I'm here to listen:
What do you think matters the most?
What needs to be improved?
It’s time we stop focusing on distractions that don’t help our students and listen to our community on how we turn CMS back into one of the leading school systems in NC and America. We have got to stop talking about the issues and actually start fixing them.
The purpose of the board is to make sure the school system has the right leadership that stays focused on delivering student outcomes based on the community's vision and values.
I am here to be a better leader for our kids and a champion for our community.
Student Outcomes + Closing the Equity Gap
Student outcomes have to be the main focus as it is the reason school systems exist. The board's number one responsibility is to provide a great education for all students of the community. We have to meet students where they are both socially, emotionally, and academically and provide the best schools and environments for them to thrive. We need new leadership and strategy to get this back in the right direction.
It starts in elementary investing in better school environments, curriculum, staff, and additional support to reach reading literacy by 3rd grade for all and math readiness. The equity gap starts the moment kids walk into K. Universal Pre-K and early childhood education programs need investment now.
The performance of CMS students and the equity gap have only deepened with a global pandemic. We need leadership to be focused on the gap between the Black and Latino communities. It takes the board and schools working with the community and local government on solutions for affordable housing and food insecurity.
We need school curriculum and optionality in neighborhood schools and magnet options to make sure all students are prepared post-high school no matter their address or the odds of the lottery system. Currently, district 6 has the least amount of magnet options.
We have to meet all student's needs, especially those that require IEPs, 504s, and other accommodations to ensure all kid reaches their best no matter their disabilities or learning differences.
We need to move forward to individualized learning plans and grow career paths beyond the standard testing for college prep. We need more programs for trades, science, business, arts, and more.
Leadership + Accountability
We have a leadership problem. Great organizations fail with the wrong leadership and struggling organizations get worse. We have had 7 leadership changes in the past 10 years. It starts with making sure we have the right board members who help the community pick the right superintendent.
A top priority for the board is finding the right superintendent for CMS. Someone who has led a successful large organization that performs at a high level and serves and invests in its staff creating a place where people want to work and student outcomes improve.
We need to make sure we have the right leadership at the school level with oversight but freedom to lead their staff and students. We should be listening to them more than we do now and why the new superintendent is so important.
The board has to be honest and transparent about issues, the progress we are making and the time it takes to get things done. The board represents the voice of the community today and falling short in doing so.
Community Communication + Transparency
Community frustration is at a high with the lack of communication and input. The purpose of the board is to represent the community and keep updated on the progress to deliver the community vision and student outcomes. We have to focus on communication that benefits the school and not distractions for political gain. I didn't have a clue about magnet school options and school registration until a friend told me, but I know what book a few people are trying to ban.
We need to have a clear communication plan beyond the meetings to make sure parents are well informed about what is happening within the school system. We need our new superintendent to make this a focus on the school and parent levels.
We need a better marketing strategy so that we use multiple ways to get in touch with students and parents on a system level and a school level.
We need a board that is proactively communicating and listening to the public and is transparent about what is happening and future plans. This goes beyond just answering emails. It is outreach and engagement. The board needs to meet the community where they are now.
We need to highlight success and share learnings across our schools to make sure we are sharing best practices. We have neighborhood and magnet schools that are shining and we need that across all schools.
Past boards have struggled to secure enough budget to improve CMS and at times misused it. We need a better plan, we need local and state governments to understand it, and we need to fight for more.
We have to make sure we plan a budget that is large enough to support our communities vision and student outcome plans and make sure the money goes to what matters the most. It is equitably distributed not equally.
We need stronger community and corporate partnerships. Corporate social responsibility of engaging and creating relevant programs to help improve student outcomes needs to grow and we need board members with connections and experience to broker these types of relationships.
We have to work with the county, state, and community leaders to make sure we get more money to help support and grow CMS. Working alongside County Commissioners to secure proper funding and lobbying at the state level for Leandro and better investment in public education.
We have to be smart about superintendent contracts and programs we put money into so we don’t waste it as we did on clear backpacks. We need to hire the best person to lead CMS who is going to create a strategy and stick to it over the coming years.
Teachers and Staff
Teachers and counselors are the heartbeats of our schools. They are shaping our kids and future community members. Schools can't run smoothly without the right support and staff to keep them safe, healthy, and learning. They all deserve to make enough money to live in Charlotte comfortably.
We need a superintendent that listens to principals and teachers. Seeks their input and provides direction and resources to help them feel valued, respected, and capable of putting the kid's success and needs first.
We need more teachers and counselors to help relieve overcrowding and make sure students' needs are met.
We need better teacher pay, more resources, more benefits, and more community support to keep teachers and attract new ones to Charlotte.
We have to support them and protect them as they are under attack from extreme organizations looking to dismantle public education.