Caroline Hunter for School Committee, 2021
Challenger running for committee for the first time
Background: Teaching and school administration, anti-Apartheid activism | Focuses: Transparency, accountability, closing the achievement gap
Why did you decide to run for a seat on the School Committee?
As I encouraged others to get more involved in their communities after the murder of George Floyd, I had to look in the mirror and ask, “What more can I do?” I know that a good education is the best catalyst for raising children out of poverty and realizing their goals and aspirations. My life’s work has been dedicated to teaching, mentoring and inspiring students; my experience as a teacher and administrator matters, and service never stops! And that is why I’m running for School Committee.
What are the top three issues you would like to address if reelected?
- Transparency: Publish student performance data
- Accountability: Create a standard for service delivery
- Address the Achievement Gap: Target third-grade reading and eighth-grade math
What are the most effective ways to strengthen the district’s initiatives to promote social justice and racial equity?
The district’s initiative to promote social justice and racial equity can be strengthened by establishing a timeline for the articulated goals with measurable objectives and data points, along with a schedule for review and evaluation.
How can the district improve its efforts to provide culturally sensitive instruction tailored to student interests, skill sets and ambitions in light of the diversity of student backgrounds?
The fact that Cambridge is a diverse population puts us at an advantage in addressing this issue. District staff needs to be trained systematically in cultural sensitivity and antiracist practices, and the curriculum methodology and materials must be reviewed and evaluated for racial bias, stereotypes and misinformation.
The impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on students and staff since March 2020 has revealed strengths and weaknesses in the system – are there specific items that you would review or revise?
The district weakness that was uncovered by the pandemic is that the district had not integrated technology with classroom learning and practices in the most robust and conducive manner for our students. Remote learning does not work for every student, but it should be one tool in our toolbox. The district’s strength was its ability to pivot to coordinate and manage the delivery of food services and support.
As a School Committee member, how would you encourage the district’s after-school providers and partners to improve or expand services?
The district has many programs that do not function in a streamlined or coordinated manner. These programs are vital to our students and district, but we must assess them from a systemic perspective and ensure they working effectively and efficiently.
What processes would you put into place to encourage parents and caregivers to have a voice in shaping the district’s priorities?
I plan to survey and meet parents, caregivers and students across the distinct to give them the opportunity to tell us what areas we are weak in, where our strengths are and how we can better serve our student population. The district must ensure that all children get a quality education that meets their needs.