issues

CHICKASHA — Two candidates for the Chickasha School Board, Office No. 2, attended a question and answer forum at the Chickasha Public Library on Thursday evening. Two of the candidates, Bruce Storms, current Chickasha School Board member and Ryan Copeland, Chickasha Public Schools educator were in attendance. The third candidate for the position, Michael R. Ibsen, was not able to attend. The forum was moderated by Bruce Treadaway with the Oklahoma Education Association.

Meet the candidates

Storms said that he has been on the Chickasha School Board for 12 years, and has enjoyed it. He has two daughters who are teachers, and has had a lot of exposure to the education system.

Copeland, who has been a Chickasha Public School educator, said that, from the outside, he sees room for improvement.

"It's time for some change and I hope I can bring that," Copeland said.

Chickasha's "C" grade

Storms said that the new system has been an adjustment and that grading systems often come with changes. For instance, with the new system, attendance played a larger role, with attendance being counted for both teachers and students.

Storms said he expects the system to be tweaked over the next two or three years. Currently, the schools in Chickasha have implemented strategies to prepare students for the tests. Overall, Storms said he feels the school system has made great strides in the past five years.

Copeland said that the testing systems and standards that are handed down are not always created by educators and that things that look great on paper don't always work in the real world.

Everyone needs to work together, Copeland said, to make the system work. He suggested that a five year plan may help educators as well as board members to keep up with changes handed down from the top. Copeland proposed that a recording system, in which teachers note changes or needs for improvement, may be a useful ongoing tool.

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