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Expanding curriculum options

There is a finite amount of classroom instruction time and many competing demands about what to teach. Some argue that schools should concentrate more on STEM education, while others favor additional literature, writing, arts, and/or civics education. What areas of the CASD curriculum are you most proud of and where would you like to see the district invest more resources, time and energy?

Expanding curriculum options

Moving forward, there is no doubt we must do more with STEM education, particularly math.

The mission of our district is to give all students the opportunity to succeed. It’s not a false choice between prioritizing college-bound students over special education students, or career and technical education students.

Our opponents would have you believe our schools are “failing” because we don’t focus enough on “the basics”—that’s as insulting as it is untrue.
• FACT CHECK: contrary to their cherry-picked stats that lack accuracy or context, our students score above state averages in reading, math, and science.
• They say we should teach more civics, phonics and “the science of reading”—FACT CHECK: we already do all three.
• They’ve pledge to “eliminate block scheduling” in the first 90 days—the problem with that, it’s an effective tool to give struggling students more individual learning time, and let Honors and Advanced Placement students explore personalized academic interests.

Carlisle has a wonderfully diverse student population--some college focused, others succeed in career and technical education, while others plan to enter the military. Education is not “one size fits all.” We must do our best to balance available resources with the needs of all students.

The Carlisle Area School District does a lot well when it comes to curriculum and program offerings. Our District offers students with different skills, abilities, and aspirations many options to pursue in whatever path is right for them. For example:

- 1/3 of our students are enrolled in one or more career and technical education programs and we have over 100 community and business partners who help with internships.

- CASD just won a 2023 Outstanding Visual Arts award; we consistently win annual civic engagement awards, and our students win numerous local, state and national awards in a variety of fields.

- We recently added a financial literacy course as a graduation requirement. And we increased Honors and Advanced Placement courses, which is reflected in the fact that more than 500 high school students received academic honors last year.

Despite what our opponents say, Carlisle area schools are not failing. In fact, CASD students and teachers do amazing things every single day. But we do faces some tough challenges, like pandemic learning losses, economic disparities, and student mental health needs. Our community deserves a school board with real, concrete plans to address those challenges head on--not partisan talking points and political agendas.

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