Equity and Excellence
We all want a thriving city, and a thriving city depends on having excellent schools for every child. Unfortunately, not every student in the district has access to high performing neighborhood schools. This must change.
An equitable school system means success among ALL populations, and where ALL neighborhoods have excellent public school options. The quality of education should be consistently high throughout the city, and we must take a rigorous approach to closing the achievement gap among low-income students, students of color, and those with disabilities.
An excellent school system means making sure that all of our schools offer a variety of high level courses, access to extracurriculars and more physical activity, integrated and expanded arts and music, well-stocked libraries and technological resources, more opportunity for STEAM and project-based learning, and more academic guidance and counseling.
Schools must also offer a welcoming learning environment that makes children feel safe, comfortable, valued as an individual, and ready to learn. All of our schools should cultivate a strong sense of community between staff, teachers, parents, students and the community.
PPS needs to have strong schools in every neighborhood, and we must ensure that all students within a school are achieving. We must work to a reality in which every parent in Pittsburgh feels confident that their child can receive a great public education.
In Pittsburgh, we are fortunate to have a network of foundations, universities, nonprofits, and other institutions filled with smart, energetic people who care deeply about helping our public school students. Anna wants to see Pittsburgh Public Schools strengthen and expand relationships with these entities to make sure that our students are getting the resources and opportunities they need to thrive.
The cutting-edge education research performed at Pitt, CMU, and other universities should be applied right here at home, not outsourced to other states where the districts are “easier to work with.” When nonprofits offer plans to increase funding for after-school programs and school lunches, they should be heard with good faith and a genuine desire to cooperate. With Pittsburgh gaining worldwide attention as a livable city, public schools must be part of the movement to make our city an excellent place for everyone to raise a family.
With a limited budget, any chance to increase opportunities for our public school students should be taken seriously. Anna’s exceptional collaboration skills make her the perfect person to do this.
In order to achieve our collective, progressive goals, we must use our resources toward what actually works, rather than what we think should work. To that end, there is much data generated by schools in our district, around the country, and around the world – but it is only useful when we know how to harness it, assess it, and apply it successfully to answering our questions.
Anna has over ten years of professional experience advising public sector agencies on how to best make use of their data and to apply the evidence for better outcomes. She helps them align goals with measures of success, analyze performance outcomes, target investments to better achieve their goals, and improve agency-wide implementation of programs.
Our public school students’ education is too important to settle for anything less than programs that succeed.