Minneapolis school board at-large (vote for 2)


Vying for this position are Collin Beachy, Sonya Emerick, KerryJo Felder and Lisa Skjefte.


How will you reduce the achievement gap between Black and White students in the district?
Even before the school board started discussing it, I knew we had to get on a structured literacy with heavy phonics and structured math teaching district wide. Structured literacy with phonics is the one to cut across most lines, whether it be ethnic, comprehension or dyslexia.

How will you change the culture of a top-down management approach and seek to include the voices of teachers, paraprofessionals and other staff in decisions?
Well, that’s how I knew about answer #1. I want to be on the school board, not a reading specialist, so I reached out to math teachers, paraprofessionals, and parmentors, to see what they thought about the different options. They look at if the children are interested, is it easy to teach, do the children stay interested, can teachers make it interesting and a lot more factors.

How will you bridge the gap following the strike between teachers/paraprofessionals/parents/students and administrators?
Students and parents should lead the way and confide in their teachers, who should confide in their administrators, who should run that up as well. We have been doing it wrong for far too long. Most parents know the teachers were right and the district didn’t have to choose to prolong the way it did.

How will you follow up on the Comprehensive District Design and evaluate the changes?
We have schools with too few and schools with too many students. We have families split up and they deserve to have the lines redrawn so their children can be together again, even if they drive. Plus, we have redistricted, so the lines should be revisited to be more fair citywide anyways. Also, making sure math/reading are identical throughout the district . We just had one side of district program heavy for too long and the boat started sinking. We have to put together a district that will be competitive and sustainable.

What are your ideas for educating students holistically?
Having students tell us what they need and then implementing it. Having parents tell us what their children need and implementing it. Asking what our people (all staff) need inside the schools and implement them. It’s time to make our schools whole and leave everything else outside. Of course growing fantastic programs, getting to seven hours all around, an on-time bussing schedule and after school activities for all.


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