October 4, 2020
School DistrictFarmington Public School District
City:City of Farmington, Farmington Hills, (small portion)W. Bloomfield
How long have you lived in your district?
Have you received any endorsements?
Fem For Dems, Beloved Community Initiatives,
Are you an incumbent?
Why do you want to be a school board member?
I am running for the Farmington Public Schools Board to serve students and my community. For 30 plus years, my professional and community work has prepared me to govern. My goal is to bring a data-driven approach and to govern through the lens of accountability, transparency, and equity. I want to promote policies that raise the bar in education by creating a culture of excellence where students are motivated to learn and grow in a safe and supportive environment, and teachers’ professionalism is respected. I am a certified teacher and an expert in adaptive technology and virtual and remote learning, with a career spanning 30 years in educational consulting.
What does education justice mean to you? What does it mean specifically in the context of your school district?
Education justice means equity for all students. That teachers have high expectations and create an environment where students have a voice that is respected. Where education systems prepare and offer AP, IB, and honor classes to a diverse student body.
If you could completely reimagine the way schools look after this public health crisis, what would they look like?
With the assistance of adaptive technology, I can imagine a student-centered learning environment where a part of the teaching time would be to facilitate. The techer/ facilitator is reviewing data, and having data talks with individual students to help them understand their progress and encouring a growth mindset when learning. I imagine teachers and its’ systems will welcome every students without judging and without low expectations. I imagine that students are welcome to have a voice in and feels comfortable to take risks in their learning.
I image that “Every child deserves a champion, an adult who will never give up on them, who understands the power of connection, and insists that they become the best that they can possibly be.” (Dr. Rita Pierson, Educator)
Describe how you think parents, students, and families should be involved in making decisions within your school district?
School districts are the center of every community. The school’s PTA offers opportunities for parents/families to be active, address concerns, and make suggestions. Parents, students, and families can attend board meetings and discuss concerns or solutions within the public forum.
Attending parent workshops, coffee hours, and participating in parent and student surveys are also ways of engagement.
Who (if any) are your top financial supporters for your campaign?
Grass root community, families, and friends.
What are your top 3 educational priorities/goals within your school district?
My goal is to bring a data-driven approach and to govern through the lens of accountability, transparency, and equity. I want to promote policies that raise the bar in education by creating a culture of excellence where students are motivated to learn and grow in a safe and supportive environment, and teachers’ professionalism is respected.
What are your top 3 educational priorities/goals at a state level?
1. Implement, with strong district and building leadership, high-quality instruction in every classroom through a student-centered instructional model where students meet their self-determined academic and personal goals to their highest potential.
2. Reduce the impact of high-risk factors, including poverty, and provide equitable resources to meet the needs of all students to ensure that they have access to quality educational opportunities and barriers to close the digital divide.
3. Create a strong alignment and partnership with job providers, community colleges, and higher education to assure a prepared and quality future workforce, and informed and responsible citizens.
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?
There are challenges on both sides of educating our students while keeping students, teachers, and the community safe. Districts have implemented a number of COVID-19 models and in some cases a selection of options to be implemented at the same time.
The Farmington Public Schools have decided to start school in a 100% virtual /remote model. The District has used science and data to inform their decision, and I agree with their decision.
What should be your school district’s top spending priorities in their budget? Alternatively, what should not be prioritized your district’s budget?
When learning at school resumes, one of the top priorities is to ensure that all buildings have a high-grade filtration system to ensure clean air circulation as well as protective gear.
The District’s annual Strategic Plan priorities should be through an equitable lens such as more funding and time for academic and social-emotional options for struggling students. It is difficult to say what should not be a priority as districts have developed budgets with too little funds before the COVID-19. Everything is a priority and the Federal government should replace the district’s funding shortfall .to at least maintain our current priorities.
What role do you think standardized tests should play in your school district?
Testing is important to understand what students know Testing three times a year gives teachers a tool/data to show growth or the lack of overtime. The data helps teachers to determine if interventions and other learning systems are needed.
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?
Farmington Public Schools needs a district-wide curriculum to ensure continuity from grade to grade. In addition to the traditional curriculum, I would include the Competency-Based Education curriculum.
A Competency-Based Education curriculum. includes characteristics of career & college-readiness within all of the academic standards, including the arts and the Career Technical Education Career and Technical Education (CTE). CBE focuses on personalized pathways rather than a traditional linear progression. Teachers in CBE develop meaningful, engaging projects for students to work on while giving feedback to revise work to mastery of the standards. Students can engage in meaningful experiences, skills, and certifications to be career and college ready. (Michigan Department of Education)
What responsibility do you believe your school district has in supporting students’ and staffs’ mental and emotional health/wellbeing?
I believe it is important for the Farmington Public School District to establish a district-wide social-emotional and mental health program for students and staff. There should be a district-wide restorative practices system, which includes training of all stakeholders.
How do you think your school district should handle student discipline/and make schools a safe place for students and staff?
In 2018, Governor Snyder signed legislation that districts consider restorative practices as an alternative to zero tolerance. I believe that FPS should use/ apply restorative practices for at least Lever One offenders. The Student Code of Conduct policy should be revised to include restorative practices like most Michigan Districts.
Restorative practices promote student’s growth, relationship building, and it creates a trusted community instead of discipline, which can be the first step to the pipeline to prison.
What are your top priorities around special education in your district?
As a parent of two sons with an Individual Education Plans (IEP) and as a Board Member, I would make sure that teachers read and understand each students’ IEP to consistently implement the appropriate accommodations.
What is your perspective on working towards achieving equity within your school district?
The Farmington Public Schools’ recent approval of equity policy and the recent hire of an Assistant Superintendent for Diversity, Inclusion, and Equity is a great start. Our school an district is essential to our diverse community. I believe the Equity Policy set the tone and expectations with five objectives below. As a Board Member, I want to implement a data-driven process to ensure progress.
1. Gaps and barriers between our vision and the policies, practices, and structures that may perpetuate systemic inequities are eliminated.
2. The predictability of success and failure that currently correlates with any social or cultural factor is removed from teaching and learning practices.
3. All learners have access to rigorous content at or above grade level.
4. All stakeholders are engaged in sustainable partnerships to support academic achievement for all learners.
5. Knowledge, attitudes, skills, and practices are developed to create learning environments and opportunities that expect and support achievement for all learners.
Any other information you want to include or share?
Mable Fox a 23 years resident of Farmington Hills.
§ Single mother of three young adult children (adopted months old).
§ My sons attended Farmington Schools from K-12 grades and they are now
§ My daughter is a product of Detroit Public Schools with advanced degrees.
§ I believe “Every Child Deserves A Champion”, an adult who will never give up on
them, who understands the power of connection, and insists that they become
the best that they can possibly be.”
v=SFnMTHhKdkw&feature=youtu.be) (Dr. Rita Pierson, Educator)