By Al Beeber on September 8, 2021.
Dave Gurr sees problems coming with the proposed K-6 education curriculum and he wants to stand up for the students and teachers who will be affected by it.
That’s one reason why Gurr is running to be a trustee on the board of the Lethbridge School Division.
Gurr, a fourth generation butcher who plies his craft at London Road Food Market, is a parent of two young children and he has a third on the way.
He feels strong leadership is needed to help the school division get through challenging times for education in the province.
Gurr has personal experience adapting to changes in curriculum. When he entered high school, the province’s math curriculum had just changed and a teacher told his class that the first two rows were going to fail.
Gurr recalls that his teacher was right and he was among those who failed initially but he went on to ace his accounting courses later in college.
And he’s concerned about the long-term fallout from the government’s plans to change the K-6 curriculum.
“We’re not getting these kids to understand the basics,” he says adding children shouldn’t be expected to learn fractions as early as Grade 1.
“We’re asking them to figure it out in Grade 1 and if you don’t figure it out in Grade 1 and you get to Grade 5, what do you do?”
“When you look at the curriculum, there are lots of pretty words but it sucks,” says Gurr bluntly.
Even adults, says Gurr, have a problem handing out correct change now after a business transaction, which is a result of the current math curriculum.
‘It’s carnage,” he says of the difficulties some have.
“We’ve got to work together and find better ideas because at the end of the day you’re helping the kids and that’s what counts. It’s getting a good education for those kids. The government talks about fiscal literacy, which is great but we’ve seen those math scores plummet in Alberta,” Gurr says.
“A big part of my run is also to start looking forward towards the future for these kids in the trades as there has started, and will continue to be, a huge drain on experience in the trades. As a division, we need to put a higher emphasis on trade work to allow our kids, especially in the junior and senior highs more access to experience them so they are set up for the opportunities that will be there shortly.”
He also believes in giving back to the community. Gurr serves on the city’s subdivision and development appeal board and spent six years on the board of directors of the Galt Museum and Archives.
“That’s one thing about being part of Lethbridge is especially when you’ve been in the community as long as I have, and my family has, you’ve got to give back. You’ve got to say ‘How can you give back to your community because your community has supported my family for many years in different aspects?” Gurr says.
Gurr believes his business experience will help on the board.
“Part of running a business is strong leadership and fiscal responsibility,” says Gurr, adding the board needs trustees who have a strong backbone and are willing to stand up for what’s right.
“A guy like me can think outside of the box,” he says .
“Part of running the business is strong leadership and fiscal responsibility. They’ve got about a $132 million budget, that’s not chump change, that’s a big budget. And in the last fiscal audit that they did, one of the biggest points that was brought up was school generated funds. That’s something they I.D.-ed that they were lacking and that’s where a guy like myself who can think outside the box can sit there and say ‘hey you know what, what haven’t we tried.’ The board’s the big thinkers. That’s what people need to remember.”
The cost of city busing is also an issue, he said.
“So (we) can offset some of those costs by thinking outside the box to get some additional revenue going through the school system. It comes down to strong leadership. You’ve got to be voting for someone like myself who has a backbone, who aren’t afraid to stand up and say ‘no I disagree with this or I think we think we need to move this away.”
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