It’s been a while, so I thought I’d dust off the old blog here to discuss some of the highlights of my platform. I’m passionate about many issues impacting public education. However, I felt it better to focus my time and energy on promoting specific changes I would like to see as a parent, an advocate for public education, and an active member of my community.
At the top of my list is Student Representation. I want to hear more from students themselves when it comes to policy making by our School Board and Administration. Chesapeake is one of the few cities in the Hampton Roads area that do not have a student representative appointed to advise them. Students have a unique perspective on policies that impact their education and ignoring that perspective results in shoddy guesswork. Our Superintendent and Administration do solicit feedback from students and their families on occasion—often through informal listening sessions or online surveys—but our School Board should be taking a more active role in these productive dialogues. What we need to do, as a School District and City, is incorporate student voices into every discussion possible. If one of the primary goals of public education is to mold our students into well-rounded Citizens, then involving them in these processes provides them an opportunity to become intimately acquainted with their local government.
Close behind Student Representation is the Restoration of Trust in Public Education. I want to see to it that trust in our local School District is restored and maintained because this trust is vital to the work of our Educators, Support Staff, and Administrators, just as it is essential for the success of our students. There are many differing opinions and theories regarding the reasoning for the public’s distrust of the public education system, and I believe there may be at least a kernel of truth to most of them. The erosion of trust between the public and our institutions of public education has been a decades-long process, only intensifying in the past several years. I feel confident, however, that those elected to sit on our School Board are capable of rebuilding and safeguarding that trust by demonstrating qualities such as grace, integrity, and empathy through their engagement with the public and their decision making.
Third, but by no means any less important than Student Representation and the Restoration of Trust in Public Education, I feel strongly about Ensuring Federal, State, and Local Resources are Distributed Equitably and Intuitively to ALL areas within our School District. I want to have a hand in guiding those resources where they will provide the most benefit to the entire City of Chesapeake. Our public schools are also grossly underfunded, so what little resources the School District receives must be used wisely and effectively. I passionately believe it is not enough to lobby for increased investment in Public Education from the Federal and State levels, we need a School Board willing to put pressure on our City Hall to find ways to adequately fund the needs of our students, Chesapeake Public Schools employees, and our communities, without placing new and undue burdens on Chesapeake’s taxpayers.
As a candidate for Chesapeake School Board, I want to offer more than fresh ideas—I want to offer the Citizens of Chesapeake a pathway to realization of those ideas. For me, that pathway involves well-reasoned policymaking, active engagement with the public, and a passionate commitment to seeing things through. With this pathway in mind, I’d love to share my vision, and my inspiration, for Public Education in Chesapeake. So, over the next several blog posts, I plan on discussing, at length, my thoughts on Student Representation, the Restoration of Trust in Public Education, and Ensuring Resources are Distributed Equitably and Intuitively.
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