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Meet University City's New School Board Member-Elect Rick Salamon

Rick Salamon says he has serious solutions to deal with problems facing the University City School District.

Rick Salamon will take his seat as University City's new school board member in April.

Salamon believes he is uniquely qualified to help the district, whose accreditation is shaky. As it stands, the district would not meet the state’s academic standards.

Salamon was a school teacher for 28 years and has also served on accrediting teams that evaluated schools. "I have a lot of experience in terms of knowing what to look for," he said.

Salamon said the district loses most of its points on student-achievement issues. He said academic performance will be a priority. 

"Teachers are taking a lot of heat for kids coming up short," he said. "I think much of that criticism is unjustified." Salamon said weak teachers are not at the core of the problem as many people seem to think.

Salamon said the district needs to expand its early childhood programs. He points to The Julia Goldstein Early Childhood Education Center. "The building is massively under utilized," he said.

He also wants to end what he sees as social promotion in all grade levels. He supports creating a transitional grade between kindergarten and first grade, for kids who needs additional time to catch up.

"If a kid starts off behind in the school system, they are just going to keep falling further and further behind and eventually they become your dropouts. I'm a real advocate of working early," he said.

As for discipline issues, Salamon supports the district adopting a zero-tolerance policy on inappropriate dress at school, such as “sagging.”

Salamon has lived in University City for close to five years. He taught grades 7-12 for 28 years.

Two incumbents, Rod Jennings and Stacy Clay will return to the School Board. Since there were an equal amount of candidates as available seats, there was no need to hold an election.

The School Board will meet tonight at 7 pm at the McNair Administration Building. On the agenda, an update on the accreditation status of the U. City School District.

Holston Black Jr. February 17, 2011 at 04:46 PM
Mr. Salamon has many of the same ideas that have been rendered over the years, nothing new.Apathy in this district as in many others is much of the problem, as exemplified by only three candidates for three seats. This community can't solve the educational ills of the country but we have to wake up and work on ours. With the diversity many of us keep talking about which is already here we need to use this to solve our community problems. Let's get our heads out of the sand and really make some efforts to help ourselves.
Sue Anne Whitener February 17, 2011 at 06:31 PM
As a teacher @ Julia Goldstein, I wonder if Mr. Salamon has actually been to our school to see the work we do with the children.....?? Sue A. Whitener
Rick Salamon February 17, 2011 at 10:43 PM
I toured Julia Goldstein several weeks ago with the building administrator . I am a strong advocate of Early Childhood education as I state on my website- ricksalamon.com . I believe the early childhood program is underutilized as stated in the article because there appeared to be room to absorb more students than are currently enrolled . I believe that more parents should make use of the program . As an incoming board member , I will continue to be a strong advocate for early childhood education .
Rick Salamon February 17, 2011 at 10:53 PM
While I cannot say what ideas have been advocated over the years, I can say that there are currently no transition grades in any elementary schools , that social promotion exists in UCITY schools as attested to by the low standardized test scores that the district continues to receive , and that dress code violations concerning "sagging " are rampant at the high schools . If these are similiar to what has been rendered over the years, why do these conditions continue to exist. I am confident that if social promotions were eliminated in the schools you would see within two years much less apathy on the part of students . I am in agreement that there are problems to address -that's why I filed for a seat on the school board .

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