FOR THE FUTURE
Lead with Empathy
The challenges facing our school communities are big and require big ideas, but it isn't enough to just lead with ideas. We need compassionate, thoughtful leaders with the experience and knowledge to provide real representation for all of DC on the State Board of Education.
Open Our Public Education System to All DC Residents
I know we can do more to ensure that every resident of the District has access to a quality education. I support a universal public education system that allows students from birth and through adult the opportunity to access learning opportunities.
I believe it is imperative that we fully fund early childhood education. As an advocate, I worked with other progressive nonprofits to write DC's Birth-to-Three legislation and secure its passage, and as a member of the SBOE I will work to continue seeing it fully funded.
I want to ensure that we're not just preparing students for college, but for the jobs that don't require a college degree. Our public education system, from PK3 to the University of the District of Columbia, ought to be universally accessible to District residents regardless of a person’s income, race, ward, or gender.
I believe that we also must expand access to mental health care inside our schools so that students and their families have access to reliable, affordable care.
An open, high quality education will fill the massive achievement gaps for all students from Washington Highlands to Friendship Heights. Parents can rest easy knowing they have a trusted ally working to provide DC youth with the best paths toward their futures.
Fully fund the Birth-to-Three Act
Ensure that we're providing students with meaningful pathways to success that include vocational education
Expand and strengthen our adult education and workforce development programs so every DC resident has access to opportunity
Make the University of the District of Columbia System tuition-free for DC residents
Build an Environment to Keep and Grow Good Teachers
I know the demands of being a teacher in DC public schools.
As a member of the State Board, I'll be working to address the systemic issues that push entirely too many teachers out of our schools, and in some cases out of the profession altogether. I want to work to solve DC's teacher retention crisis by examining DCPS's IMPACT evaluation system, opportunities for mentorship and professional development, and credentialing.
We must address the gap between our Latinx students and our teacher workforce. I want to work with my colleagues to find solutions to this representation gap and ensure our children have educators who look like them.
The public health emergency has added additional challenges for DC teachers. I want to ensure our teachers are being provided with the resources they need to make distance learning work, and not being penalized for reasons beyond their control.
Replace the IMPACT evaluation system with the Washington Teachers' Union at the table
Ensure teachers are well-prepared and well-trained from the moment they enter the classroom
Close the "representation gap" by recruiting more educators of color, with a focus on our Latinx community
Protect teachers during the public health emergency and ensure they have the resources to make distance-learning work
Uplift Family and Student Demands to Hold our School Leaders Accountable
As a student and teacher, I saw student and parents locked out of the places where decisions about their schools were being made. It was wrong then and it's wrong now. We need a system that restores transparency and accountability, pillars of a thriving democratic system, and ensures our families have a real seat at the table.
If elected to the State Board of Education, I will support reforms to the Public Education Reform Act of 2007 (PERA) that give the SBOE the authority to do oversight on behalf of the almost 100,000 students attending both DCPS and public charter schools. I will also support legislation that applies DC's Open Meetings Act and Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) to all schools regardless of sector.
End unilateral mayoral control of our school system
Change the Public Education Reform Act of 2007 to make OSSE independent and give the SBOE the authority to actually serve families
Support legislation to ensure both our DCPS and public charter schools are transparent and accountable to parents
Dismantle the Systems that Keep Our Black and Brown Students from Success
As an educator, I taught my students to fight against injustice. As a member of the DC State Board of Education, I will use my lived experience as a Black queer man and my professional experience as a former educator to ensure our families have an education system free of systemic oppression.
Dismantling the systems that keep Black and Brown students from success means addressing a big elephant in the room – standardized testing. We've seen the corrosive effect that our over-testing has had on Black and Latinx students, and I will
It means replacing the STAR Framework, a measurement that has undercut students attending schools east of the Anacostia River, and contributes to the re-segregation of our public schools.
It means removing police and armed security from our schools so that we once and for all end the school-to-prison pipeline once and for all.
I will also work with my colleagues to determine whether schools are following the intent of the Fair Access to School Act, which aims to protect students from "push-out," a tactic that disproportionately impacts students of color and students with disabilities. I want to ensure that we're closing the representation gap so that we have a teacher workforce that reflects the diversity of our schools.
End high-stakes standardized testing
Replace the broken STAR Framework and DC School Report that harms the vast majority of schools east of the Anacostia River
End the criminalizing of our Black and Brown students by removing police from our schools
Ensure schools aren't using "push-out" tactics