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    2020 School Board Candidates

    Detroit Public Schools Community District

October 20, 2020

Misha LJ Stallworth

School District: Detroit

  1. Why do you want to be a school board member? *

I first ran for election because I believed I had meaningful skills to improve the district, I wanted to make a difference in Detroit, and I knew that the privilege and opportunity I’d been afforded educationally should be accessible to all Detroit students.  I’m running for re-election because I still believe those things.  And, I’m running for re-election because there’s much more work to do to continue improving our district.  I believe that I have proven myself well-suited for that work.  In fact, I believe myself, Sonya Mays and Iris Taylor, to be the candidates best suited for that work especially during such uncertain times as a global pandemic.

  1. What does education justice mean to you? What does it mean specifically in the context of your school district? *

Education justice means that students have access to the opportunities that they need.  That their families and the adults supporting them have tools to facilitate their students’ success.  In our school district it means from a funding perspective we have what we need, and aren’t forced to make it work with what we have.  From a curricular perspective it means that students are being challenged and that their critical thinking and creativity is being nurtured.  Organizationally, it means that students and staff are met with culturally responsive and anti-racist environments, that they have voice and input in organizational development, and that staff are properly supported in their wages, training, and opportunities for advancement.

  1. If you could completely reimagine the way schools look after this public health crisis, what would they look like? *

I think there are opportunities we can learn from in this crisis. Virtual meetings have led to increased community engagement in board meetings; continuing that engagement is important.  The dramatic increase in virtual learning has pushed districts and teachers to better integrate technological tools into teaching and learning and to ensure families have access to technology.  Schools, and local governments, should continue to ensure technology is accessible and integrated into classrooms.  My greatest hope is that we can truly reimagine school funding after this crisis.  One of the first things we did as a district when the shelter in place was first directed was figure out how to continue feeding students.  Another action we took quickly was establishing a mental health hotline.  Schools are expected to serve students and families holistically yet underfunded for the “essential services” like teaching students with special needs. Our governments need to take a new approach to school funding.

  1. Describe how you think parents, students, and families should be involved in making decisions within your school district? *

The Districts governance and operations should be in partnership with parents, students and families.  It is the collective that would ensure the attainment of excellence.  This would include constantly engaging in multiple communication avenues.

  1. Who (if any) are your top financial supporters for your campaign?

My colleagues and I who are running as a slate have been fundraising together and received support from diverse and bi-partisan sources.  We have also received support from across the community including faith-based institutions and the local business community.  Over the past four years these diverse relationships and partnerships have been critical to work in the district such as negotiating the partnership schools MOU which kept 24 schools from closing, advocacy on behalf of the Right to Read case, replacing water fountains with led and copper free hydration stations, and recently, procuring over 50,000 laptops and wifi for students.  In a Republic dominated legislature, as we continue to advocate for equitable school funding, these diverse relationships across our Detroit community continue to be critical.

  1. What are your top 3 educational priorities/goals within your school district? *

DPSCD is a reform district and therefore student achievement–literacy and math literacy–is always my top priority.  Additionally, while facing the COVID-19 pandemic it will always be critical to ensure a protective environment and access to education for all families.

However aside from those things, my top priorities are:

  1. Amplify Student Voice–Students deserve to have a voice in the policies and practices that they have to experience every day.  Positioning leadership opportunities that allow for them to do that ensures DPSCD will develop environments that reflect their needs and that students will grow in their leadership skills. I intend to see through the authentic implementation of the student board member role and support further development of student leadership opportunities
  2. Facilitate Community Connections–We have a lot more work to do in building trust and effective communications between the district and the community.  The people closest to our challenges, our own community, has answers, resources, and valuable ideas to develop solutions. It’s critical that our broader community is connected to our district and present to support our children and families.​
  3. Continue to Positively Change Culture–DPSCD has seen a positive shift in culture so that staff, students, and families feel supported and welcomed as well as have opportunities to provide feedback. There’s more work to do to ensure our organizational culture sets expectations for excellence in all areas with students as the number one priority. In the next four years, I plan to spend time especially on fulfilling our commitment to be an anti-racist district
  1. What are your top 3 educational priorities/goals at a state level? *
  1. Continue to fight to change how we fund public education so that our district and students are equitably supported.
  2. Legislation preventing return of emergency management 
  3. Exit from state oversight – we have met the demands of the treasury department by demonstrating fiscal responsibility 
  1. What challenges do you anticipate this school year to COVID and what do you think your school district must do to keep students & staff safe? *

