Oberlander focuses on education

Ms. Oberlander, in center, poses with Homecoming king Iain Edmundson, Homecoming committee co-chairman Izabella Horzempa,  Student Body President Blake Reinken and Homecoming committee co-chairman Alexis Tatore.

Ms. Oberlander, in center, poses with Homecoming king Iain Edmundson, Homecoming committee co-chairman Izabella Horzempa, Student Body President Blake Reinken and Homecoming committee co-chairman Alexis Tatore.

Jill Oberlander, Democratic candidate for State Representative from the 150th district, continued her “Listening Tour”  this week by meeting with educators, parents and students to discuss the Greenwich public schools.

“We already know that we have a lot to be proud of when it comes to our education system,” Ms. Oberlander said. “A recent report by Newsweek ranked Greenwich High School fourth in the state, up from 11th place. And in 2013, four of our public schools, Eastern Middle School, International School at Dundee, North Mianus School and Riverside School, were named Schools of Distinction. The state of education in Greenwich is strong. “

Ms. Oberlander, the daughter of a public school teacher, said she would fight for more state funding to support district public schools and their programs. She said that education was “the pathway to opportunity” and praised the work of Superintendent of Schools William McKersie, his staff, the Board of Education and parents. Ms. Oberlander’s meetings included time with Dr. McKersie, PTA Council President Lisa Harkness and other stakeholders.

Amongst the topics discussed was the Common Core federal standards, which have been a subject of much debate and will be the topic of a League of Women Voters meeting next week. Ms. Oberlander called them “an important way to measure students’ abilities and also to compare our schools with others in the state and across the nation” but said she didn’t want them to be only metric used to assess student and school performance. She added that she did not want to burden teachers with unfunded mandates.

“Jill supports allowing teachers to develop student growth goals,” her campaign said. “And we should have multiple ways of assessing student improvement along the path to college and career readiness. Jill will advocate for a reasonable amount of testing, and explore ways to alleviate excessive testing in 11th grade. We want our teachers to be the best at what they do so our students can excel to their maximum ability.”

Ms. Oberlander also met on proposed construction at New Lebanon School where overcrowded conditions have forced the district to either consider a renovation or a new school. Ms. Oberlander pledged to make sure the community’s input would be considered in developing the final plan and that, if elected, she would advocate for the maximum allowable state funding for the project.

Ms. Oberlander’s listening tour also took her to last Saturday’s Homecoming parade and game at Greenwich High School where she met with students and parents.

“Greenwich’s bright and energetic students not only have great school spirit, they also possess great civic spirit,” Ms. Oberlander said. “Although only some GHS students are of voting age, their collective enthusiasm and belief in the ideals of democracy is inspiring.”

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