Every adviser told me to cut the issues I discuss herein to three. Here’s the problem, our students’ success won’t be guaranteed by minimizing solutions to fit political talking points. So, I ignored that advice.

DCPS sets per pupil expenditures for academic subjects.  Principals should not have the authority to redirect funds to other needs.

With over a billion dollars annually, DC residents must be able to track every dollar, every day in real-time.

Every DC student matters.  We are a community; not merely a collection of residents.  I will work to ensure every school is held to the same rigorous standard.  

Every student in every school where grade-appropriate ought to have opportunities to enroll in AP courses.  All students, especially ELL students, should be directly encouraged to enroll with targeted appeals that speak to their interests.

Studies show that parents of students in lower grade levels are more active in their children’s student experience.  Parents of upper level students need incentives to engage.  If parents can’t make physical parent/teacher conferences with their child’s teacher, then teachers can inform parents of their student’s progress in recorded messages with read receipts so we can track parent involvement.

Currently, schools seem to be responsible for tracking students’ matriculation through different schools.  This responsibility should be left to OSSE.  DC families deserve data that is accurate, not manipulated for political advantage.  We should also ensure the dollar amount attached to the student ‘travels’ with them as they go from school to school.  (We should also be minimizing student school transfers to the extent possible; studies show stability encourages improved learning outcomes).

Equity is a value statement about the intrinsic worth of every human being. Without the full support needed to thrive, we are each complicit in leaving these students behind. My faith tells me that is unacceptable.

I believe in educational equity with every fiber of my being.  But, what does that even mean?  Equality and Equity are not the same even though our students wholeheartedly deserve both each and every day at the minimum because every single student has intrinsic value.  Indeed, budgetary resources must be targeted to the areas of most need; this means not every school will get the same amount.  Equity does not mean financial parity.  By equity, I mean each and every student and every teacher and staff member has the highest probability of upward mobility through the learning resources and professional development tools provided on a regular basis. 

I was raised by teachers.  After being a witness to my parents’ daily commitment, I became a teacher, too. Surely, every school must develop an appreciative culture to encourage retention.  But, I think an appreciative culture says a lot about the values that undergird each school.  Every employee of our schools — including teacher aides, substitute teachers, and other part-time employees — must receive compensation above-market rates (because DC is expensive!), comprehensive health coverage, and every resource needed to do their jobs. We ought to come together annually as a city to celebrate ALL teachers for their daily compassion, tenacity, and sacrifice.

The current system is standardized and therefore obscures teacher achievement with the individual student and conflates “performance” with the methodology used for assessment. The standard measures are then used to subjectively remove teachers that don’t meet benchmarks as determined by a flawed assessment system. This is not ok.