We are already seeing a sample of the challenges we’ll continue to face.  Black and Brown folks are over-represented in essential work and among students with special needs so we will always be navigating how to best provide educational options for our families.  At the start of the school year, we had lost contact with 8,000 students (that number is now down to 2,000).  Our community has a high percentage of renters and families who are experiencing transience.  Lack of connection with a school building makes it difficult to remain connected and we’ll have to continue to identify ways to ensure students have access to their educations.  People will get sick and they will be scared.  It’s our job to continue building trust so that families and staff feel supported by DPSCD and while a face to face option is available, as safe as possible within our buildings.

DPSCD continues to be very responsive to the needs of our children, parents and staff  during this COVID-19 pandemic. The metrics and criteria established by the CDC, MDHHS and City of Detroit Health Department have guided our reopening plan while leaving flexibility for adjustments due to the uncertainty of the virus.  The priority is to ensure a protective environment during this pandemic, which requires diligence and compliance with all safety measures.  The school opening plan provides the structure for this compliance.

  1. What should be your school district’s top spending priorities in their budget? Alternatively, what should not be prioritized in your district’s budget? *

We’ve established a strategic plan to guide our priorities.  

  • Items and processes that support student achievement (the “classroom” including staff wages and supportive roles such as counselors and nurses)
  • Physical plant operation and maintenance (“buildings)
  • Advance learning opportunities (“enrichment”)

If we can’t afford to do something well we should hold off on those activities and focus our energy on top priorities.  Additionally, if there are worthwhile projects that fit within a school based budget but can’t be justified in a districtwide budget, they should be supported at the school level and we can learn how to scale in the future.

  1. What role do you think standardized tests should play in your school district? 

Public schools exist within our systems of government.  And our systems of government have determined that quality is evaluated based upon standardized tests scores.  Therefore, we must participate in them.  That aside, I also think that some standardized testing is good because it allows use to compare and contrast at scale across our very large district and between other districts.  However, the results of standardized tests are not the end all be all, they are one data point, among others that should be considered, that I do believe is helpful.  Testing should be used sparingly so as to support teacher creativity with curriculum and an educational system that’s responsive to student needs.

  1. f you could have an impact on your school district’s curriculum, what changes would you make? What, if anything, would you keep the same? *

We’ve worked hard to update the district’s curriculum over the past few years. It was selected by teachers after learning about national standards and going through an evaluation process, so I would keep our curriculum.  However, I would like to do an anti-racism review of our curriculum and modify or supplement as necessary to ensure we are authentic in our commitment to being an anti-racist school district. Also, teachers are currently adjusting to the new curriculum which takes time.  As we get into a rhythm, I would like to see teachers supported in amplifying the curriculum–adding additional reading to ELA classes which proposes different angles to the given topics; building in concepts like engineering and coding to math curriculum, etc.

  1. What responsibility do you believe your school district has in supporting students’ and staffs’ mental and emotional health/wellbeing? *

Mental Health services have increased under this board. We have added roles that build relationships with students such as deans of culture, culture facilitators, and attendance agents. We have increased funding for social workers and school counselors.  We work with partnering organizations to offer further support. Integration of services across school based clinics and external agencies is one of our goals, and should be developed to ensure early detection and intervention for students’ needs.  Specifically, in the areas of suicide prevention/awareness, depression, and anxiety there must continue to be a focus.

As an organization it’s important to also support the mental and emotional well being of staff. On one hand, that is accomplished by continuing to develop our organizational culture into one where staff feel happy at work, connected to their peers and leaders, and absent from fear.  We’ve made great strides in this area which I think is demonstrated by the consistent increase in staff who report they would recommend the district as a place to work (via annual survey).  On the other hand, this is accomplished by directly supporting mental health needs. We continue to look for the best benefit packages for staff and all of our staff have access to benefits.  This is an important area of work because it ensures staff have access to mental health services through their health insurance.  We also, when reviewing staff discipline, make sure to have attentiveness to challenges that may be related to mental health.  Under those circumstances, the district supports mental health evaluations prior to any disciplinary decisions.  These are the kinds of areas of mental health and emotional well-being for which the board has responsibility.

