Birnbach wants more innovation

COURTESY PHOTODavid Birnbach.

Incumbent School Committee member David Birnbach is seeking another three-year term, hoping to continue to advocate for greater innovation in the Andover Public Schools.

When asked why he chose to run again, Birnbach listed his aspirations for the school department, and said he has the experience to deliver. He said he wants to continue to urge the schools to introduce new computing and engineering programs, many of which are already having great success in other districts.

"I think it's increasingly important that we expose our students to the computing and engineering fields at the elementary, middle and high school levels," he said.

In working to do this, Birnbach said, he has already worked to build relationships between Andover's schools and nearby universities, introducing the town's high school students to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Harvard Ed-X program, which works to give kids exposure to university-level online courses. He said that he has also introduced Andover to the high-tech industry, leading students to participate in a high school coding program with Google, Microsoft, and Code Academy.

Birnbach continued to say that the schools currently are not as "consistent" as he'd like, saying that the learning experience varies depending on who a child's teacher is.

"Currently, there is too much of a range of experiences that our students have in the classroom, meaning that one year students may have a thrilling learning experience because their teacher has been able to deliver or create an exciting classroom," he said, "and the next year, that same group of students may be bored in their learning experience because the teacher doesn't maintain the same high quality level of teaching.

"We need to be bringing about more consistency in the delivery of our curriculum across all grades, so it doesn't matter if students have one teacher versus the other."

On Full-Day Kindergarten: "I think we should find ways to incorporate full-day kindergarten as part of our main operating budget, to make it free. It should be part of our offering to the community."

On Andover's Special Education Program: "I think we need greater transparency. We need more experienced administrators in the special needs programs and we need better reporting systems that give the school board better visibility to the performance of the special needs program."

BOX: 

Name : David Birnbach

Age : 54

Address : 86 Osgood St.

Running for: Three year school committee seat

Children: Jacob, 12

Marital Status: Wife Beverly

Profession: Teacher at Massachusetts Institute of Technology's Sloan School of Management's Global Entrepreneurship Lab and Head of Mobile Strategy Group

Political experience: Served four terms on the Andover School Committee

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