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A Personal Journey

I shared with the 16th St. Heights Civic Association why running for State Board of Education is a personal journey to serve our children, educators, and families. 

In fourth grade, I struggled to master the concept of fractions. I looked at the sliced pizza drawn on the chalkboard and I didn't get it. In 2018, PARCC scores show there are still many fourth graders (29.4% proficient in math) who are struggling as I once did. 

The State Board of Education has the responsibility to monitor students' progress toward academic proficiency, and college and career readiness. I am encouraged by Bold Performance Schools in Ward 4, Truesdell and Barnard Elementary schools, that outperformed expectations on the 2018 PARCC assessment. Let's hear more about what's working.

One day in fifth grade, I came to school with my hair not quite "done". In the busy-ness of getting ready for school, either I or my mother--a working teacher, mother of five children--forgot to brush and braid my hair. My teacher quietly pulled me aside, took care of my hair, and sent me back to my desk to work. She cared about me looking my best, so I could do my best. The State Board of Education must focus on retaining and developing effective, caring educators. 

Recently, as an operations manager, I had the opportunity to sit side-by-side with a young mother to figure out how to get to school from her temporary home. There was no easy path to travel from one end of the city to the other, but we pieced it together. In a resource-rich city, we can do better. 

The State Board of Education can advise city agencies to align resources to remove barriers to school attendance for our most vulnerable families. 

President Obama said ordinary people can do extraordinary things. I am infinitely encouraged by the extraordinary work we ordinary people can do for our children, educators, and families.