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|Political Philosophy for Layla Avila|
There is no single issue more important than the academic success of our students. The California Department of Education indicates that 7 out of 10 students in South Whittier are not reading at grade level (CA Department of Education, 2005 Accountability Progress Report).
I believe that we can and must do better, and I believe that:
All Students in South Whittier Should Be Reading At Grade Level.
If elected to the South Whittier School Board, I will use my experiences working with students, teachers, principals, and administrators to ensure the academic success of our students.
These efforts to improve achievement must be supported by (1) ensuring that we have a high-quality teaching force and (2) working in partnership with parents.
For the past several years of my professional life I have worked with The New Teacher Project (TNTP)--a national non profit organization dedicated to partnering with school districts to enhance their capacity to recruit, select, train, and support new teachers effectively. I have overseen teacher recruitment programs in the Compton, Los Angeles, and Oakland Unified School Districts as well as programs in Texas, Virginia and Alaska. These programs focused on aggressively recruiting outstanding individuals into teaching, selecting only the most qualified candidates to teach children, and training and supporting them in order to maximize their effectiveness in the classroom. I have overseen programs that have successfully recruited and prepared over 1,000 teachers in more than 14 school districts across the country. I will bring my experience across multiple school districts to South Whittier to ensure we recruit the best new teachers and provide ALL of our teachers the professional development they need to increase student achievement.
To reach our goal, we need parents as partners. As a teacher, I learned that we are able to accomplish more when we worked with parents and when we invested them in our efforts. I worked with parents to ensure students were attending school regularly, that they were reading at home, and completing homework. Despite having students who were not proficient in English at the beginning of the year, in less than one year, more than ninety percent of my students were reading, writing, and speaking at or above grade level in English. I believe that that kind of improvement is possible for every student, for every classroom, and for every one of our schools.
The true measure of the success of our efforts should be student achievement: All students in South Whittier should be reading at grade level.
Candidate for South Whittier School Board
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