Welcome Thank you so much for coming to check out my website. After devoting the last 24 years to education in various parts of the country and both sides of our state, I believe I will bring a unique skill set to the Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction.
I want to begin a new narrative about public education in Washington. This narrative will serve as our stated education blueprint to guide our teachers, administrations, students, families and the legislature to accomplishing our common goal -- to ensure that each and every child in Washington State has access to a great school, regardless of his or her zip code, race or home language.
There are 3 ways I reimagine the way work is done at OSPI in order to better educate ALL students, and create leaders that are equipped with the skills to be successful after high school.
OSPI must be the visionary for public education in Washington State. I believe we have not had a clear vision or road map for public education articulated from state leadership, and this is the first work I will do in collaboration with other educational organizations and agencies such as; the Department of Early Learning, the State Board of Education, the Professional Educator Standards Board, and the Washington Student Achievement Council, all entities in which the State Superintendent has representation. We cannot make public education in the state excellent without an intentional plan that is clearly communicated to all. . With a clear vision about how all the work flows together, we can begin to more effectively engage lawmakers, educators, families, students, critical community and business partners to meet the needs of all students.
Stakeholders beyond formal lobbyists and lawmakers must be at the table with the OSPI executive team to discuss education policy and practice. The voices that provide feedback to the state about what works and what is needed should not just reside within the boundaries of Olympia. Under my leadership I will convene a team of stakeholders from across the state meet on a regular basis to engage in critical conversations and decision-making. This team must include educators, administrators, community-based organization leaders, parents, students, business owners and representatives from higher education in addition to the legislature. We cannot afford to make decisions in the vacuum of Olympia. We must listen to the voices of those in every region of our state, from our large urban centers to the suburbs to small rural/remote communities. We must listen to those who are in our classrooms and school buildings about what is working and what is not.
The staff of OSPI must be visible beyond the walls of the physical building in Olympia in order to represent adequately the needs of students and staff across the state. As a state later, I will be intentional, along with my staff, about visiting as many schools and districts as possible. Schooling happens in a context or environment. Data on a sheet of paper only tells part of the story. We must do a better job of seeing new environments so that we are able to effectively serve the diverse student populations that exist in our urban, suburban, rural and remote communities. We cannot effectively serve those we know only on paper. I believe we can better serve all students when we are physically able to see their needs and celebrate their successes.
A clear road map is the starting point to providing guidance around all concerns facing public education at the moment – full-funding of McCleary, over-testing, the role of innovation, closing the opportunity gap, and preventing the privatization of public schools. A clear road map is necessary for our students, teachers, and legislature, to ensure each and every student moves smoothly through public education from preschool to beyond high school into a career that is more than a J O B.
I am committed to meeting as many of you as possible. I have met with school board members, classroom teachers, para educators, secretaries, students, families, administrators, city and state officials and leaders of community-based organizations. I believe that only together, as community, will we be able to make all of the schools in Washington state the best they can be!
Thank you for your support!
Candidate for Washington State Superintendent, 2016
"It is our primary role as educators to reflect the beauty and talents that reside within each of our students. "