Friday, October 24, 2008

Vote for Max Laird on November 4th

Must we wait four more years for the eventual retirement of the current Superintendent of Public Instruction, Wayne Sanstead, to see the change in educational leadership our state so desperately needs? And when he finally decides to step down, will there be a candidate as capable and ready as Max Laird? I'm not sure we should take that risk. After six terms in office, it's time for a change. Max Laird offers a fresh outlook and deep experience gathered from his 27 years in the classroom.

Laird has the energy, drive, and enthusiasm to advance new ideas--innovation that will bring North Dakota forward into the 21st century. In the mere 14 years I’ve been teaching, I’ve witnessed profound changes in education. Max Laird, understands those changes because he works with students and teachers daily. He is able to recognize the unique problems schools in our state face and the increasingly varied needs of students. It is one thing to implement federal mandates such as No Child Left Behind; it is quite another to be on the receiving end, seeing the problems it presents. Max understands both perspectives.

I teach with Max Laird and I've had the opportunity to witness how he can challenge an idea the rest of us fail to question and then lead us through a discussion that brings forth new ideas, out-of-the-box ideas, that make us better for it. Laird is not only a leader, but also a team player, willing to get his own hands dirty. As Superintendent of Public Instruction, you won’t find him reclining in his chair, his feet up, until it's time for his nap. No, Max Laird will be working for YOU--for your kids, for our teachers, and for our schools all across this state.

Wayne Sanstead has failed in his goal to make North Dakota education “the envy of the nation.” We’re losing many of our best teachers to other states’ more competitive wages. We see quality teachers opting for early retirement because the current educational mandates, which do little to serve students, sap their passion for teaching. And we have “failing schools,” schools that need both financial support and new approaches so they have a chance for success in the future. Sanstead says he's committed to making the changes we need, but in six terms he has failed, time and again. What will change now? With Max Laird in office we have a chance at fulfilling that goal. Max Laird is the clear choice on November 4th.

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