If our definition of success rests solely on getting more students to be proficient on state standardized tests, we will fail all our students in the 21st century.
Having taught in both public, private, suburban, and urban schools, I have a deep conviction that every child must have a neighborhood school that serves their needs and challenges them. I believe Mountain View has both the diversity and community resources to prove that world leading public education for all children under one school roof is still possible in the 21st century.
I ask for your vote because my experience as an educator and understanding of education policy brings a unique and needed perspective to our school board. I have been teaching for the last eight years, one of those eight as teacher of the year. I have a masters in teaching from Stanford University and a masters in educational leadership from Columbia University. I am a Google Certified Teacher, Microsoft Innovative Educator, and UCSD certified Gifted and Talented Education teacher. I teach sixth grade and for many years I taught ninth grade. Both are critical transition points for the board to support.
The world is focusing on collaborative problem solving, Mountain View shouldn’t settle for anything less. All we need is a board with a global vision and a passion for global education research (Game of 20 is a collaborative problem solving test).
Policy is set by a board, not a single trustee. My three priorities with the board are:
1) Implementing community developed metrics that align with the real outcomes we value for our children. Currently, our schools are primarily judged based on their annual API score, which is simply a calculation of state standardized tests. Not yet included is any data on our children’s ability to problem solve, innovate, work in teams, control their emotions, or learn free of bullying or other aggressive culture part of our schools’ “grade.” All of which contribute to a child’s lifelong success.
In 2005, I was a founding teacher of a new urban school for at risk youth in New York City. NYC schools collect survey data annually and create a community designed holistic school score. Powerful developments are being made in designing test that measure critical thinking, such as the College and Work Readiness Assessment, ATC21S, and PISA 2015. I look forward to working with the board to ensure Mountain View is leading the way in improving upon the very best in public education metrics.
2) Developing career long leadership tracks for our district’s talented teachers in order to recruit and retain the very best educators. In 2010, I began collaborating with leading educators from Finland to understand how they support teachers. We need a board that will adopt the very best policies from around the world, like those from Finland and Singapore. What do these nations have in common with our own nation’s very best schools? They all ensure teachers are always learning and leading. We can do a great deal more to collaborate with local businesses on how they develop their internal leaders. The best assets local companies like Google offer is not their checkbooks, but their skills in developing human capital.
3) Start a community discussion on redesigning education for the 21st century. In 2011, I took time away from teaching to work in academic technology in the independent schools community. I also completed a teacher residency at High Tech High, a leading charter school. Both have shaped my belief that there are many things public district schools can learn from independent and public charter schools. The greatest lesson is the urgency to update learning for the 21st century. A vision for 21st century learning was given by Dr. Tony Wagner. We need to begin our own conversation on what is 21st century learning.
We cannot be great unless our metrics align with our values. If the state isn’t willing to see that, we need the courage to innovate locally.