District 5 Candidate
What do you think the next superintendent should prioritize?
The superintendent should prioritize student success including implementation of evidence-based literacy and math instruction and student mental health. Within these areas are great racial disparities and systemic inequities which will need to be addressed as well.
How would you repair and strengthen trust between teachers, families, and district staff?
I would be intentional about rebuilding relationships, including setting aside time to meet and learn from each other and establish a strong working relationship.
What do you see as the role of parent and community voice in decisions that affect the Minneapolis Public Schools? How do you intend to create inclusive, transparent processes (e.g., the search for the next superintendent)?
Family and community voice is central to maintaining family buy-in, building stronger schools, and increasing enrollment. Because families are busy and have unique demands we will need a multi-method approach to obtain feedback and engage families. I’ll encourage both formal and informal avenues including but not limited to in-person and virtual forums, calls to families, and survey/polling families.
What are your views on the science of reading? What priorities would you advance to ensure the district is improving literacy for students?
Evidence-based literacy efforts such as the science of reading are important to improve reading levels and measure their impact. I will support literacy programs that are either evidence-based and those that have strong practice-based evidence.
How would you ensure the district is financially sustainable? Given declining enrollment in recent years, how would you ensure the engagement of families and strengthening of enrollment in the district?
In order to draw families back to the district we have to implement strategies to improve student outcomes, especially for those with the greatest disparities, and market the schools’ unique strengths, including but not limited to, the diversity of students and experience. Additionally, I would look for opportunities to bring in more funding and resources into the district including the state and federal government, and philanthropic organization.
How would you measure and hold the district accountable in its implementation of strategic initiatives?
I would initiate a dashboard to track and monitor the impact of key strategic initiatives on budget, families, community, teachers, and across schools.
What does successful collaboration look like for a school board member? Who do you see as a resource? And how will you ensure that diverse perspectives–even those you may not agree with–are heard?
I would like to see a stronger working relationship with teachers and parents. To start, this could be achieved through engaging existing groups such as parent advisory councils like American Indian Parent Advisory Council (PAC) and teachers union.
What strategies would you advocate for to hire, retain, support, and develop educators of color?
I’m an advocate of hiring more teachers of color and offering more equitable pay and incentives such as more training time and continuing education, and mentoring from other BIPOC teachers and staff or contractors. Working within a primarily White system is hard and can be emotionally tasking; so additional support will be important.
Do you believe that every student should access grade-level materials and instruction? If yes, how would you ensure this access for all district students?
Yes, students should have access to grade level materials and instruction. There would need to be fundraising to make this happen, i.e., ensure access to materials and staff/teachers to support this effort.
How do you think the district should ensure every student belongs?
Creating a system where every student belongs requires having a diverse body of students and teachers from their communities. This will require hiring more teachers from diverse groups and rethinking the way in which enrollment takes place. Also, we need to analyze the impact of the rezoning on diversity within school and mediate the negative effects.
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