Last year, I was honored to be appointed to the Berkeley Unified School District Board of Education. It is a very exciting and pivotal time to serve on the Berkeley School Board. So, at the urging of my friends, I have decided to run for election to the School Board in November and I need your help.
I joined the School Board in the midst of many District challenges--hiring a new Superintendent, negotiating employee contracts, launching the new Common Core State Standards, and striving to understand the largest educational finance reform in California’s recent history. For the first time in decades, the State empowered communities to develop a Local Control Accountability Plan (LCAP) that aligns educational priorities with state funding based on their unique local needs.
Over the years, Berkeley has wrestled with one of the largest achievement gaps between African American, Latino and white students in California. Through the 2020 Vision for Berkeley’s Children and Youth, together with the City of Berkeley and our community-based partners, we are working to ensure that race and ethnicity are no longer predictors of success in our District. District data shows that we are making progress. While providing resources to our struggling students, we have improved the outcomes for everyone in reading, math and attendance. We have seen steady improvement among nearly all of our student community.
We’ve made gains, but there is still so much more to do.
Recently I visited a 7th grade math class where the opportunities and challenges we face were made clear. The teacher is using our new math program based largely on critical thinking and word problems. She told me that this new math approach is really working to keep kids more engaged, but that some students are struggling because they are not reading at grade level. We urgently need to provide better support so all our students are well prepared to succeed.
We can successfully educate our entire diverse community by delivering evidence-based educational programs and support systems, engaging parents and guardians, supporting teachers, working with community partners, and monitoring our progress.
Bringing commitment and experience together for Berkeley’s students.
With hands-on experience in early childhood education, after school and school-community partnership programs, along with nine years working in the Berkeley Mayor’s Office, I was able to hit the ground running – and I haven’t stopped.
Working together with my School Board colleagues over the past year, we have:
Overseen the implementation of new curriculum, professional development and technology integration for the new Common Core State Standards;
Expanded programs for violence prevention, homeless students, and bridge programs for academically struggling students through partnerships with the City and community based organizations;
Adopted a new middle and high school math program that challenges all our students, both high achieving and struggling students;
Infused the importance for all students to be ready for college, career and life, by adding Career Technical Education as one of three optional graduation requirements;
Adopted a policy respecting the rights of Berkeley’s Transgender youth; and,
Launched a broad-based community engagement process that exceeds state requirements for the new Local Control Accountability Plan.
Every Student Prepared for College, Career, Life
With your help and support I can continue to work for equity and excellence in Berkeley’s schools. I want to ensure that every child in Berkeley public schools -- regardless of race, ethnicity or economic background -- is recognized for his or her uniqueness, creativity, and intelligence from the first day of school to graduation day.
I thank all the supporters who have endorsed my campaign. Will you endorse?
Will you make a donation to my campaign so I can continue the work to improve education for our kids? Donate here.
You can also go to the website to volunteer, host a house party, or put up a yard sign.
Thank you for your support,