I have been a teacher and counselor in West Contra Costa Unified School District for 21 years and I believe that a quality public education for all is a fundamental human right. Public education is a shared responsibility. Teachers, staff, parents elected officials and community members are all responsible for ensuring that all children receive the preparation they need to succeed in life and work in today’s information economy. We have a wealth of highly qualified and talented teachers and a competent and dedicated staff. We also have students eager to learn, special needs students, and many children from diverse backgrounds and skill levels.
We also face challenges that must be overcome. Existing differences in academic achievement among students of different socioeconomic levels and ethnicities can no longer be tolerated. I propose the creation of full-service community schools centered around local control, teacher autonomy and community empowerment. Work, study and play should be the core purposes of our schools. Critical thinking, creativity and learning should be the tools to develop in our students a love for learning grounded on hands-on practical, creative activities.
An empowered, engaged, community will educate the whole child from pre-school to adulthood. Access to academic, health and social services would be available to all children that need it. Vocational training and skills development would not be divorced from preparing for higher education.
With your vote I will work to defend and reform public education.