Seeking Your Support in My Re-Election to the Arlington School Board
It has been an honor to serve on the Arlington School Board since January 2016, and as chair since July 2018. Arlington Public Schools are envied for excellence, achievement, and openness to all. We have challenges, with the hardest borne of our success.
Our school population is climbing rapidly because parents really want their kids in Arlington schools. That means new buildings, and new school boundaries and constant worries about how we are going to keep up with growth. These are tough issues, but much better than schools that people are eager to leave!
We have another tough issue, also largely from Arlington’s success. We have been setting the bar for teacher compensation in this area, and now the other jurisdictions are catching up or surpassing us. So we need to work even harder to keep the best teachers in the region--something I pledge to do.
With your help, I want to continue to work hard on these issues and many more that affect our schools. Carol and I were fortunate to be able to put our daughters through Arlington Public Schools. Our schools are critical to our communities, and as a focal point for our children’s lives, they become the focal point for ours. Keeping Arlington’s public schools excellent and working to make them even better is my passion, and I hope you will support me as I seek another term.
A re-election is a chance to think about where APS is going—what do we need to focus on in the coming years? We can’t just move from one immediate issue to another; we need guiding principles. These are mine:
- Instruction—focus on what is going on inside the classroom, even as we build more. That is what our schools are all about. We cannot lose focus on the instructional excellence that makes Arlington Schools the envy of the region, and on how to engage and help each child reach their full potential.
- Teachers—we need to have the best teachers, fairly compensated. We don’t get excellent instruction just by building a classroom, or providing technology, no matter how good they are. We must retain and support our teachers and continue to recruit the best.
- Skills—our students are going to need certain skills when they move on from APS--not just finishing courses in the state curriculum--whether they are moving on to college or other careers or careers after college. We need to keep our eye on what those skills are as technology and society change. They are not the same as 1975, or even 2005. Our kindergarteners are the class of 2031—what will they need to be able to do?
- Stress—our kids are stressed out. It’s a big problem and getting worse, not better. Our schools are the environment where they spend most of their day. We need to examine how that environment is contributing to that stress and try to stop it. We can’t take all the stress out of students’ lives, but we have to stop adding to it. And dealing with stress is one of the skills we know our students will need as they continue with their education and their lives.
- Inclusion—we need to maintain an environment where everyone is welcomed and valued, and where they can pursue their best. This is not a pie in the sky aspiration. It must be the baseline for everything we do. And it is non-negotiable.
I am eager for the opportunity—with your support—to work on these issues. I ask for your support, and your vote, for my campaign for re-election to the Arlington School Board.
All the best,