  1. How do you think your school district should handle student discipline/and make schools a safe place for students and staff? *

Since the reform of the Student Code of Conduct, led by myself and supported wholly by my colleagues, restorative practice, positive behavior interventions, and family engagement have been at the core of our discipline model.  I believe it’s important that students remain connected to their schools (in buildings under normal circumstances) so that their educations are compromised when they have a behavior challenge.  I believe that students should be able to learn from their mistakes and be supported in health social and emotional development.  I also believe that as a community–students and staff– have to embrace a common meaning for safety and responsibility to keep one another safe and to do no harm to one another.  That’s the first step in keeping schools safe and why we’ve tried out campaigns such as “Expect Respect,” so that there’s a common language and responsibility.  Safety from violence, especially external violence, is a different circumstance.  We need staff who are trained and available to disrupt violence–whether that’s security or school police.  But it has to be clear that the role is violence disruption/prevention; not student behavior, learning, or development.

  1. What are your top priorities around special education in your district? *

A large proportion of DPSCD students have special needs.  However, within Black and Brown communities misdiagnoses and overdiagnoses are common.  So we’ve started with ensuring accurate and early identification of special needs and from there supported students through our comprehensive Exceptional Students Education plan (and following policies).  The plan includes a focus to remove the stigma and engage parents. We have a very diverse student body whose needs range from mild to severe. There is much more work to be done to implement the plan, address funding shortfalls and attract exceptional talent who are dedicated to the needs of our young people.  With such a large population of students with special needs, equity in this case looks like ensuring they have all the supports they need to receive a high quality education.

  1. What is your perspective on working towards achieving equity within your school district?

As the largest urban public school district in the state, equity has always been at the forefront. When we first were appointed, the state was threatening to close a significant amount of our schools which would have disenfranchised thousands of students, jeopardizing their right to access to public education.  We swiftly went to work with the State Superintendent to develop a plan to ensure our schools remained open but most importantly were placed on a plan to ensure students were not attending a failing school. We are on track to turn around these schools. This is just one example of our focus on equity, other examples include ensuring we maintain a balanced budget to exit from the FRC, this is important on many levels but most importantly we would not be able to secure funding to repair our buildings and physical plant. We must ensure our students have buildings that are conducive to learning. As a board, our job is to oversee state and district level policy is in place to not only operate but to ensure we are operating in a way that accommodates and addresses all of our students needs, from equitable teacher pay, professional development, student resources, cultural responsiveness, and much needed wrap around services for our most vulnerable population of students.

  1. Any other information you want to include or share?
October 20, 2020

Richard Clement

Pronouns:We
School District:Detroit Public Schools Community District
City:Detroit

How long have you lived in your district?

60 years

Have you received any endorsements?

Rep. Cynthia Johnson

Are you an incumbent?

No

Why do you want to be a school board member?

Give back to my community

What does education justice mean to you? What does it mean specifically in the context of your school district?

The opportunity to learn relevant skills without interference

If you could completely reimagine the way schools look after this public health crisis, what would they look like?

School nurses in every school building with testing kits and incentive pay to take tests two times a week

Describe how you think parents, students, and families should be involved in making decisions within your school district?

Collective goal setting will work for the benefit of the students and the district

Who (if any) are your top financial supporters for your campaign?

Me.

What are your top 3 educational priorities/goals within your school district?

financial justice , restoring legacy names to school buildings , teacher safety

What are your top 3 educational priorities/goals at a state level?

refinance school funding , building maintenance , undoing Detroit specific legislation

What challenges do you anticipate this school year to COVID and what do you think your school district must do to keep students & staff safe?

Incentive pay for taking Covid tests

What should be your school district’s top spending priorities in their budget? Alternatively, what should not be prioritized your district’s budget?

