One issue that is top of mind for many of the constituents that I've spoken with recently is charter schools. I've worked in Dallas ISD for six years as principal and know from experience the amazing work happening in Dallas ISD. We need to continue to make sure Dallas ISD and traditional public schools districts everywhere are the choice for students and families. I believe the following as it relates to charter schools:
Traditional public schools districts are the bedrock of democracy in America.
I do NOT support the rapid expansion of charter schools.
I do NOT believe that DISD should enter into partnerships with charter schools.
Charter schools divert taxpayer money away from traditional public school districts.
There has been a lot of talk about our teacher evaluation system, TEI, in Dallas ISD. As a DISD principal, I’ve evaluated teachers, trained teachers, and coached teachers in TEI. I’ve advocated alongside of teachers for improvements to the system. I believe there are three key areas to further improve in TEI that I would fight for as your next trustee:
Ensuring fairness in how we calculate how students are performing.
Recruiting and retaining excellent veteran teachers through upgrading our pay structure.
Improving our target distribution to ensure teachers don’t feel as though they’re competing with one another.
My opponent has said that he wants to get rid of this system all together. This is easy to say when campaigning, especially without providing a clear answer on a replacement system. It’s also easy to say for someone who has never evaluated a public school teacher. As someone who has worked with this system for the past five years, I can accurately point to what we can do to improve this system and ensure its effectiveness and fairness.
EMPOWERING OUR CAMPUSES
I believe that our teachers and educators on school campuses are the ones who make the difference for all of our students. One of my key platform points that I want to bring to the school board is a focus on empowering our schools and our teachers. What does this mean?
This means, where schools are performing well and/or improving – get out of their way! This means holding the district accountable for giving these campuses more autonomy.
Where schools are struggling, ask them what they need and bring them more resources and support, not just more restrictions, testing, and requirements.
Minimize centralized testing!
I believe that every child living in Dallas ISD boundaries should have access to high-quality pre-school. Dallas ISD has done a phenomenal job of increasing enrollment in Pre-K programs by 29 percentage points since 2012, but we still have a long way to go. As a trustee, I would prioritize expanding high quality early childhood education in Dallas ISD so that all students have access to Pre-K regardless of where in the city they live or what kind of income their family has.
Racial Equity & Access
We still face major inequities across Dallas ISD. Resources and programs are not distributed equitably. Achievement gaps persist along racial and socioeconomic lines. If we are to move Dallas ISD forward, we must grapple with these issues. As the principal at TAG Magnet, I’ve made this a priority. Now I believe we need to do this at a district-wide scale. As your board trustee, I commit to:
Ensuring that the Office of Racial Equity puts its stamp on each decision the district makes and each policy we discuss at the board level.
Fighting for equitable allocation of resources, programs, and opportunities.
Pushing for Ethnic Studies classes throughout the district.
Proactively engaging ALL of our school communities.
Surrounding myself with a diverse and representative parent and community advisory group.