Castles in the Air

Beware of castles in the air.  They are sold most during election seasons.

Castles in the air are promises made that are not reasonable, nor rooted in reality.  Their existence is more akin to the magical world of Disney as opposed to the real world.  As a result they are promises that cannot be kept.

“If elected, I’ll give you this …”

In school board elections it often comes in the form of promises for programs or particular courses – devoid of any sort of budgetary consideration.  This is sort of like giving a teenager their first credit card and forgetting to tell them that they have to pay it off each month.  Unfortunately, this sometimes works as a campaign tactic– but the candidate has irresponsibly fooled the electorate.

There is a difference between campaigning and governing. 

When I first ran for school board a couple of years ago, I look at the landscape of WAPS and gauged what could be a bold, yet feasible vision for the district.  I wanted my time on the board to be productive – one that pushed the district toward a lasting, meaningful progressive future. 

I knew the district faced financial challenges – and so it was unreasonable and unfathomable to initiate costly promises.  Instead, I focused on four promises that I could keep – but most importantly provide a vision and direction for our district to take.  My vision essentially focused on fostering a cultural change in our district – and was rooted in research, theory, and proactive common sense.

Here are the promises I gave you two years ago and how we’re delivering on them:

Empower teachers

-WAPS teachers are becoming centrally involved in curricular decision making in the district

Inclusion

-more students who receive special education services are being placed in their home elementary school building just like their neighbors

Enhance social services

-my first day on the board I strategically saved a high school counselor from a budget cut

-I initiated a study group to explore how the district can pragmatically enhance WAPS’ student support services

Improve school security

-I supported a proposed school safety plan that provides school safety coaches in the district who will initiate trainings that promise to yield a culture of safety in our buildings

I am proud of the progressive path our district is taking.  We are much further ahead than I thought we would be at this point in time – and that is mainly because of district-wide leadership.  But, this work – among other tasks – remains incomplete.  I want to continue to provide a steady hand on the wheel.

I do not offer you castles in the air.  Instead, I offer you a mansion on the ground.

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