Outside of my advocacy through EdLanta, I currently teach special education at the State of Georgia’s first and only non suspension school, 7 Pillars Career Academy, while also running for the Atlanta Board of Education Seat 9 At Large to ensure that every child in Atlanta receives an equitable education.
I’m elevating the educator’s voice in my school board campaign!
As a veteran educator with 17 years of experience, I’m running for the APS school board because I know our children can’t continue to wait on a world class education system. They need it now! I believe our steps to begin this are simple.
I plan to prioritize equitable policies by improving family and community engagement, early childhood education, and workforce development. It is also important to balance the academic budget while also supporting wrap around services for student success. Also, it will be important to prioritize feedback and improve flexibility for teachers and instructors in teaching and learning models.
Elevating the educator’s voice throughout my school board race is essential to the conversation of school turnaround and reimagining education. It’s essential because I’ve seen successful school turnaround work from my experience in administration, in board governance, as a classroom teacher and with various other leadership experiences.
School improvement is a responsibility of the school board and who better to be on the team than a veteran educator!
Making Atlanta Public Schools a world class system means making our priority providing better educational opportunities for our students. I believe in improving accountability by creating guidelines for success as opposed to guardrails. I believe the guidelines for success should include an intent to focus on helping schools improve:
- Student Matriculation
- Student Engagement
- Student Achievement
- Student Services
- Teacher Development
- Stakeholder Engagement
The aforementioned areas aren’t just critical areas of improvement for failing schools. They’re also critical areas that will help to elevate innovation in teaching and learning. The 21st century classroom is led by teachers and educators who impact students through instruction. However, currently I am the only candidate currently teaching in the classroom, experiencing what many teachers across the nation are today.
If an educator with experience in teaching and school leadership was on the current Atlanta Public School board then we could possibly have changed some of the inequitable outcomes in public schools. As a teacher and school leader, I know it’s not impossible to improve struggling schools.
It’s not impossible to improve failing schools!
It’s not hard to improve failing schools when you are strategically planning for the success of the school, students, and communities. It can’t be any other way when school and district leadership don’t have strong relationships and communication with parents, staff, and stakeholders.
It’s a heavy lift to improve a failing school. An educator who understands policy, teaching and learning, risk management, and stakeholder engagement is what is needed on school boards to help us improve educational outcomes.
Engagement with stakeholders, including parents, teachers and students is key to school improvement.
School board meeting times often conflict with teacher schedules and availability; however, I’m encouraging more teachers to get connected to the governance work of the school district. A lot of decisions on curriculum, calendars, budgets for schools, and accountability are discussed and reviewed in board and committee meetings.
One way for teachers to stay engaged is to connect lessons on safety protocols for COVID-19, ways to improve and add innovation in classrooms, budgeting and project management to board general and committee meetings. Additionally, teachers should consider connecting with teacher advocacy organizations or unions that can provide them with training/professional development on governance, policy and budgeting.
I’m encouraging teachers to continually learn how to improve educational practices and how school governance impacts teaching and learning in classrooms.
Jason has worked in education for over 15 years as a teacher, blogger and community advocate. He speaks and writes primarily about the need to improve education for Black boys, particularly increasing the number of Black male educators in schools. In addition to blogging here at EdLanta, Jason is also a featured writer at Education Post.