TODAY IS ELECTION DAY IN CAMBRIDGE! The polls are open until 8:00 p.m. Higher voter turnout gives new candidates a shot; low turnout favors incumbents. As a new candidate, I need your #1 vote!
People ask me why I’m running for School Committee. I’m running because I’m angry and I’m running because I’m hopeful. I’m angry because we have an incredible public school system, and yet class sizes have actually increased over the past decade, particularly at the grades where teachers-per-student has the most impact: JK-3 and 9-12. I’m angry that some of our elementary schools still have only part-time art teachers, despite the research showing the value of the arts to student learning. I’m angry that even our administrators say our schools don’t have enough specialists to support all struggling readers, and yet there are schools that have only one early reading specialist and dozens of students who are not reading fluently by fourth grade. I’m angry that parents of students working at advanced and very advanced levels are opting for charter or private schools because they feel their children are being under-challenged in our public school classrooms. And I’m angry that in a research town such as Cambridge, we continue to focus on one metric and one metric only: test scores.I’m also running because I’m hopeful. I’m hopeful because the entire country is starting to wake up to the harm that over-testing is doing to our public education system. I’m hopeful because Cambridge public school parents have created more advocacy groups in the past five years than I’ve ever seen in Cambridge, because our teachers are speaking out and asking for more staff, and because our CRLS alumni are becoming active supporters of the public school system that shaped their minds. I’m hopeful because we have a positive, high energy new superintendent starting in June, Dr. Kenneth Salim. And I’m hopeful because the students themselves are starting to ask for a more rigorous, authentic curriculum and an end to the race and class divides in our schools.This is a critical School Committee election. What voters decide on Tuesday will determine the direction of our school system in the next half decade. We need School Committee members who understand the field of education and educational policy, understand data and its limitations, understand our students and the full range of student needs in Cambridge, and understand our community resources. But we also need School Committee members who are angry about the ways our incredible school system still fails to help all students reach their full potential; but still hopeful. Hopeful because we have the resources and the know-how to solve our problems and prepare all our students for a successful and rewarding adulthood. That’s why I’m running for School Committee.
Vote #1 for Emily Dexter this Tuesday, Nov. 3rd. Please share.
Emily Dexter, M.Ed., Ed.D.
New Candidate for School Committee