110315i-David-WeinsteinFrom David Weinstein, candidate for School Committee, Oct. 31, 2015: I am a first-time candidate for School Committee. I’m running because I believe in the Cambridge Public Schools, and because I know we do so much so well – and that we can do better. I will bring to the committee my skills and perspective as a former classroom teacher, a student of education policy and a communications and program management professional.

I am an experienced teacher and a parent of two children, one a Cambridge Public Schools elementary school student and another joining her in a year. I am the only candidate who has served as a full-time public school classroom teacher, and one of the few with young children in or about to enter Cambridge Public Schools.

LetterI am also a project coordinator and communications professional who has worked for more than a dozen years in education-focused nonprofit organizations and at Brandeis University.

I bring to the table an understanding of education research and data grounded in my master’s degree studies at the Harvard Graduate School of Education. I have been deeply engaged with Cambridge Public Schools, having served on the school council of my daughter’s elementary school and on the principal search advisory committee that successfully recommended excellent candidates to replace the departing principal of that school, as well as serving as a parent rep to the Citywide School Advisory Group.

I taught high school English and art K-12 in New York and Massachusetts. I know what it means to write curriculum and align it to frameworks and state standards while innovating and responding to the needs of the children in the school. I know what it means to assess student learning and support student growth.

I know what it means to work with children, families, administrators and the broader community to support the academic growth, social-emotional learning and safety of all students. As a teacher I felt the weight of that responsibility on my shoulders 24 hours a day, all year long. As a member of the School Committee I will feel that same sense of responsibility.

My priorities include:

bullet-gray-small Expanding public junior kindergarten to include all 4-year0olds.

bullet-gray-small Strengthening the new upper schools (grades six through eight) by supporting teacher collaboration and curriculum planning in and between the schools, hiring family liaisons, and implementing evidence-based, effective social-emotional learning programming.

bullet-gray-small Ensuring a strong start for the new superintendent, guided by a vision and direction shared by the school community and the city.

bullet-gray-small Building on Cambridge’s hiring successes to increase the percentage of teachers of color to at least 30 percent.

bullet-gray-small Improving district communication, an effort I began working on as chairman of a family and community engagement school council subcommittee at my daughter’s elementary school.

My vision for Cambridge Public Schools:

bullet-gray-small A district that is measurably closing the opportunity/achievement gap.

bullet-gray-small An innovative district that is adopting and adapting best practices from within Cambridge and beyond.

bullet-gray-small A district in which all schools engage our diversity and seek to be an inclusive, supportive environments for all students.

bullet-gray-small A district in which all children get the support they need as individuals to achieve their best as learners and as citizens.

bullet-gray-small A district that brings all of our children, our families, our residents, our educators and our staff together with open and enthusiastic lines of communication.

bullet-gray-small We must ensure that students of color, students with special learning needs, advanced learners and students of every cultural and home background succeed. No one should sell our children short – not the schools, not their friends, not they themselves.

As a member of the School Committee I will be dedicated to working collaboratively with teachers, administrators, fellow committee members, city councillors, students and families to ensure we provide the best possible education to every child in our wonderfully diverse community. This community and Cambridge’s schools were the key reasons my family and I have chosen to make our home in this city for 14 years now.

I ask for your No. 1 vote for David Weinstein for School Committee today. And I look forward to talking with you about how we can work together for all of the children of Cambridge. We face many challenges … and we are up to the challenges. You can read more about my priorities and my background at votedavidweinstein.com and on Facebook.