Changing Lives, One Future at a Time ~ Our Blueprint for the Future
Positive thinking and optimism have helped to make America great and both are in great demand right now - in our communities and throughout the nation and world. We are living in challenging times that require all Americans to find new ways to help each other, be role models, mentors and teach children that hard work and effort really do pay off. The lessons of our forefathers have never held more truth - dreams and aspirations coupled with perseverance and determination leads to success and are available to everyone!
As superintendent of schools, I have a vision for California that has every student reaching his/her full academic potential while participating in anti-bullying programs like Rachel's Challenge - where kindness and compassion are the norm and expectation at all ages, preschool through adult. Children must feel safe, be treated with dignity, and feel valued in order to be lifelong learners. We must infuse a love of learning and enter at their hearts before reaching and teaching to their brains.
In order to do so, we must provide preschool access to students so they begin on grade level because research has shown us that those who start behind, almost never catch up. Transitional Kindergarten is one of the most effective ways to help students become prepared for K-12. An early jump start saves taxpayers thousands of dollars in reduced incarceration costs because students who are reading by third grade are less likely to drop out.
We have also arrived at a crucial juncture when school leaders must rise in chorus to bring visual and performing arts back to schools and make arts education an essential part of the K-12 education experience. Creativity and innovation are catalysts both for academic achievement and for the global economy of the 21st century. Simply put, the genius of America is in the fact that we have always been creative. Our students also need career technical education because it provides a structure for creativity and innovation. At the end of high school, every senior should have the ability to go to college, go to trade school, or go to work. It is their choice because we have prepared them for all three.
Personally, having had Polio has never been an excuse for lack of effort or lack of success. I don't limp in my head, only in my leg. It is not where you come from or what has happened to you that is important. How we deal with adversity, whether it is personal or societal can make or break our future and the outcome for the generations to come. My personal motto has always been that during tough times we must advance, not retreat.
Please join me and make the education of our children, a full-time passion for our community. Your time, talent and involvement can make a difference in the lives of children. And they are our future.