Education and youth development: two incredibly important elements of Hartford’s future. I strongly believe that education has the power to transform lives and break the cycle of poverty. As someone who grew up in the public-school system and experienced firsthand the benefits of an engaged learning environment, I know that we have the potential to create highly effective schools. Unfortunately, we are lacking the necessary leadership and connections to make this a reality. But I have faith in our community and believe that with the right resources and support, every child in our city will have access to the education they deserve.
Appoint City Department Heads– to also serve on the Board of Education – to embed collaboration and bust silos. Schools and the communities within which they reside are inextricably linked. City planning and our schools are siloed even though they have shared visions and goals. Planning for the city and planning for the schools must be addressed in a wholistic way.
The directors of the following departments are my current choices
Appoint an Education Chief – to execute on an education agenda for the city by forming strategic public -private sector partnerships and fostering coordination between youth serving organizations. Be the connector across all facets of education, youth development programs, parents, residents, business and community leader involvement.
Expand Support to Teachers – Our current system is leaving everyone frustrated and burned out. Let’s start a new conversation by working with our unions. When you signed up to teach you – you didn’t sign up for this – you expected a lot more support. You can’t extinguish a five-alarm blaze with a fire extinguisher. I’ll work with teachers and with the administration and with the private sector to rally the resources needed so that we can let teachers focus on the thing they love to do the most.
Promote Full Implementation of Student Success Plans – Planning to graduate is not enough. Our students must graduate with a plan and that plan must be created with the help of as many caring adults from the residential and private sector as possible.
Call for Dream Directors in Every School – Exposure and aspiration are the key – Dream Directors are Youth Development Experts who will spark the curiosity, purpose and imagination to uncover our student’s limitless potential. They train students to become leaders to engage their peers and shift the culture of the school.
Address Remediation – Our kids are behind, and we must provide additional supports to catch them up – as a community we must come together and summon an army of academic resources to wrap around our kids.
Youth Development as a City Priority – Developing our young people is not a school issue alone, these are issues for the community. They are citizens of the city, they are with us before school, after school, nights and weekends and all summer. We are largely overlooking the insights and potential of our cities’ most important constituents – our future leaders. We can create civically engaged adults starting now by inviting young people to the urban planning and policy making table.
Kick Start School Governance Councils – Fully support functioning SGCs in every school as a primary means of engaging community and parent involvement..