Health care for students and teachers , investing in technology and trade programs

What role do you think standardized tests should play in your school district?

Measure student progress and determine where to invest resources to bring students up to speed , especially in reading

If you could have an impact on your school district’s curriculum , what changes would you make? What, if anything, would you keep the same?

Make swimming a requirement for graduating from Detroit Public Schools.

What responsibility do you believe your school district has in supporting students’ and staffs’ mental and emotional health/wellbeing?

Having rules and regulations to insure student and teacher growth and safety.

How do you think your school district should handle student discipline/and make schools a safe place for students and staff?Invest in mental health and increased investment in after school sports.

What are your top priorities around special education in your district?

Increased pay and activities to keep the student’s mind busy. Music and art are some examples of priorities.

What is your perspective on working towards achieving equity within your school district?

There is always hope and good in the students of Detroit Public Schools

Any other information you want to include or share?

website www.clementfordpscd.com

October 9, 2020

Iris A. Taylor, Ph.D.

Pronouns: she/her we
School District: Detroit Public School Community District
City: Detroit

How long have you lived in your district?

68 years

Have you received any endorsements?

Detroit Free Press. SEIU Local 1 13th Congressional District Fanny Lou Hammer East Side Slate

Are you an incumbent?

Yes

Why do you want to be a school board member?

As a DPS graduate , I understand the value of an excellent education foundation and believe all of Detroit’s children deserve the best no matter their zip code. I am committed and have a passion to facilitate excellence for the children of Detroit. My collective experiences as a hospital president , mediator , and community board memberships enables me to be an effective school board member

What does education justice mean to you? What does it mean specifically in the context of your school district?

Educational justice in equitable and adequate distribution of resources to provide access to education. In DPSCD I education justice is ensuring adequate and highly trained teachers , technology , advance educational opportunities . It is ensuring a restorative practice that supports completion of high school.

If you could completely reimagine the way schools look after this public health crisis, what would they look like?

An ideal future state would provide optional educational learning opportunities. These opportunities would represent distance learning face to face and advance learning opportunities. It would be a public education system that was funded to meet the need f the population served.

Describe how you think parents, students, and families should be involved in making decisions within your school district?

The Districts governance and operations should be in partnership with parents , students and families. It is the collective that that would ensure the attainment of excellence. This would include constantly engaging in multiple communication avenues.

Who (if any) are your top financial supporters for your campaign?

The community at large , particular the medical and faith base constituents have been tremendous in supporting our work. I thank them for their contributions.

What are your top 3 educational priorities/goals within your school district?

My priority for the 2020-2021 school year are embedded in our response to COVID -19 pandemic. They are:
• Ensure a protective environment for in-person learning while supporting online learning
• Maintain and or improve academic achievement levels and maintain stable enrollment levels
• We must maintain a balanced budget and begin securing funding to fix our buildings

What are your top 3 educational priorities/goals at a state level?

o Per pupil funding according to student need
o Legislation preventing return of emergency management
o Exit from state oversight – we have met the demands of the treasury department by demonstrating fiscal responsibility
o Change how we fund public education , it is not equitable , we will continue this fight
o Revisit laws that do not support reform work , this ties back to funding

What challenges do you anticipate this school year to COVID and what do you think your school district must do to keep students & staff safe?

DPSCD continues to be very responsive to the needs of our children , parents and staff during this COVID-19 pandemic. The metrics and criteria established by the CDC , MDHHS and City of Detroit Health Department has guided our reopening plan while leaving flexibility for adjustments due to the uncertainty of the virus. The priority is to ensure a protective environment during this pandemic , which require diligence and compliance with all safety measures. The school opening plan provides the structure for this compliance.

What should be your school district’s top spending priorities in their budget? Alternatively, what should not be prioritized your district’s budget?

As prioritized through the strategic plan:
• Items and processes that support student achievement
• Physical plant operation and maintenance
• Advance learning opportunities
Items not considered are those that are not aligned with the strategic plan.

What role do you think standardized tests should play in your school district?

To the extent that standardized test are used for acceptance to higher education institutions and other post high school endeavors , the curriculum must support successful , command of the test content

If you could have an impact on your school district’s curriculum , what changes would you make? What, if anything, would you keep the same?

