Elevate the voices of children and families in public education discussions.
Parents are a child's first and fiercest advocate. Though children spend eight or more hours a day at school, parents still know their children best and love them the most. Unfortunately, old ways of parent engagement make it difficult for every parent to be informed about issues that have long-term impact on their child.
We must commit to respecting and elevating the voices of parents and children in our education conversation.
The Every Student Succeeds Act requires public schools to engage families. Read more here.
What are my strategies to elevate parents’ voices?
Consistent communication through email and print newsletter about SBOE events, in parent-friendly language.
House and community meetings to discuss parent priorities and current policies before the State Board of Education, and gather community input about specific decisions.
Consistent presence at school events.
Provide a high quality school option in every neighborhood
Our ward serves over 15,000 students among 30+ traditional public schools and charter schools. Over the years I have visited many and talked with children, families, teachers, and school leaders about what makes a high quality school. What have I heard from our community? From families: great teachers, rigorous curriculum, and enrichment activities. From teachers: supplies and relevant professional development. From school leaders: more resources for teachers and families, modern facilities, and a responsive school administration.
Many of our Ward 4 schools have many of these elements. My bold vision is that all of our schools are well-resourced. An equitable public school system presents families with quality school options in their neighborhood, around Ward 4, and around the District of Columbia.
How can we provide a high quality school option for every child?
Increase teacher retention by improving professional development and revising IMPACT evaluation system.
Increase principal retention by extending one-year contract.
In partnership with parent organizations, lobby before the city council for funding schools’ equitably. “At-risk” dollars must be used for “at-risk” supports.
Increase access to quality early childhood programs, and dual-language programs.
SAFE Travel to a beautiful school
When our children leave the house for school in the morning, they step into a bustling urban environment: hundreds of commuters traveling to Metro stations or the bus, and thousands of cars driving on Georgia, Missouri, and Kansas Avenues. The condition of the school they arrive at emphatically conveys a powerful message about how much we value them and their education.
When we say we care about all kids, we must demonstrate our convictions with visible evidence: active community presence that keeps them safe as they travel to school, and beautiful learning spaces when they arrive to learn and grow.
How can we ensure safe travel to beautiful schools?
Coordinate with DCPS and Department of Transportation to ensure all cross walks in high traffic areas are properly designated with stripes and signs.
Develop supportive partnership with Metropolitan Police Department to increase presence in immediate neighborhood surrounding schools.
Coordinate with Committee on Education to increase transparency in school modernization framework.