Atlanta Board of Education
Atlanta public schools - District 2
The Center for Civic Innovation sent each of the qualified candidates for the District 2 Special Election a “job description” questionnaire. Below are Keisha’s responses.
QUALIFIED TO GOVERN
Q: What do you think is the most important role of the school board?
A: The most important role of the school board is to work with and engage the community in the efforts to improve educational student achievement to the highest level possible. It is the responsibility of the school board to: 1.) Establish a clear academic vision and set goals. 2.) Adopt a curriculum, policies and set priorities. 3.) Be accessible to the public and accountable for each school’s performance. 4.) Ensure that students get the best education for the tax dollars allocated 5.) Adhere to the appropriated school budget 6.) Ensure that every student in school is safe. 7.) Provide the fundamental necessities and resources for the overall well-being of students.
Q: Please describe, in sufficient detail, one professional accomplishment or contribution of which you are most proud. These examples should illustrate skills and capabilities you think apply to governing the City of Atlanta schools. These accomplishments may have occurred at any time in your personal, professional, or public life.
A: I bring several professional accomplishments and contributions that I am most proud of such as: 1.) I currently have a combined total of 23 years in effective leadership experience within the business corporate sector in Atlanta. 2.) I served as a substitute school teacher in a nearby county directly outside of Atlanta. 3.) I became an entrepreneur when I began my own business in 2016.
Q: Please list or describe no more than 3 current and past activities you participated in as a private citizen (not an elected official) in which you have acquired skills and perspectives that will make you a stronger school board member. Include your role in the activity and the year(s) in which you were involved.
Examples include but are not limited to Neighborhood Planning Units, neighborhood/ community associations, PTA, GO Teams, etc.
A: The skills and perspectives which I have acquired that would make me a stronger school board member are: 1.) I have been an active registered voter in the State of Georgia since the age of 18, and have always been engaged in activities related to voting rights. 2.) Throughout the years, I have taken steps of action in the neighborhood where I reside within District 2 to create positive change, which is Vine City. I am the fourth generation to own the same home that has historically been in my family for over 70 years. 3.) I ran a successful election campaign against a two-term incumbent for the same seat in 2017, which I am seeking now in 2019 as an Atlanta Board of Education Candidate for District 2. I defeated an opponent in the general election in September 2017 and became a runoff candidate in December 2017. In the runoff, I came within only 70 votes of claiming full victory.
Q: If you could choose one subject/class to teach in local schools to ensure Atlanta’s kids understand their city, what would it be?
A: The subject would be to teach Atlanta’s history to students.
Q: What is a new slogan for our city that could inspire Atlanta’s children and highlight who we are as a people?
A: APS-ATL “Achievement Through Learning”. I can visualize this slogan on a t-shirt, therefore, I will claim it.
DEMONSTRATES PEOPLE-CENTERED APPROACHES
Q: How will you hear from the people who make up our schools – teachers, administrators, students, and parents? Describe specific mechanisms (technologies, meetings, etc.) as well as how you will use the information.
A: I have a comprehensive plan for District 2 entitled my “Top 7 Focus Plan of Action”, which is listed on the home page of my campaign website at www.keishacareyatlantaboard.com under the category “Community”. I intend to not only hold routine APS Education Town Hall meetings seeking feedback from the community, however, in addition, I intend to hold Town Hall “follow-up” meetings to provide answers, a plan of action or an updated status back to the community, which often does not occur. I also intend to have meeting notes prepared to send out to the public for those who could not attend the meetings, if desired. These meetings would be completely open to the public.
PROACTIVE & RELENTLESS RELATIONSHIP-BUILDER
Q: Think of one major Atlanta issue indirectly impacting education in District 2 that needs to be tackled with a collaborative approach. How would you build relationships across the city and region with other governments, community groups, non-profit organizations, or private enterprises to affect change in our city?
A: Some of the things I would do to build relationships across the city and region with other governments, community groups, non-profit organizations, or private enterprises to affect change in our city with a collaborative approach are: 1.) Keep commitments. 2.) Value differences and provide factual data to support, as needed. 3.) Build trust and rapport. 4.) Promote open dialogue and communication engagement across groups. 5.) Set specific common goals to be achieved regarding students. 6.) Schedule meetings for discussion. 7.) Create partnership. 8.) Research and present information to assist in reaching a consensus.
STRONG INTEREST IN TRANSPARENCY
Q: What level of openness and transparency should the citizens of Atlanta expect from city government under your leadership?
A: I have a comprehensive plan for District 2 entitled my “Top 7 Focus Plan of Action” that is listed on the home page of my campaign website at www.keishacareyatlantaboard.com under the category “Transparency”. I detail specific items that I intend to implement under my leadership.
Q: Please describe any policies, programs, or ideas you are considering to increase the transparency of city government, particularly in your office.
A: Here are the policies, programs, and ideas that I am considering to increase the transparency of city government, particularly in District 2, which are: 1.) I intend to make the public aware of all existing education on line tools that already exist which they may not be aware of, in addition to 2.) I have an initiative that I intend on proposing, which is to create an additional APS public online tool regarding school board motion decision details that are upcoming, pending and have been voted on. Often, when I attend monthly school board meetings, I witness parents and concerned citizens taking screen shots of the school board motion decisions on their cell phones from the video monitors that are in the main conference room where the meeting is held. This information should be easily accessible for the public to view, even in cases where one may not have been able to attend. 3.) Hold Town Hall meetings and “follow-up” meetings back to the community of District 2. These meetings would be completely open to the public.