I would keep the districts curriculum that are compatible with national standards and add implicit bias awareness and afro American history We should maintain emphasis on literacy and digital literacy

What responsibility do you believe your school district has in supporting students’ and staffs’ mental and emotional health/wellbeing?

Mental Health services have increased under this board. We have various methods to support both parents and students , by in house staff , referrals to partnering organizations and school based clinics. Integration of services across school based clinics and external agencies is one of our goals , and should be developed to ensure early detection and intervention for students’ needs. Specifically , in the areas of suicide prevention/awareness , depression , and anxiety there must continue to be a focus.
Currently , One our strategic plan priorities is transformative culture. This priority states our goal is to transform our culture so that students , families , community member , staff all feel safe , respected and connected. When we first were elected there was a huge disconnect , the DPS family was not working on one accord of students first , our teachers were stripped of support and our families were not being properly supported at scale. We immediately reinstated the PTA and the Parent Academy to support our families. We also increased funding for additional positions to support each and every school. We added behavioral specialists , hired more counselors , we have school psychologists , social workers and therapist to support our students , this work falls under our other priority , whole child commitment. We are doing the work and I couldn’t be more prouder about the direction in which we are moving.

How do you think your school district should handle student discipline/and make schools a safe place for students and staff?

Review of each item in the code of conduct was discussed and revised with the critical input of students , parents and community. Afterward there was developed a program tied to curriculum named Expect Respect , teachers , students , families and community members take a pledge to follow the 10 tenants identified , demonstrated and practiced each month. This keeps positive behavior interventions at the forefront and holds everyone accountable to good citizenship. Positive behavior interventions are at the core of our discipline model , we know students make mistakes and we endeavor to create an environment that allows students to learn from their negative actions and make the needed corrections without the interruption of their educational track. We know there are instances where students may need more support from authorities and the student code of conduct outlines the actions that warrant discipline that may include involving in school suspensions , and transfer to an alternative school.

What are your top priorities around special education in your district?

. We have a comprehensive Exceptional Students Education plan , and the board has implemented policies to support the work. The plan includes a focus to remove the stigma and engage parents. We have a very diverse student body whose needs range from mild to severe. There is much more work to be done to implement the plan , address funding shortfalls and attract exceptional talent who are dedicated to the needs of our young people.

What is your perspective on working towards achieving equity within your school district?

As the largest urban public school district in the state , equity has always been at the forefront. When we first were appointed , the state was threatening to close a significant amount of our schools which would have disenfranchised thousands of students , jeopardizing their right to access to public education. We swiftly went to work with the State Superintendent to develop a plan to ensure our schools remained open but most importantly were placed on a plan to ensure students were not attending a failing school. We are on track to turn around these schools. This is just one example of our focus on equity , other examples include ensuring we maintain a balanced budget to exit from the FRC , this is important on many levels but most importantly we would not be able to secure funding to repair our buildings and physical plant. We must ensure our students have buildings that are conducive to learning. As a board , our job is to oversee state and district level policy is in place to not only operate but to ensure we are operating in a way that accommodates and addresses all of our students needs , from equitable teacher pay , professional development , student resources and much needed wrap around services for our most vulnerable population of students.

Any other information you want to include or share?

Student achievement continues to be a primary focus. The District reform work centers on improving the academic levels of each child. Student achievement is integrated in the fabric of the strategic plan thus there is a multifocal approached developed , this has been a challenge during the pandemic and we are continuing to leverage the whole child approach. We know if we do not provide important resources such as mental health and behavioral support and resources , academic achievement will be difficult. We also recognize it is not a one size fits all approach. In addition , we must continue to support our teachers and staff who are on the front line.

October 9, 2020

Chico Sorrell

Pronouns:He
School District:Detroit Public Schools Community District
City:Detroit Public Schools Community District

How long have you lived in your district?

53 years

Have you received any endorsements?

C.G. Fails & Associates

Are you an incumbent?

No

Why do you want to be a school board member?

As a retired Detroit Public School teacher , it is important that I continue to fight for fair , and equitable education for our teachers and students alike.

