Candidate Profile: Jeffrey Rentzel runs for School Board Seat B

Published: Sep. 7, 2021 at 4:41 PM AKDT
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FAIRBANKS, Alaska (KTVF) - Jeffrey Rentzel is running for Seat B on the Fairbanks North Star Borough School Board.

He said he is running because he is not pleased with the School Board’s performance. “We have a lot of issues, mainly being amplified by the Corona pandemic,” Rentzel said, “But the teaching level on the students and their ability to read and write are really upsetting. Alaska has been in last place for quite a few years, and it doesn’t seem to be changing, and I think the School Board needs to look at why we are teaching kids and they are not learning reading, writing, arithmetic, which is not preparing them for the future and preparing them to be productive citizens in the state.”

If elected to the School Board, Rentzel said, “I would look into ways that we can get less distractions in the classroom and concentrate more on reading, writing and arithmetic. Unfortunately, we have so many special interest groups that want to put their classes, their curriculum and lessons into the classroom, and ultimately, they’re not concentrating on teaching our students.”

He added, “The special interest groups have entered the classroom, and not that they don’t have a place, however right now we’re last place in school performance in the United States.”

Rentzel said he checked PEAK scores for West Valley High School from the year 2019. “50-60% of those students that were tested were not proficient in reading and math, and if we are producing students that are not proficient in reading and math, how do we expect them to get jobs in our community? How do we expect them to be productive citizens, and how do we even expect them to go to college? It’s really upsetting, especially considering the amount of money that we spend on each student, and we’re producing students that can’t read and do math. If they’re not productive in our community, then they become a burden on society.”

According to Rentzel, as a Juvenile Justice Officer for over thirty years he’s seen the results of a student not receiving an education that helps them to get a substantial job that allows them to make a living. “They end up committing crimes, and again, like I say, that becomes a burden on society.”

Speaking of troubled cases he’s come across, Rentzel said, “The common denominator with most of those children in there was that they had troubles in school, they got expelled from school, they caused fights in school, and other disruptions, and part of the reason that was is because they were being left behind. They were being shut out. They were not getting the attention that they should have in order to correct those deficits.”

Rentzel says he wants to be a voice for parents and students in the community. “Parents, first off, need to take a strong stance on their child’s education. They need to really look at what they’re being taught or not being taught and become very active. Active parents have a tendency to have children who do more or better in school.”

Rentzel is running against incumbent Chrya Sanderson in the municipal elections on October 5th.

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