The Stakes are High
Career, Technical Trade and Industrial Education
As a proud, union, public school teacher (1-6) and Professional School Counselor (K-12), I contend we need to revive and expand the vocational and skilled trades career training. I will work to address barriers that exist to expanding trades education in our schools while encouraging partnerships between employers, educators and parents. Returning veterans and disabled workers also need to be given the chance to secure jobs in Missouri.
Funding, Assessment, and the School-to-Prison Pipeline
My entire career is all about ending the school-to-prison pipeline. It is important to oppose discipline policies which disproportionately affect African Americans and Latinos, Native Americans and Alaska Natives, students with disabilities, and youth who identify as LGBTQIA+.
Having spent nearly a decade in the classroom, I am befuddled that we assess educator efficacy near solely by rigid indicators of student achievement opposed to student growth. You cannot argue that a scholar who comes into a classroom 2-3 grade levels behind, and the instructor facilitates their academic growth 2 grade levels in one school year that this teacher is not an effective educator! By cutting down on unnecessary testing will allow teachers to focus more on the curriculum and spend more time educating our students.
In addition, far too often the data from these assessments are used to falsely and unfairly label students of color, students with disabilities and English Language Learners as failing. Studies have consistently rejected utilizing standardized test scores as basis for refusing to fund schools or to close schools, as well as the use of student test scores in teacher and principal evaluations.
Research tends to show the use of restorative justice practices help students and staff resolve conflicts peacefully and respectfully while helping to improve the teaching and learning environment. I have also found this to be true in my own work. I will continue the to ensure schools are consistent in educating the whole child.