Where do I stand?

Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion 

The systemic disparities in education are not thing of our past. Although more than 75% of students in CPS are minority, systemic inequalities still exist. Records show that students of color are disproportionately disciplined, have unequal access to academic resources, and have inadequate facilities where they learn. But minority students do not face these challenges alone. More than 80% or our students come from economically disadvantaged households. Many of our students face challenges for being non-binary, non-heterosexual, being international, or having a disability. Creating an inclusive district requires us to expand our efforts to embrace all our students, expand accessibility, and work with our students to provide the resources and assistance they need. We must strive to ensure that every student feels welcomed as they pursue their education. When we fully embrace diversity, equity, and inclusion for students, teachers, and staff, we begin to build a district that prepares our young people to be the leaders in the ever-growing, diverse world they will navigate in the future. We must look at each student as future leader and not as a problem child, a threat, or criminal.   

Diversity Students

Community building

What this last year should have taught us is that we cannot educate our students in a vacuum. We need the support of the community. When we work to forge relationships and build more opportunities for our students to learn, they take that knowledge with them. They become the engineers, doctors, writers, and teachers of the future. They will be the community builders of tomorrow if we build the connection to the community today. That means working with our local community leaders, businesses, and colleges to expand opportunities. We see the results of community building in almost every school in our district. Our community partners are working with our students, parents, and teachers to provide housing, food assistance, health care, and other basic resources. Expanding those services and building upon those resources will give our students the best chance to succeed.

Image by Hannah Busing

Investing in tomorrow

Our schools build the foundations for our future. When we put the time, effort, and resources into our schools we see the reward in the students. When we do not invest in our students and teachers, the results are clear. If I am elected, I will work to bring the community to the table to ensure our students can rise to their highest and maximize that return on our investment. Building upon Community Learning Centers models and the Vision 2020 program will expand the impact that CPS can have in a student’s life. Bringing resources and education that opens new opportunities to the students in our neighborhood schools is part of the solution to closing the gap between the opportunities at magnet schools and those at neighborhood schools. If we are truly investing in tomorrow, we address the concerns of today while keeping an eye towards the challenges of tomorrow. 

Image by MD Duran

Technology in the classroom

In this last year we have seen schools invest in technology to continue to teach the nearly 36,000 students who attend K-12. But so many of our students will return to classrooms without sufficient technology to enhance their learning. We need to use technology and the things we have learned to build our future. Although, we cannot forget that far too many of our students live without the basic technology that many of us take for granted. Going forward, I want to work with students, parents, teachers, staff, and our local business leaders to make our district the most technology inclusive district state of Ohio and bridge our resourced deficit. Updating technology will make our classrooms more accessible for students with disabilities, remove the barriers created by illness, exclusionary discipline, and other conflicting challenges many of our students face. When done properly, technology can open the flood gates of knowledge and expose our students to worlds they could only dream about. We must use technology to bring hope back to our classrooms and to expand parent interaction with their child’s education.  

Image by Arthur Lambillotte
School Resource Officers 

The relationship between School Resource Officers and some of our students continues to be challenging one. Historically, SRO were first introduced in the 1950s to improve the relationship between law enforcement and the youth of the community. The hope was that SRO could play the role of teacher, counselor, and law enforcement. However, today officers are seen simply as law enforcement and do not have a relationship with our students as originally intended. The only way we change that is to change how SROs function in our schools. SROs are needed to help students battling unsafe travels to and from school, drug and alcohol abuse, sexual assault, and bullying within the school. But SROs can do more than that. They can be a part of the positive school activities, talk with and listen to the students more, and be more familiar with the businesses and community that surround their school. Making school safer requires a level trust and understanding that does not exist. As a Board member, I would push to transform the role and responsibilities of SROs and follow more of a community model. SROs must be trained in dealing with youth, should promote efforts to problem solve the safety concerns that students face, and have defined roles within the school.

Police Station

The coronavirus pandemic has taught us so many lessons. Parents and teachers were forced to adjust without much direction or preparation. But there are so many examples of teachers, staff, and parents going above and beyond to make sure the students learned. Now it is the Board's time to show we have learned. We must take the skills and tools we gained and provide the students with even more opportunities to grow and learn going forward. Elementary, middle, and high schools operate differently, and we must make sure that Covid 19 protections are tailored to how each level operates and access to vaccinations for the students. Younger students may require more protocols than older students who have access to the vaccine.

Back to School with Mask