What does education justice mean to you? What does it mean specifically in the context of your school district?

Fair and equitable education for all despite social economics.

If you could completely reimagine the way schools look after this public health crisis, what would they look like?

Schools would look better than they did before the public health crisis.

Describe how you think parents, students, and families should be involved in making decisions within your school district?

Students should always be more involved in their education in a positive way , along with their parents by contributing to schools functions , Committees , and ideas.

Who (if any) are your top financial supporters for your campaign?

N/A

What are your top 3 educational priorities/goals within your school district?

Teacher and student safety , Student access to learning materials , and better relationships with universities across the country.

What are your top 3 educational priorities/goals at a state level?

Teacher pay , teacher input , and better union safeguards.

What challenges do you anticipate this school year to COVID and what do you think your school district must do to keep students & staff safe?

It will continue to be a challenge to keep everyone safe from this pandemic. The district will have to continue to implement daily testing , and less human interaction.

What should be your school district’s top spending priorities in their budget? Alternatively, what should not be prioritized your district’s budget?

Veteran teacher and retiree pay increase. Less on administrative pay.

What role do you think standardized tests should play in your school district?

Minor role given the social economic differences challenges.

If you could have an impact on your school district’s curriculum , what changes would you make? What, if anything, would you keep the same?

I would make the curriculum more relative to the student body culture , and to the future changes of the world’s economy and financial structure.

What responsibility do you believe your school district has in supporting students’ and staffs’ mental and emotional health/wellbeing?

The school district has to be more informed about student stress levels stemming from home and environmental living conditions , and come up with a plan to better support negative student interaction and reactions towards teachers.

How do you think your school district should handle student discipline/and make schools a safe place for students and staff?

The district has to be compassionate yet firm in dealing with student discipline. Zero tolerance on violence against teaching staff.

What are your top priorities around special education in your district?

Special education students should be separate from regular education if it is a wide mental/emotional disparity. Special education students can compete with regular education students if the physical impairment is not detrimental.

What is your perspective on working towards achieving equity within your school district?

Of course equity is a must , and worth fighting for.

Any other information you want to include or share?

It is very important that veteran classroom teachers are treated with respect by the state legislators , and district leadership by restoring teacher tenure , better pay , and quality retirement benefits and pay. Teacher moral is at an all time low because they feel disrespected , overworked , and overwhelmed.

October 6, 2020

Jermain Lee Jones

Pronouns:Him His He
School District:Detroit Public Schools Community District
City:Detroit

How long have you lived in your district?

40

Have you received any endorsements?

No

Are you an incumbent?

No

Why do you want to be a school board member?

I believe the educational institutions are the foundation of any community. Society is built upon the minds of our thinkers. The by product of academia is an intellectual class that makes the decisions for the greater community. So it is vital to ensure that the youth have adequate training and education.

What does education justice mean to you? What does it mean specifically in the context of your school district?

Education Justice means accountability to me. Holding the educational institutions accountable for the by product and implementing efficient means of literacy for those who rely on our schools.

If you could completely reimagine the way schools look after this public health crisis, what would they look like?

Balanced, a curriculum that engages the student inside and outside of the conventional brick and mortar buildings. A more health precautios and safe environment with a robust effort placed on a culturally tailored curriculum.

Describe how you think parents, students, and families should be involved in making decisions within your school district?

I believe in a pure democracy. As the representative of my constituency I will always be accessible for the thoughts and concerns of the people. And willing to apply all logical plans to make our district more efficient!

Who (if any) are your top financial supporters for your campaign?

I run a grassroots campaign! I don’t accept corporate/pac money. Our campaign is supported by average everyday people in Detroit. People who are ready for fresh new leadership that are genuinely concerned with the betterment of our community.

What are your top 3 educational priorities/goals within your school district?

1. Disrupting the School to Prison Pipeline
2. Curriculum Overhaul
3. Keeping our students Healthy and Safe

What are your top 3 educational priorities/goals at a state level?

1. Exposing the Monetary Neglect of one of the largest African American school districts in the U.S.A
2. Making sure our faculty and staff wages are at state avg or above.
3. Place pressure on the state to give the children of our district a challenging curriculum.

