The answers to some of your most frequently-asked questions:
Do you support the plan to close Hoover?
As a member of the Facilities Master Plan Steering Committee, I was one of two people to vote against closing any schools. I voted against closing schools because the capacity numbers developed by BLDD are ideals, not attainable goals. Making a decision to close a school based on something other than realistic data is not a choice I can support.
I also think that the school district has a tremendous responsibility as a steward of public resources to: 1) spend money carefully, and 2) to use these resources to invest in sustainable community development. Closing Hoover meets neither of these criteria for me.
Do you support the Diversity Policy?
I agree wholeheartedly with the goal of creating better socio-economic balance in our schools, especially at the elementary level. I am willing to work with the existing policy to achieve this balance. If, however, we find out that a certain piece of the Diversity Policy is precluding us from getting closer to our goals, I am open to revising it.
Beyond the Diversity Policy, I see the need for several other measures before we reach any sort of true equity in our education. Closing the racial and economic achievement gaps on our standardized tests and other measures, improving school climate, and addressing disproportional representation of students of color in special education and the school discipline process are just a few of the areas we need to keep our focus on. The Diversity Policy may very well help with some of these concerns, but it doesn’t allow us to check “equity and diversity” off of our to-do list.
I don’t trust the district. Why should I trust you?
We are coming off of some very tough years for our district. Resources were low, long-term planning was nil, and straightforward solutions were in short supply.
I feel confident that in two or three years, the board and the administration can earn this trust back. Investments in our facilities throughout the district, better long-term planning and maintenance, and stronger attention to communication and transparency are improving. (Not perfect! But improving.) On the board, I will make certain we stay committed to these principles.