Beverly Wright, candidate for Cleveland Heights-University Heights Board of Education
Cleveland Heights Age: 61
Education: B.A., History, Cleveland State; M.A., Cleveland State University, Education, Adult Learning, and Development
Current Occupation: Consultant for early childhood education
Questions for CH-UH Board of Education:
1. Most important issues: I can give you a number of issues I personally would like to address to improve the CH-UH schools. First, overhaul we must close the achievement gap -closing component in our district. It is imperative that we close the achievement gap among groups of students. This has been a long-standing issue in our district for many years. We need to continue to ask this question: How do we help all students do better? In addition, how do we as a board close those gaps? One way we can address this issue it to continue to add preschools in our elementary schools. For example, numerous studies show that high-quality preschools give young children what they need to do well in school. By addressing lessening the gap among students before they enter kindergarten, we will have a real chance to closing the gaps that increasingly over time manifest themselves over the K-12 continuum. Second, it is important that we listen to and understand the students’ achievement we are trying to raise. We need to ask: What do they and their parents think contribute to success? What kind of support do they need from families, the school and communities? Third, we must attract and retain high-quality teachers, in general, and especially in areas that are most challenging. We the district must attract a teaching force more reflective of our students’ race and cultures. We must attract educators and who have the energy, commitment, passion and belief that all students can learn. Educators who have the energy, commitment, passion and belief that all students can learn-We need educators who signal to students and their parents that it is their responsibility, along with their teachers’ and administrators’; to work hard to achieve at high levels. In addition, next, the district must take a very close look at what we are teaching and how we are teaching it. We must ensure that what we are teaching and testing is are important, reasonable and challenging to every student. It is vital that every student has the benefit of a planned, ongoing, systematic, up-to-date, research-based program of instruction in reading, writing, mathematics, science, social studies, arts, and health. I feel we should consider all these factors when planning, implementing and revising our school improvement plans. All students can succeed. It takes hard work by the students, parents, teachers, administrators and community. For all these issues, I plan to encourage our new superintendent to address these and other issues to improve our schools.
2. "Time to Teach, Time to Learn" Resolution: I am a strong supporter the Time to Teach, Time to Learn Resolution. The resolution that we passed in March 2019, indicates what is widely recognized - that standardized testing is an inadequate and unreliable measure of students learning and educator’s effectiveness. I am supportive of the overemphasis on standardized testing causes testing, which causes damage to our in many districts. These ridiculous testing measures haves undermined our true educators’ ability to be creative in teaching, and it has a negative effect on all students, particularly those in urban school districts like ours.
3. Ohio financial support: Clearly the state is not doing enough. First, when you examine how our district is funded. The Cleveland Heights-University Heights funding is a formula that is capped, this means that we are not funded by the State according to our enrollment numbers. We are also penalized by the Ed Choice dollars which are attached to our currently stretch budget.
4. Closed or closing schools and other buildings? These kinds of buildings definitely present us with challenges, and maybe some opportunities. However, I cannot comment or address this question at this time.
5. State educational policies: Yes, I am quite dismayed with the state Ed Choice funding formula, and how it is taking monies from students actually attending our schools. It is also my hope that the Cupp/Patterson legislation will soon be addressed.
League of Women Voters
The 2019 Voters Guide to Candidates and Issues is published as a public service by the League of Women Voters of Greater Cleveland, CH-UH and FutureHeights. The League of Women Voters is a non-partisan organization whose mission is to encourage the informed participation by citizens in government. FutureHeights is a nonprofit community development organization. Election Day is Nov. 5, 2019. Polls are open 6:30 a.m.-7:30 p.m.