October 4, 2020
School DistrictBirmingham City School District
City:Birmingham, Beverly Hills, Bloomfield Twp/Hills, Franklin, Bingham Farms, Troy, West Bloomfield, Southfield
How long have you lived in your district?
Have you received any endorsements?
State Senator Rosemary Bayer, Representative Mari Manoogian, Representative Kyra Bolden, Troy Councilwoman Theresa Brooks, AFSCME, Michigan Regional Council of Carpenters, and the Birmingham Education Association
Are you an incumbent?
Why do you want to be a school board member?
As a recent graduate of Seaholm High School, I’m looking to bring a different perspective to our school board that’s more in touch with students and their needs. I want to ensure that we are continuing a tradition of providing quality public school education to every student in our district while fostering a community of openness.
What does education justice mean to you? What does it mean specifically in the context of your school district?
Educational justice, to me, means that we are ensuring the right to a high-quality education is afforded and accessible to every student, no matter their race, socio-economic background, or zip code. Specifically in BPS, it means ensuring an equitable amount of funding for our students and schools that serve more underserved students. It also means ensuring we have proper restorative action programs and safety nets in place to prevent “troubled” students from falling into the cycle of the school to prison pipeline.
If you could completely reimagine the way schools look after this public health crisis, what would they look like?
I think they would be better designed and better equipped for the challenges tomorrow may present. Whether this is adhering to more technological advancements, or simply making sure our schools are equipped with all materials they may need to keep kids safe under different circumstances. Further, I would like to see schools be environments where students are able to recieve more help in their studies via one-on-one training with teachers, and have resources in the mental health space be readily available to them. These two objectives could be accomplished by reducing the workloads of both our educators and our councilors.
Describe how you think parents, students, and families should be involved in making decisions within your school district?
By being completely inclusive in collecting perspectives and ideas when weighing different issues as a board. I would be in support of forming special committees of teachers, administrators, parents, and students to review important policy issues being considered by the board to bring more perspectives into the circle. I would also like to review the way our board collects parent survey responses to ensure that we are collecting enough data for statistically significant results, and to make sure we are not using biased language when writing certain survey questions. I think it’s also important to collect quantitative and quantitative results through these surveys to better make decisions tailored to the needs and thoughts of important stakeholders.
Who (if any) are your top financial supporters for your campaign?
I’ve only received small-dollar contributions from dozens of individuals.
What are your top 3 educational priorities/goals within your school district?
To put more of a focus on the issues of mental health, fully proved our students with resources like school psychologists, social workers, and councilors, and accomplish these goals reduce work loads for councilors. Foster a community of that promotes diversity and accomplish this by providing extended resources to teachers in understanding the customs of the diverse range of customs practiced by our students
What are your top 3 educational priorities/goals at a state level?
To change the way we fund our schools to prioritize the funding of public school districts, remove the retention clause of the third grade reading bill, and to review the standards we place on charter schools as they relate to the standards we impose on public schools.
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?
This year has posed many challenges as it relates to weathering the Covid-19 pandemic. I think the most important thing our school district must do in order to keep students and staff safe is to take into account expert opinion when it comes to figuring out how to reopen safely.
What should be your school district’s top spending priorities in their budget? Alternatively, what should not be prioritized your district’s budget?
I think our district’s top spending priorities should be ensuring that each student has the resources they need to be successful, in all areas. This includes making sure their teachers are paid fairly, their councilors have a manageable work load, and they have access to a school psychologist during the school day.
What role do you think standardized tests should play in your school district?
I think standardized tests should be reduced and given a less significant role when determining the performance of our teachers. Teachers should have more time focusing on individual needs of their students, not scoring highest on standardized tests.
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 support a review of our curriculum to ensure that our history is taught fairly and through an anti-racist lens. Further, I would support a continued review of the new math curriculum our district has implemented to ensure it remains best suited for our students.
What responsibility do you believe your school district has in supporting students’ and staffs’ mental and emotional health/wellbeing?
I believe our district has a large responsibility in supporting the mental health and wellbeing of our students and staff. I’ve stated before that I support providing more readily available resources to our students in this area, including access to school psychologists and social workers, I would extend these resources further to staff members.
How do you think your school district should handle student discipline/and make schools a safe place for students and staff?
I think our district should implement and continue to support restorative action programs for our students who commit acts in school that would traditionally result in discipline. Further, I think there should be a review of discipline in our schools and the difference in discipline for different students when outside factors may cause variance.
What are your top priorities around special education in your district?
In the area of special education, my top priorities are to ensure that our district continues to provide great education to our students with special needs, while encouraging our students to reach past their preconceived abilities.
What is your perspective on working towards achieving equity within your school district?
I think our school district has some work to do in working towards achieving equity within our district. I would support a review of how our money is apportioned to different schools in the district based on the number of underserved students enrolled. I would also like a review of how discipline at our school may vary for different students based soley on outside factors such as race. In ensuring that we are providing equitable access to resources in mental healthcare, we will make progress in achieving equity within our school district.