My achivements as Berkeley School Board Member
Dear Neighbor, Friends and Community,
It's hard to believe that almost 4 years have passed since you helped elect me to the Berkeley School Board. In that election I won a majority of Berkeley votes. I hope that in this upcoming election you will once again vote for me to represent you, your family and our community because I have demonstrated my commitment, integrity and work ethic to our schools.
With over 32 years of experience in education and now as a Board Member I have come to learn many things about how to strengthen our schools to be effective in our children's learning. I am a bilingual educator and director of a child care program based in Berkeley - children in our programs have gone on to Berkeley public schools, as did my own children. My focus has always been to support parent engagement, academic excellence and the success for ALL of our students and youth.
As your school board member I have come to know that Berkeley schools are improving every year because of tax measures that support our schools and having a board that demonstrates fiscal leadership while focused on teaching and learning and the 2020 Vision. I am committed to continuing to be the board member that supports our caring, professional and involved teachers, staff and parents in our schools because it takes ALL to make the positive changes we seek in education.
With your vote in November, I will remain committed to continuing efforts to improve and excel in the education of Berkeley's children. During my first term as school board member we have worked to achieve the following:
- Nine of our eleven elementary schools have over 800 API scores + exceeding the state target and our 3 middle schools have surpassed the State API target by reaching over 800. For the first time since 2002 Berkeley High School has an API score creating a baseline.
- All of our schools are reflecting improved attendance, to the degree that the District received an additional $1.4 million dollars in State funding and because of district wide improved attendance, everyday we had more students in school learning.
- Our high schools achieved an overall 80.3% graduation rate as compared to the 78.4% statewide and 76.3% countrywide graduation rates, and our graduation rate for African American and Latino students is above the county and statewide OVERALL graduation rate.
- Berkeley's high dropout rate is 10.3% as compared to CA dropout of 14.4% and the county at 14.8%.
- Our elementary schools have made significant progress scoring proficient or advanced on the CST in English Language Arts as a reuslt of these efforts, the percentage of 3rd graders reading a proficient levels increased from 60% in 2011 to 68% in 2012 and the average percentage of elementary students proficient in writing increased to over 67% this year as compared to under 50% in 2011.
- Our Math program is showing and will show even more improvements in the coming year because of a stronger focus on standards, building formative and common assessments, teacher coaching and supporting struggling students through tutoring and intervention programs - our middle school Algebra program is already exceeding national standards with over 90% of Middle Schools students taking Algebra in 2012 as compared to Statewide average of 63%. In addition, performance by BUSD Middle School students in Algebra surprassed the state by over 5%.
- BUSD received the highest accreditation rating (6 years) for our Adult Education Program.
- We initiated a new Master Plan to assess and educate our English Language Learners-and for the first time, we have started focusing on Academic Language skills for all students.
- I have worked to preserve early child developement programs; after school programs; and enrichment programs, such as cooking and gardening, music and art.
- I have maintained a strong focus on the 2020 Vision and our district goals.
- We are focused on two-way communication with our school and wider community, including funding site-based parent liaisons to our elementary schools to support the families of our most at risk students.
With your ongoing support, I will continue to use my experience and knowledge as a board member and as an early childhood educator, parent, and grandparent and community activist to work for our children, our schools and our community. I ask for your vote on November 6, 2012 as the best candidate that will continue to serve students and their families.