Gloria J. Anderson, 34, is a program coordinator at the Anacostia Senior Center, with five children who have attended public schools. She received her M.S.W. from Howard University.
1. Achievement: Paternal involvement in the school is very important in insuring high achievement for students.When parents are encouraged to play a significant role in the educational process students are the winner through increased achievement. I believe in smaller classes, basic skill building with emphasis on reading and mathematics. I think the testing system is important and should be evaluated with parents so that parents and the community can better understand the goals of testing.
2. Programs: Continuing education and on-going staff development is a must, especially in light of declining school enrollment and a more stable teacher population. The system can be greatly enriched by helping to develop better qualified teachers; this should always be a primary goal. The programs I am interested in saving and improving are pre-kindergarten and primary school programs with an emphasis on special education.
3. Priorities: As a representative on the D.C. school board. I will work toward: Stronger and more viable PTAs; focusing on parental responsibility with regard to truancy and discipline in the schools: better communication between parents-administrators-teachers-students: equitable boundary alignments for the seventh ward schools; full community participation in school board decisions which affect the ward.
Rufus (Catfish) Mayfield, 31, is an entertainer at WOOK radio, with three children, all in public schools. He received his B.A. from George Washington University.
1. Achievement: I believes that we would have to look deeper into the standardized testing. It really shows only the student's present level and not his accumulative level nor his potential for achievement. We have to deal with the student's potentially and try to ascertain whether the student has a learning disability or a basic lack of desire. I believe wholeheartedly in the premise that students must desire to learn. If you can instill the desire to learn, then the foundation becomes easy to teach. A lot of students are not academically inclined but have great potential in vocational schools.
One of the greatest problems we have is that we try to get the students to adjust to our system rather than to get the system to work for the students.
Life has become very complex and competitive, so we have to prepare those children for the job market.
2. Programs: I think that it would be unfair of me to evaluate programs in operation, not having all of the information that would be necessary to evaluate the productivity level or lack of it.
It is time for people who are running for public office to stop speaking from the lips and speak from facts which are missing from me. There are a lot of problems that confront the D.C. School Board. There is no sense in a lot of promises that cannot be kept.
I understand these problems and once I am elected and have available resources to formulate the programs for the students, then I can make an adequate evaluation and make changes in the programs with the students' best interests in mind.
3. Priorities: The main interest and priority is to raise the level of the students' reading and math skills. I feel that this is an intricate part of the student's achievement to prepare him for higher education or the job market. If this si not achieved, then all of us policy makers for the school system are failing. But msot importantly, the students are suffering by not being ready for higher education or the job market.
Minnie S. Woodson, 56, is a retired teacher, with two children who have graduated from public schools. She received her B.S. from Miner Teachers College and her M.A. from George Washington University.
1. Achievement: Establish uniform curriculum achievement levels that have objectives disseminated to all parents and students; establish promotion based on the requirement of achievement of these objectives; test students frequently on required subject matter using format of standardized tests; choose tests that are closely parallel to the curriculum of Washington D.C., and acquaint students and parents with the results of the testing each time a student is tested.
2. Programs: Programs and costs that might be cut are (1) summer school programs; (2) cost for maintenance, fuel costs and administrative costs for those buildings that can be closed and not cause too many problems, and (3) stipulating that any program that uses public funds for the care of 4- and 5-year-olds also use the curriculum of the public schools and be supervised by the school system, (this would eliminate the double payment of pre-school education). Programs to be expanded or saved are (1) adult education, (2) vocational education, (3) continuous curriculum for the accelerated student.
3. Priorities: Educational programs in pre-kindergarten through grade 12, curriculum, instruction, and the policies that define the responsibility of the school system, the responsibility of the community and the responsibility of the student are my main interests and priorities. Assuring that policy is clear, specific enough to be implemented precisely, and the policy covers all areas that need guidelines, is a major priority.