Arlington Education Association Political Action Committee (AEA-PAC)
Endorsed Reid for Arlington County School Board
The Arlington Education Association Political Action Committee (AEA-PAC) is pleased to announce its endorsement of Reid Goldstein for Arlington County School Board in the upcoming June caucus on June 4, 6, and 8.
Reid ran for School Board in 2015 on a commitment to have an open door policy to the community and APS staff, and during the past four years, he has faithfully honored that commitment. As both an effective leader who does not hesitate to speak his mind, and as a careful and attentive listener to the concerns of those whom he represents, Mr. Goldstein has helped steer our school system in the right direction.
We at AEA look forward to continuing to work with Reid during the next four years in the service of our students, community, and staff.
Jeff Elkner, AEA-PAC Chair
To inform voters, Progressive Voice asked each candidate in the upcoming Democratic caucus for School Board to respond to this question: “The community has heard a lot about issues regarding a fourth high school, the capacity crunch, and school budget. What is a different major issue affecting students’ future success that you would address as a School Board member?”
Arlington Public Schools are rightly considered excellent, and our students’ achievement is remarkable. But the stress on our students, from demanding classes, competition, peer pressure and just being an adolescent or pre-adolescent are showing up in alarming ways.
The Youth Risk Behavior Survey (YRBS) is taken by 6th, 8th, 10th and 12th graders nationwide. These are some of the Arlington students’ responses from 2017
- About 340 high school students attempted suicide
- Half of the 8th, 10th and 12 grade girls were sexually harassed
- Illegal use of over-the-counter medications by 6th grade students has increased from 2% in 2013 to 11% in 2016
- More than a quarter of 8th grade students have used alcohol.
This is a big problem and growing worse. To serve our students well, we must do more to reduce their stress.
Student stress is a community health issue that requires a community response. I will continue to support efforts to:
- Push harder on bullying and harassment prevention, making sure every student is acknowledged, accepted and safe;
- Continue expanding the number of social workers and psychologists;
- Support social and emotional learning, particularly in building empathy;
- Teach students how to moderate their stress; and
- De-emphasize academic competition in favor of personal achievement that boosts personal goals.
Programs supporting these goals are essential, not frills.
Students can engage more with each other on similar anxiety topics when they understand that their peers are struggling with the same issues.
Parents need to talk to their children, but empathetically, realizing that the child’s developmental and school experiences are different from the parents’ experiences.
And we all need to pause and remember that we are in this together as teammates, not competitors.