What challenges do you anticipate this school year to COVID and what do you think your school district must do to keep students & staff safe?

We have to find a way to give our poor(er) children free laptops and free internet access so that the learning experience can evolve from an institution only format to a safer home-based curriculum; that allows our students to engage their instructors in the safety of their homes with their families….

What should be your school district’s top spending priorities in their budget? Alternatively, what should not be prioritized your district’s budget?

First we have to make sure our teachers – new and old are happy!
Research shows when the workforce is paid well, employees perform better. This is a win-win for faculty and students… Secondly especially following the covid-19 pandemic we need to do all that we can to make sure no cuts are made to health and safety programs. Now is not the time to gamble with our children’s lives!

What role do you think standardized tests should play in your school district?

I believe in reassessing the entire academic format and using what works and scrapping what doesn’t. Research has shown that our children are performing below state average, I’d like to take a look at more engaging testing concepts that are tailored toward the demographic of the students in Detroit…

If you could have an impact on your school district’s curriculum, what changes would you make? What, if anything, would you keep the same?

Id like to jump right in fighting to implement a culturally designed curriculum for the district. Research shows that the African American learning experience differs from other racial demographics. I believe that we can do more with helping our students become more efficient and competitive in the workforce… By working with scholars and educators who specialize in the populist of the district.

What responsibility do you believe your school district has in supporting students’ and staffs’ mental and emotional health/wellbeing?

I believe that there is a fine line between implementing certain services and violating constitutional rights. We must acknowledge individuals rights to choose behavioral health solutions while making services accessible on a voluntary basis.

How do you think your school district should handle student discipline/and make schools a safe place for students and staff?

I believe that we should appeal to the state and federal education bodies to ensure that our school safety programs have the sufficient resources they need to keep not only our schools safe but the communities around them. Detroit is home to several national gang and human trafficking networks who operate right in the same neighborhoods as our children. We need officers with state of the art equipment todo their jobs well!

What are your top priorities around special education in your district?

Accountablity, bringing awareness to those who fall through the cracks and creating the necessary improvements DPS’s Special Education Program so that the parents have one less worry when releasing their special needs children into our arms…

What is your perspective on working towards achieving equity within your school district?

I believe that achieving equity is a collaborative effort and really depends on the effectivity of the board as a whole. Similar to the game of baseball; being an elected official- like a batter at home plate- is an individual achievement. But a politician can go no where without the team in the field!

Any other information you want to include or share?

VOTE JERMAIN LEE JONES FOR DETROIT SCHOOL BOARD ????????!

October 4, 2020

Elena Herrada

Pronouns:She/Her
School DistrictDetroit Public Schools Community District
City:Detroit

How long have you lived in your district?

A lot longer than this district existed.

Have you received any endorsements?

Citizens for Detroit’s Future

Are you an incumbent?

No

Why do you want to be a school board member?

Because there is no representation for parents who need to navigate the system in English; for those whose children are left out of school for long periods on suspensions, etc.

What does education justice mean to you? What does it mean specifically in the context of your school district?

It means getting a fair shot at life; not equality. It means that all your classes have teachers and labs and every school has a library; that these things are guaranteed to all students in the District, not just the ones favored by the non profits. Art, music, physical education, all of it. That there are AP teachers in every school and enough desks and books for everyone. That classes are smaller than 45 students.

If you could completely reimagine the way schools look after this public health crisis, what would they look like?

Decent ventilation systems, air conditioners that work in every school. Enough resources to keep the building safe and clean. Enough teachers to keep small classes and safely distance.

Describe how you think parents, students, and families should be involved in making decisions within your school district?

By creating PTAs and not philanthropically controlled Detroit Parent Networks for well behaved parents who need gift cards, t shirts, bus rides to lobby for charters.

Who (if any) are your top financial supporters for your campaign?

none

What are your top 3 educational priorities/goals within your school district?

1. Surviving the pandemic by staying away from buildings and each other; restore District voting in order to RE ENFRANCHISE our community; reduce class size and raise teachers’ salaries and improve working conditions.

What are your top 3 educational priorities/goals at a state level?

