Darlene Clarke is running in Ward 5 for the Parkland School Division Trustee Election.
A new face is hoping to bring a parental voice to the Parkland School Division.
Darlene Clarke is one of the newer people on the ballot running for a Trustee position in Ward 5. Clarke has lived in the area for 16 years and after bringing her own kids up through the schooling system, she see's her grandchildren in school as well. Her decision to run for a position on the board came as a concerned grandparent.
Clarke was always active in her children's schooling, being involved in several school councils and sub-committees. Through participation within the schooling system, Clarke gained valuable knowledge and formed strong parent teacher relationships. She adds, she may have seen challenges with the school boards and her kids as they grew, but the challenges that are coming to the forefront now, bring her more concern.
Clarke hopes to bring the voice of a concerned parent to the board. She believes not only her parental experience, but her experience in business management are key factors which will help her in a trustee position. In a one-on-one interview with One News, Clarke notes, "I know the value of teamwork, good communication and dedication".
In terms of issues, Clarke says there are several she hopes to address if elected, such as transportation, but three major issues stand out to her. The first being curriculum standards, and the study of core subjects. Speaking to the changes in curriculum Clarke states, "We are leaving behind traditional educational programs with proven track records, that are being replaced by unproven theories, failed results called discovery learning, our children, their education and their experiences are not a social experiment".
Clarke's second big issue is the grading system and how it impacts learning. She believes the schooling system needs more quantifiable results and percentile grading is key in tracking a students progress. Clarke continues by saying the "no zero policy" doesn't work and parents and students need more transparency on where their child stands. She adds, "We need to periodically assess student progress so that we can maintain quality and control by ensuring the continued use of percentages and lettered grading throughout all grades".
The final issue she drives home is the parents involvement within schools as she see's this as something that is being taken away. She notes that parents and caregivers will always have the best interest of their kids at heart and school can not operate without the authority of parents. Clarke continues, "I believe that the best way to providing a welcoming, caring, respectful and safe learning environment in schools in through welcoming and encouraging active parent involvement and participation".
In closing, Clarke addresses the challenges she faced while her kids were in school are fairly similar to the challenges her grandchildren face, but she adds, "The solutions that we found always came out of inviting a partnership between parents, teachers and schools, and bottom line, parent involvement is essential".
To hear the full unedited interview with Parkland School Division Ward 5 Trustee Candidate Darlene Clarke, click the player below.