It would be my highest honor to earn your vote for HISD Trustee, Position IV.
I am a native of Houston and District IV and a proud product of public schools. Yet, when my son was ready for school, our neighborhood school in the Third Ward had a record of violence, a high turnover of teachers and principals and inadequate programming. I had to find a charter school across town to give him a good education.
I believe in strengthening our neighborhood schools, not closing them. HISD allows a school to decline until parents with school-age kids move out. Then HISD closes the school because there are not enough families with kids in the surrounding neighborhood.
I want to turn that around. If we invest in neighborhood schools with quality teachers, advanced curricula and improved safety, the surrounding neighborhoods will thrive – and so will our kids and our city.
That means promoting policies that encourage student proficiency in reading, writing, math and science. It means taking into account future employment opportunities and preparing our youth for college or giving them the skills and training they will need to be employable.
It means policies that develop and retain good teachers who understand the surrounding neighborhood – or even better, can afford to live there. It means evaluating teachers with multiple measures including student grades and work output, peer review and self-reflection – and scrapping the deeply flawed EVAAS system which is now being challenged in court.
And it means more transparency so that parents and taxpayers can hold HISD accountable for our priorities. Please join me and let’s work together to put our kids – and our city – on a safe and solid path to a brighter future.
With deep appreciation and respect,
Jolanda Jones is a former Houston city council member, self-employed lawyer and single mom who will use her unique skill set to work with our school board and superintendent to improve education for Houston youth. Click here to read more about Jolanda and click the image below to listen to Jolanda’s interview with Houston Chronicle blogger Charles Kuffner.