This was a big victory. It showed the power of a community outreach and engagement. I'm reminded of the line in "It's a Wonderful Life" when Jimmy Stewart references where the banks money is kept.
"You're thinking of this place all wrong, as if I had the money back in a safe. The money's not here. Your money's in Joe's house ... and a hundred others," he explains.
This State Board of Education victory is in Chris's house it's in Casper's house, its in Roz's House, its Cassandras' house. We won because we went out to the people at school events, farmers markets, block parties, etc. That outreach ignited people to come together; to volunteer with us, canvass with us, they shared on social media, they emailed and phoned friends to vote. They heard our message the importance of Educational Equity, measuring growth in schools and our responsibility to ensure ECE, ELL, special needs, Head start, C.T.E programs are if a quality of which we can be proud.
Thank you to my friends, family, students, and fellow educators for being a part of this win. Thank you to the Washington Teachers'Union, the Retired Teachers' Union, the Jews United for Justice, and George Pelicanos for their endorsements. Thank you to everyone for your support and your vote. I look forward to being able to serve as Ward 4's advocate on the SBOE and push to make our schools the best in the nation. Let's stay engaged and involved. I am honored to advocate for our Ward 4 schools.
LIST OF ISSUES
Early Childhood Education
As I went around collecting signatures to run for the State Board of Education, I was struck by the many young parents who had their children in Pre-K programs in Ward 4 schools. My wife, Myra, was a HeadStart teacher for 25 years and I became thoroughly indoctrinated in the value that this program had for her students and their parents. Hers was an inclusive classroom that allowed students with special needs to seamlessly become part of a tight-knit learning community. I want to become your voice to make sure that all of our children have this early boost to their education.
During my career as an English Teacher, one of the greatest professional experiences I had was being able to be an AP English Literature and Language teacher. Besides the challenge of teaching the courses for the last twenty-five years, I was also able to become a teacher trainer for hundreds of AP teachers and to become a reader of the exams. The doors that these additional responsibilities opened are still ongoing.
During my last year at Cardozo, we were able to offer AP Literature to all of the seniors and the results were spectacular.
I am a firm believer in making sure that all of our students are able to be part of a more rigorous curriculum that will prepare them for their lives after high school.
I have never felt that there were any children in my classroom who couldn't better themselves given the opportunity and resources. It is our duty to make sure that the system is willing and able to provide whatever is needed to all the children to make sure that they succeed.
Our schools are undergoing monumental change in the diversity of our students. This is an ideal time to make sure that our system responds to the changing population in our ward and our city. Our curriculum needs to reflect that change.