I am a product of a public school education, and a mom who will soon be sending her daughter to public school in Ward 6. I am also a former literacy teacher, so I know firsthand the challenges faced by educators in low-resourced schools and parents struggling with food insecurity or housing instability. I have worked with children who are sent to school unprepared to learn because of learning disabilities, and those who struggle to keep up due to a lack of adequate after-school support programs.
I still carry with me the values and lessons I learned from being a part of a diverse student body on a daily basis, both as a student and a teacher. Everyone in our city deserves this same opportunity, and it starts with access to safe public schools that provide a high quality education.
We’ve made great strides in recent years to improve elementary schools throughout the Ward, but too many of the families I’ve met with are facing difficult decisions as their children age into middle school and high school. Many are making plans to leave the Ward because we aren’t doing enough to make public school a realistic option through high school. As a result, our public schools, and the families who rely on them, suffer.
It’s time to send a former teacher to the DC Council so we can make Ward 6 public schools a top priority - all of them. This means empowering our great teachers, continuing to invest in our infrastructure, and modernizing our school selection process to make sure that all children in Ward 6 are able to attend a safe, high quality school in their neighborhood. We need to bring neighborhood residents, school administrators and city officials together to collaborate and demand a strategy that will allow the quality and safety of our middle schools and high schools to improve at the same rate we’ve seen with our elementary schools, without leaving anyone behind.