What Up Doe Detroit.
WHERE I COME FROM
Service has always been a calling for me. Since my first school yard fight defending a fellow first grader from fifth grade bullies I've fought to make sure that those with the most need are well represented and well served. I've fought for young people, for older adults, for the LGBT community, and for the Black community in all its diverse forms. Doing that work in Detroit is in my blood. Even after living in Chicago where I achieved by Bachelor's in Research Psychology from the University of Chicago and served Chicago's youth in classrooms and community centers; and after living in Los Angeles where I served as a City Year Corps Member in Los Angeles Unified School District, I knew I had to come home and continue the service work in Detroit. Picking up this work is a legacy started by my grandmother, former State Representative Alma Stallworth; it's one I don't take lightly. This is service I was born to do.
When I was elected in 2016, the school district was exiting bankruptcy and under the supervision of the Financial Review Commission. Within a few months more 50 schools were on a state list recommended for closure based on poor performance. Since that time--and after our first major hurdle: selecting an outstanding reform ready superintendent, Dr. Nikolai Vitti--we protected all of those schools from closing and demonstrated consistent progress each year in the performance of those schools. We've established new Math and English Language Arts curriculum that meets national standards and has resulted in student growth that's outpaced the state average and national averages for other urban districts. We've had a balanced budget each year since that 2016 election. We've established career pathways at every high school and brought music and art back to schools including a special K-12 Arts Pathways program. We've had a lot of progress but there's still a lot of work to do. The last four years have demonstrated what I can do for our children and families, I need your vote to continue this work for another four years.
FOUR YEARS OF PROGRESS
Ensure Holistic Education
Excellence in math and literacy are our the top priority, but students need educational opportunities that also develop critical thinking, creativity, and social/emotional health. In our pursuit of excellence DPSCD must nurture the whole child.
Amplify Student Voice
Students deserve to have a voice in the policies and practices that they have to experience every day. Positioning leadership opportunities that allow for them to do that ensures DPSCD will develop environments that reflect their needs and that students will grow in their leadership skills.
Facilitate Community Connections
The people closest to our challenges, our own community, has answers, resources, and valuable ideas to develop solutions. It's critical that our broader community is connected to our district and present to support our children and families.
Continue to Positively Change Culture
DPSCD has seen a positive shift in culture so that staff, students, and families feel supported and welcomed as well as have opportunities to provide feedback. There's more work to do to ensure our organizational culture sets expectations for excellence in all areas with students as the number one priority.