3 Steps to a better future for our kids
1. investing in our Community's schools
Our current schools were designed for 20th century learning. We must continue to invest in our community's existing schools and focus on building schools designed for the future.
Read more below.
2. preparing our Students for the future
We need to close the achievement gap and and improve graduation rates to ensure that EVERY student is prepared for college or a career that will provide a living wage.
Read more below.
3. Empowering our educators
We should give more power to teachers to lead and innovate in order to create learning environments that are rigorous, personalized and inspiring.
Read more below.
step 1: Investing in our community's schools
The day a community stops investing in its schools is the day a community starts to decline. We must ensure that our growing community has the schools we need to attract and retain the innovators and informed citizens that will keep our community vibrant. We must pass the school bond and then manage it with complete transparency and accountability to the community.
Most importantly, we need to take the opportunity with this next school bond to build schools of the future. Our current schools were designed to prepare students for 20th century jobs. I have worked with communities all over the country who are reimagining and redesigning schools to foster 21st century learning, and I believe Bend-La Pine should be leading the country in school innovation. I have deep experience in next generation school design and can bring ideas, connections, fundraising experience and vision to this work on behalf of our kids. (Learn more about some next generation schools here, here, and here.)
step 2: preparing our students for the future
In Bend La-Pine we’re lucky to have great schools. But we are not yet serving all students equally well. For example, Bend La-Pine's English Language Learners are graduating at a lower rate than ELL students are in like-districts around the state. And all but one of our area high schools are sending fewer kids to college than like-schools across the state. To thrive as a community we can’t become a district of haves and have nots. We need to improve graduation rates, ensure that EVERY student is prepared for college or a career that will provide a living wage, and strive to close the achievement gap between students from different economic backgrounds.
In my current job, I led a team to develop the first national measure of the achievement gap between students from low-income families and their peers. We are shining a light on schools that are helping students from low-income communities reach their goals. I bring a wealth of knowledge, research and experience in the fight to improve educational equity in Bend-La Pine.
step 3: empowering our educators
When teachers are empowered to make key decisions about what, when and how they teach our students, our kids will be happier and more successful. Currently, state and local policies tell teachers when, what and how to teach (e.g. You will teach math every day at 11am for 90 minutes using this curriculum). But what if Mrs. Kate determines that her students would learn better if math was combined with history for a unit, and needed 3 hours a day, and was best done first thing in the morning? What if some kids only need 30 minutes to learn subtraction and some kids need 5 days? Personalization is the future of learning and won't be possible unless teachers have more flexibility in when, what and how they teach.
I want to help move our district towards policies that empower our principals and teachers to make key decisions about what happens in their classrooms, leading to more personalized and effective learning for our kids.