Improve Academic Performance

Establish priorities and prepare students for success. Ensure curriculum that matters.

  • WHY CHANGE? Look at the facts.
  • Graduation rates are the lowest in the area.
    • CV, 96%
    • Big Spring, 94%
    • South Middleton, 90%
    • Carlisle, 88%
  • Math and Reading proficiency results reveal improvement is needed.
    • PSSA exams in 2022 (3 – 8 graders) Across the district - More than 30% below proficiency in English, More than 44% below proficiency in math.
    • Keystone exams in 2022 (11th graders) 38% below proficient in Algebra, 30.9% below proficient in Literature, 66.9% below proficient in Biology.
  • Block scheduling was implemented following COVID and may need to be revisited as well as other scheduling changes like the “Bison Block”, which has become a study hall. (See footnote #1)
    • With block scheduling, students are in a class for over 80 minutes at a time. Various studies show the attention span for high school students is no more than 48 minutes.
    • AP course materials are cut short and often not fully covered under this scheduling policy.
    • The weekly schedule disadvantages students greatly if they miss a day of classes (particularly if the class only meets once/week); missing a day of classes in the current rotation makes it more difficult for students to make up for lost class time.
    • Parents regularly complain about the current scheduling policy.
  • HOW TO CHANGE? Action steps the Team for Change is prepared to implement
  • Being proactive in curriculum and classroom materials would mean greater transparency in curriculum. Improve curriculum transparency by requiring online access to actual and all curriculum used in classrooms; curriculum review of all extra resources, handouts, and book lists ahead of classroom use.
  • Attention to reading practices in elementary schools by mandating the Science of Reading, also known as Structured Literacy, as the only approach for teaching reading through the elementary grades. Ensure all elementary teachers are trained in teaching the Science of Reading so students are well prepared for 6th grade and beyond.
  • Require a review within the first 180 days of all math curriculums being used in the elementary grades. Students need math tools and skills. Basic understanding is essential; devices and computers can’t replace the power of the mind.
  • Issue a policy within 90 days of being sworn in, eliminating block scheduling at the beginning of the 2024-2025 school year.
  • Carlisle is a diverse district, we believe every student can learn and improve academically.
VOTERS have a choice.
End the status quo and implement policies that set students up for success.

Improve Fiscal Accountability

Actively manage the general fund; minimize future tax increases.

  • WHY CHANGE? Look at the facts.
  • History shows 16 years, since 2008, of school taxes being raised (source: Cumberland Co. and Carlisle Borough Tax records).
    • In 2008, the democrat controlled Board continued the trend of increasing taxes, including the years of recession starting in 2008 when no other nearby/surrounding school district raised taxes. Paula Bussard joins the Board at that time and the trend continues.
    • Bruce Clash joined the board in 2016 supporting the tax increase trend.
    • In the last four years, Bussard, Bruce Clash, and John Tarrant have overseen continued tax increases.
  • It is the job of the School Board to approve the budget. The Board holds the superintendent accountable for the proper transparent execution of the budget. Current Board reports lack transparency and most Directors remain complacent and uninformed regarding budget execution.
  • Teacher Aids were contracted out during the past four years resulting in a loss of quality support to teachers with no apparent current savings.
  • ACTION STEPS: Team For Change will bring budget committee practices in line with best practices that allow open discussion of budget line items.
    • Real transparency will be implemented with actual numbers being published publicly by requiring Monthly Budget Reports that reflect actual costs incurred in the current month and year to date by budget account.
    • Conduct a review of administrative positions and evaluate each position's contribution to educating students.
    • Conduct a review of teacher aide positions and qualifications for the positions in contrast to services being obtained under the current contract.
VOTERS have a choice.
This Board has a record of tax increases without improvements in student success. It's time to change and actually manage the CASD budget in favor of the taxpayers and students.

Improve Board Communication

Listen to and follow through on concerns of parents and others.

  • WHY CHANGE? Look at the facts.
  • School Board meetings are open to the public, but the public input is not addressed and followed-up on.
  • ACTION STEPS: Team For Change will implement a response policy requiring the Board to actually listen AND respond to the community it represents.
    • The public is encouraged to attend and participate at Board meetings. Access to the agenda prior to meetings will be improved.
    • Signing in at a Board meeting is standard. Providing one’s e-mail on a voluntary basis will allow for a response from the Board in a timely manner and hold the Board accountable.
VOTERS have a choice.
They should be heard not just at the ballot box, but have more interaction with the Board they elected.



1, Block scheduling research

Zepeda and Mayers (2006) after reviewing multiple published studies on the use of block scheduling at the high school level, found that block scheduling has generated more debate than any other reform effort or approach. These researchers identified research finding that block scheduling has a negative impact on student achievement. Knight, De Leon, and Smith (1999) found AP (advanced placement) examination scores dropped after implementing block scheduling. Cobb, Abate, and Baker (1999) found that standardized test scores dropped significantly after implementing block scheduling.

On November 7, 2023 vote
for the CASD Team for Change!

Vote for Colleen Blume, Walt Brown, Dawn Kephart,
Heather Leatherman and Al Shine
for Carlisle Area School District Board

Or request a Mail In Ballot by Oct 31st