1. What do you feel is the most important issue facing HCPSS at the current time? What steps should the BOE take to address this issue?
The most important issue is fiscal responsibility, because our allocation of resources must 1) consider the growing diversity of need, and 2) not undermine the high expectations and support from HCPSS for all students. Additionally, the BOE with Dr. Martirano must fundamentally change the way HCPSS leverages performance measures and best practices to help ensure that every opportunity to streamline cost, identify waste, increase revenue and continue to provide for the needs of our students is improved.
2. How do you think the BOE should implement Dr. Martirano’s Strategic Plan for Diversity and Inclusion (ensures academic success and social-emotional well-being for each student in an inclusive and nurturing environment that closes opportunity gaps) across the levels?
As a point of clarification, Dr. Martirano’s Call to Action is a strategic vision, not a plan. Strategic Plans are actionable documents and should include mission, vision, measurable/stated goals, a strategy map, a balanced scorecard against which performance/outcomes may be measured against the stated goals, and a road map with which all of the constituencies may consider their progress toward the plan. To that end, as a BOE member I will ask for specificity for this and each Strategic Plan to ensure that HCPSS is not wasting resources for things that sound great, but are not moving us toward the vision of the diversity and inclusion that is best for our students, families and staff.
3. What is your approach regarding school safety plans?
Consider what the experts at the local and state levels have to say, but filter it through 1) actual impact on students, 2) community considerations, and 3) consistency across the county to ensure equity of impact. We must not ignore that the safety issues the nation has seen in public schools have been primarily perpetrated by troubled current or former students. So, to address the symptom in a heavy handed way without first prioritizing resources for school support services like social work/counseling, conflict resolution training, restorative justice and effective ant-bullying, is short sighted.
4. What are your priorities regarding setting the school calendar?
My first priority is academic integrity and what is best for students.
5. How will you address redistricting and improving the balance of socioeconomic diversity across all schools?
As a member of the Community Advisory Council I advocated for a top down consideration of student placements based upon socioeconomic diversity only to later hear from several large communities that they did not want to move. I had advocated for this approach based upon data and anecdotal feedback that staff and students suffer when classrooms have such high numbers of children with additional needs (regardless of reason), that one teacher and one para cannot meet the needs of every student at his/her highest potential. So, the reality is that at some point there has to be a coming together of the community so that BOE members aren’t too removed to understand all of the considerations. Then, the community has to understand that final decisions will be made upon 1) risk management/student safety, 2) equity, 3) cost, 4) to address the needs of a still expanding county, and 5) our commitment not to sacrifice the quality of education for our children.
Mavourene Robinson for Board of Education 2018,
…Because Every Stakeholder Matters.