But if we are going to make meaningful changes, we have to be honest about the challenges. Segregation in our schools is getting worse, not better. School funding is broken. Budget priorities are too complicated because the district is being asked to provide basic social services that the city and state fail to provide.
We can’t stay apathetic and give in to negative stereotypes about our public schools. Apathy and negativity feed the dozens of out-of-town interests who promise educational reform but only seem to make the problems worse not better.
I believe it’s essential that parents have a voice in running the school district. Students, families and teachers have to be the center of every decision the district makes.
A democratically elected school board ensures that the school district fulfills the community’s vision of a quality education. This means looking beyond test scores to make sure our schools are providing a better way of life for our city’s children.
The school board, administration, teachers and staff must be partners with the community to fight inequity, close the achievement gap and create a great public school system that works for the whole city.
We have a public school system that is built for the city of our past that doesn’t adequately serve all of the students of today. Every solution delayed, every opportunity missed is another barrier to success for a student and our city. We have an opportunity to create a school district poised for the future of education, but we can’t be timid. We must be bold. We can’t give in to the mistakes of our history or the political power of special interests.