Brigham Young University Faculty Member
MM, Brigham Young University, 1979
BM, Brigham Young University-Hawaii, 1975
My past performance demonstrates my commitment to quality public education for Utah’s students: 16 years on Nebo School Board, 16 years on Mountainland Technical College Board of Trustees, 44 years teaching at BYU, former Associate Dean in the College of Fine Arts and Communications, Beverley Taylor Sorenson Advisory Board member, Oversight Committee for the revision of the Utah Core Arts Standards, Utah Arts Education Collective Impact Steering Committee, BYU Public School Partnership, guest teacher in 42 countries. Through the years I have partnered with Utah’s parents, students, teachers, staff, administrators, and community leaders to develop a shared focus on effective student learning. I build bridges of respect as opposing sides of educational initiatives are explored, vetted, and strategic plans are formulated and approved. One thing is certain! Your child, my child, our child must remain at the center of every discussion.
I will promote local control of public education. I will facilitate student mastery of clearly articulated academic standards with aligned assessments in all content areas of Utah’s curriculum framework. I will advocate for reasonable resources to meet the ever-increasing costs of a quality public education for the 21st century. I will work to provide supportive oversight through internal audits, designed to systematically evaluate the effectiveness of governance, internal control, and risk management processes. I will work to ensure USBE positively reinforces achievement by inviting local district and charter boards to communicate and raise awareness of the phenomenal
achievements in all Utah schools. I will promote simplicity in reporting and requesting information. I will encourage best practices through USBE’s current initiatives, including Early Learning, Safe and Healthy Schools, Personalized Teaching and Learning, and Effective Educators and Leaders.
This important question should be discussed at many levels. We must keep our children at the core of these discussions and strategically model end results as each proposal is explored. "Adequate funding" is a term that may be defined in different ways depending on one's perspective. A school teacher may see things differently than local tax payers. Legislators and parents may not always see eye to eye. Many argue that the appropriated funding are not making their way into the classroom. Where are they being shifted? As far as educational dollars go, the local district is in the best position to make well-informed decisions as to how resources are managed. Funding K-12 and high education is a costly task. With limited resources and so many children to nurture and educate, our challenges are many. But when Utah parents, educators, government and business leaders roll up their shirtsleeves and go to work, they are famous for finding solutions for Utah's children.
Utah schools are required to spend too much time testing. For instruments of assessment to be effective, they must be aligned with the content being taught. The wise teacher uses testing as a tool to assess how each student is learning. Based on the results of that assessment, plans can then be made to assist each individual student in their ongoing quest for excellence, mastery of content and confidence in their capacity to innovate, collaborate, think critically, solve problems and grow in their capacity as a life-long learner. The wrong test, sometimes manipulated to provide data that it was not designed to provide, often diminishes the effective use of limited resources of instructional time in the public schools. We must guard those limited resources so that we can focus on innovation and best practices which will ensure maximum growth for each child.
Rick Nielsen, Nebo School District Superintendent and President of the Utah State Superintendent Association has said, “Randy is the most student-centered educator and leader with whom I have ever associated. He is committed to excellence in education for every child and is tireless in his effort to support the educators who support children. Randy is a true champion of students and schools.” Whether partisan or non-partisan, school board members at the local and state level must maintain their focus on children. I am running for State School Board to ensure that Utah’s children will learn in a safe, nurturing environment where available resources are focused on considering and meeting individual educational needs leading to the growth and well-being of each child. Attracting and keeping excellent teachers, reducing class size, and supporting a curriculum addressing the whole child are critical components of quality public education in Utah.