What are your priorities for the district in the coming year? Why and how did you select these issues?
There are 44 DCPS schools that are in District 5. Of the 44 Duval County Public Schools in District 5, 95% of the schools are low performing, student enrollment is low, and the schools are under reconstruction such as facing closure, take over from the Department of Education, or being outsourced to private management . From this, my priorities are to revitalize the schools /communities by getting the parents to buy in to the vision that involves various ways in educating students, preparing students in which they can have vocational as well as college readiness with assistance from various community resources, developing outreach programs that goes beyond the school day and have a positive impact throughout various communities . Last, as a product of DCPS, my goal is to ensure that student, parents have the best experience with being a life long partner with DCPS schools or schools that’s in the interest of focusing on the whole student(s).
Brenda Ann Jordan is running for Duval County School Board District 5.
School board members are elected to represent not only the interests of the schools located in their district, but also the school system as a whole. In the past, this has at times led to conflict among board members. What is your philosophy on this issue? What would you do to keep cohesiveness and communication among school board members?
DCPS School Board members should focus on leading the organization in positive way such as focusing on the best interest of students, parents, employees, and stakeholders while setting aside their indifferences. The DCPS school board members should participate in cultural sensitive training, ways to communication training, personal indifferences should be resolved outside of the work /organization with a mediator/consultant/job coach counselor. The DCPS school board member eyes should be focusing on how to make DCPS the best product/services it has to offer to students, parents, employees, and stakeholders
What would you do to improve communication and strengthen your relationships between the schools, parents and community members, especially when a new program or policy is introduced?
My focus is to establish a rapport with parents, employees, and stakeholder by having an Open Door Policy, Active listening , developing committees via virtual in which parents, students, employees, and stakeholders have a chance to communicate with their DCPS Board Member beyond the walls of DCPs via acknowledging their child/student success throughout the community, celebrations, act of kindness, concerns, or becoming a life long partner with DCPS.
In addition to voting for school board members, members of our community will also vote on a half-penny sales tax referendum to fund an extensive capital facilities plan in November. Do you support the referendum and capital plan, and how do you plan to engage with it as a school board candidate and member?
Due to the Coronavirus, it has impacted a lot of Floridians such as loss of jobs, struggling to pay bills, buying food for their family, and caring for loved ones that are sick. I think the timing is not feasible at this time because how will most Floridian pay the tax if they are not gainfully employed and receiving unemployment check that’s barely paying their bills. I think the1/2 sales tax referendum should be on hold until this Coronavirus is controlled and/or when majority of the people are back working and receiving a stable paycheck.
Over the last few years, the Legislature has had a big impact on local public education. What are your top issues at the state level, and how would you work with legislators in Tallahassee to represent the needs of our students?
My focus would be working with the legislation in regards to providing a sound curriculum that is well diverse and beneficial for all subgroups. As a veteran teacher, my concern has always been the impact of the curriculum and standardized testing that lacked curriculum inclusiveness over decades for majority of subgroups. It’s time to level the playing field by getting rid of the traditional Western culture curriculum and introducing a curriculum in which cultural inclusiveness can be embraced by all subgroups, incorporating cultural sensitive workshops in which students, employees, parents, and stakeholders have the chance to learning & respecting the uniqueness of each other, and aligning the standardized assessment in which students can make the connection through real world experiences, available resources. My focus would be working with the legislation in regards to providing a sound curriculum that is well diverse and beneficial for all subgroups.
Duval County, like districts across the country, has a teacher recruitment and retention problem. How do you think our district can address this shortage?
My focus would entail doing a SWOT analysis on the budget to look for ways thats cost effective in recruiting/retention of teachers. Next,I would offer teachers the option of working from home virtually, going to the school 2x out the week for skill review,and/or reporting to work via school daily after clearance of the Coronavirus.
As Duval County has made great progress in education, there are still students who are falling behind. How would you keep a focus on addressing inequities in student performance and supporting schools in low-income neighborhoods?
Clearly, the traditional Western culture curriculum has been a miss for majority of the subgroups for decades. The whole state of Florida needs a sound diverse curriculum that embraces all student ethnicities and uniqueness. My focus would be meeting students where they are via learning levels and build from their. It’s doing a dissatisfaction to a teacher/ student when cultural inclusiveness is not prevalent or lacks transparency throughout a curriculum for a certain subgroup(student). Surely, the results would reveal inequities throughout certain subgroups.