1) What background or prior life experience qualifies you for a position on the Board of Education? What inspired you to run for a position on the BOE at this particular time?
I have a record of successfully working with unions, management and city officials to achieve success and resolve problems. Experience will be important as we confront the challenges of city wide redistricting, the opening of the K-8s, the recruiting of a new Superintendent, and the middle school curriculum revision.
A community’s commitment to education is the standard by which a city is measured in determining property values and the overall quality of life. We can build Blue Back Square downtown, but if we don’t have top tier schools, no one will move here and existing families will leave.
2) If elected, what would be your immediate priorities?
The four items listed above as well as completing negotiations with the BFT.
3) What is the role of parents and teachers in educational decision making? How will you seek out the input of each and maintain communication
Teachers must be involved in insuring that educational decisions are logical, reasonable and realistic. The Board will insure they are consulted and given an opportunity for input prior to any major decisions being made.
The Board should encourage parents to be involved with identifying needs and setting individual goals for their children, while providing support at home to insure the student succeeds. We are constantly seeking ways to improve communications with parents by the use of meetings, media, technology and personal contact.
4) What are the dividing lines between parents, teachers, and administrators when it comes to accountability for student progress?
Administrators are responsible for providing a school environment that encourages learning and evaluating the effectiveness of teachers in the classroom.
Teachers are responsible for meeting the needs of every student in their classroom in learning the curriculum and making adequate progress.
Parents are responsible for understanding what their children need to do to succeed and insuring that they do it.
5) What is your opinion of the NCLB (No Child Left Behind) act and its legacy?
I believe NCLB has resulted in an increased focus on accountability and brought attention to the achievement gap. Unfortunately, unrealistic goals for all sub groups have impacted its credibility, requiring substantial changes going forward.
6) What else would you like our members to know about your candidacy?
I grew up here and have spent most of my life in Bristol. I want it to prosper and be remembered not for what it used to be, but what it’s going to be.