We should be prioritizing growth over proficiency in our public schools. When we teach to every student’s potential, instead of teaching to a test, we can inspire the community leaders of tomorrow. As a proud graduate of Norwood Public Schools, I know first hand how we can improve our public school system, and that is through concentrated investments in key areas to improve student lives.
As State Representative, I will…
1. Support the moratorium on standardized testing in an effort to reduce student stress and individualize learning to each students’ capabilities.
Students and teachers perform better when they do not have to learn or teach to a test. The MCAS is a major strain on students’ mental health, and I believe the state should pass H.431 to end its practice. This has always been my position and it is even more necessary now in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic.
2. Lead the charge in passing the Healthy Youth Act (House Bill 410) and the I Am Act (House Bill 2272).
The Healthy Youth Act, which recently passed the Senate, makes Massachusetts’ sex education comprehensive, modern, and accurate: a goalpost we should have hit a long time ago. The I Am Act will provide menstrual products in school facilities, as well as in prisons and homeless shelters. Menstrual products are a health necessity for roughly half the population, yet many cannot afford to pay for these products they need. It is beyond time that menstrual products be provided to those who need it.
3. Introduce legislation to expand student lunch debt forgiveness.
No student should have to go hungry at school, nor worry where their next meal will come from. Whether it be providing children in need school lunches or forgiving student lunch debt, our students need to focus on their time in the classroom, not their time in the lunchroom.
4. Provide funding to all communities in the state so that they may provide universal pre-kindergarten and kindergarten to their young families free of charge.
In 47 communities in Massachusetts, including Walpole, kindergarten is not tuition-free. This is completely unacceptable in a state that prides itself in its education system. Public education should be free to all, from pre-K to 12th grade. Our children must be educated without any additional expense to our working families.
5. Continue the fight for permanent school funding solutions for our Commonwealth.
The Student Opportunity Act was a major victory for school funding in our state, but we must continue that fight every day. We must especially focus on permanent solutions to special education funding and struggling schools. I have seen these issues firsthand as a strong supporter and volunteer in the Norwood Override, which passed with over 75% of the vote in 2019.