My Vision

I have a vision that supports the kind of real-world education our 21st Century learners will need to meet the challenges of a changing and very competitive world. I’ve formulated my vision for students in Mesa County through years of experience as an educator, and in the private sector. My vision, core values, and leadership skills are what drives me in my effort to ensure that School District 51 offers the best education possible to our kids.

The conditions of the 21st Century workplace demand that we offer multiple pathways for students and parents to access the education that is best for them. The economic conditions of today demand that we have a shared accountability to make sure our schools thrive, even when budgets are tight. Mine is a vision that brings together the entire community in that shared accountability, because it makes good sense for families, schools, and for the business community which is counting on a skilled, well-educated workforce.

My opponent receives his funding from organizations which oppose the changes and innovations that will help our kids succeed in the 21st Century. My opponent would keep us in the 20th Century, where school policies protect unions, instead of students. My opponent appears to more committed to his union donors, than to the vision of a great education for students in Mesa County.

John Sluder

A Balanced Education For Our Students

Do you feel that the school district has local control over of our student’s education?

Do you think that the skills required in the workplace of the future are being taught?

Do you think that if we throw a billion dollars at the current education system that it will improve?

I’m running for the District 51 school board because the answer to all of those questions is “No!” and we need to do something about it.

I’m a Colorado native and I have lived in Grand Junction for the last 25 years. I have been a businessman and  an educator for the last 15 years at Western Colorado Community College. Through my roles as faculty and mentor I have worked closely with high school and community college students and I hear their concerns about the quality of education they received in High School.

I am a proven educator dedicated to creating a balanced education for the students of School District 51. I will work tirelessly to protect local control of our educational systems in Colorado. I feel that the School District should have standards that are rigorous and directly connected to the unique needs of our students to prepare them for the real world of the 21st. century.

I am passionate about the opportunities that career and technical education brings to the Grand Valley. In many of the technical programs at the community college, we have industry recruiters offering students jobs even before they graduate. This is a testament to the quality and relevance of the course work.

My concern with the current secondary educational system is that we seem to be satisfied with only a 77% graduation rate. I am running to serve on the school board to address the obstacles facing those students who do not graduate.  I also believe that by increasing the opportunities for students to learn 21st Century skills, we can retain a larger percentage of graduates and move them into the proper workforce and higher education pathway.

I am for a rigorous academic set of standards but I also want to see us dial in the relevance to the real world. A good teacher does that naturally, but when we force a set of low level national standards, tied to high-stakes testing and teacher evaluations, you begin to look like an educational factory churning out this year’s model, defects and all.

Along with contextual education we need to develop independent critical thinking and personal responsibility to give the students the skills to excel in life.

I also feel that just throwing more money at the problem is not the solution. We need to fix the quality of education and be responsible with the current funding,  not just ask tax payers for more.

In closing, we need to expose students to alternative pathways to the workforce and higher education to show them why education is so important to their future. Local control, local curriculum, and great teachers can make all the difference in the world.

That is what I believe, that is why I would ask for your support to bring a Balanced Education to Mesa County.