Force an audit of 3 billion dollars in missing bond money. 2. Restore all bond money to the purposes intended – School bond money returned to us from Little Caesars’ Arena- Library Bond money returned to the libraries and away from Downtown Development Authority and DEGC from looting our public goods.

What challenges do you anticipate this school year to COVID and what do you think your school district must do to keep students & staff safe?

We have to stay away from the buildings.

What should be your school district’s top spending priorities in their budget? Alternatively, what should not be prioritized your district’s budget?

Internet access for every household in Detroit, which could come from tax abatements given to Dan Gilbert, et al. Top administrators in our district who looted DPS should not be on the payroll. Tyrone Winfrey was investigated for conflict of interest when he was at the scandalous EAA, but he’s in Vitti’s club now. Tanya Allen. Really? Keep going down the list. You will see how much Skillman is saving from having their hacks on DPSCD payroll now.

What role do you think standardized tests should play in your school district?

None.

If you could have an impact on your school district’s curriculum , what changes would you make? What, if anything, would you keep the same?

Education in the things that matter; how to make home repairs, how to be financially literate, how to understand municipal finances. How to make legislation that’s fair for the People and not the contractors and bankers.

What responsibility do you believe your school district has in supporting students’ and staffs’ mental and emotional health/wellbeing?

See all of the above.

How do you think your school district should handle student discipline/and make schools a safe place for students and staff?

Stop policing so much. If you only have a hammer, everyone is a nail.

What are your top priorities around special education in your district?

Funding to be restored; it was taken and used for general education.

What is your perspective on working towards achieving equity within your school district?

Integration is the only way there will be equity.

Any other information you want to include or share?

Yes, The financial review board has no business in Detroit Schools. The money was misspent and stolen by the State.

October 4, 2020

John Telford

Pronouns:Dr.
School DistrictDetroit Public Schools Community District
City:Detroit

How long have you lived in your district?

84 years

Have you received any endorsements?

Longtime DPS activist Helen Moore has endorsed me.

Are you an incumbent?

No

Why do you want to be a school board member?

I want my city’s black and brown children to get the same quality of education I received in DPS–and since the 1999 state takeover, they haven’t..

What does education justice mean to you? What does it mean specifically in the context of your school district?

See previous answer.

If you could completely reimagine the way schools look after this public health crisis, what would they look like?

All DPSCD stuents would score in the top ten percentile of the SAT.

Describe how you think parents, students, and families should be involved in making decisions within your school district?

We serve them and carry out their wishes.

Who (if any) are your top financial supporters for your campaign?

I gave the late State Rep. Isaac Robinson a lot of money to manage my campaign before he died of the virus, and I can’t recover the money, so I’m using my radio show, my newspaper column, and Facebook to campaign.

What are your top 3 educational priorities/goals within your school district?

My platform is literacy, student and staff safety, and a trade learned by 12th grade.

What are your top 3 educational priorities/goals at a state level?

That the state pay for a forensic audit to uncover the theft DPS from DPS of $3.5 billion during the takeover, that the money be restored, and that the perpetrators go to jail.

What challenges do you anticipate this school year to COVID and what do you think your school district must do to keep students & staff safe?

Instrution totally online, and schools used as center for special needs.

What should be your school district’s top spending priorities in their budget? Alternatively, what should not be prioritized your district’s budget?

Academics first, everything else second.

What role do you think standardized tests should play in your school district?

A significant one

If you could have an impact on your school district’s curriculum , what changes would you make? What, if anything, would you keep the same?

I would return the curric. to the teaching of traditional grammar to deal with dialectical problems.

What responsibility do you believe your school district has in supporting students’ and staffs’ mental and emotional health/wellbeing?

A vital one.

How do you think your school district should handle student discipline/and make schools a safe place for students and staff?

Open more alternative schools for students with behavioral problems, and bring them back when the problems are no more.

What are your top priorities around special education in your district?

Re-open the Oakman Center.

What is your perspective on working towards achieving equity within your school district?

This is essential.

Any other information you want to include or share?

I served as the DPS Superintendent pro bono in 2012-2013 under state-imposed emergency financial MISmanaement.