Hunter’s Education Platform for the Arlington ISD Board of Trustees
I believe that public education in the Arlington ISD should provide everyone with the knowledge and full range of skills they require to participate fully in society and lead a fulfilled life. I will reject the current market driven models of education that see its role only in terms of international economic competitiveness and preparation for work.
I want to Help develop a Texas Education system that will nurture a desire to learn throughout life. I will do this through a child-centered approach to learning which builds on the skills and interests of each individual child.
Public Education should be at the heart of our communities, and should promote equality, inclusivity, social and emotional well-being and responsibility and be democratically accountable to them.
Classroom and Teaching Curriculum
1 • I demand full equal access to higher education courses for all high school students and support publicly funded duel credit courses for students that are interested in pursuing higher education.
2 • I call for an egalitarian educational system with teaching methods that accommodate the wide range of teaching and learning styles, and that provides all students with the means to obtain the post-secondary education they desire.
3 • I believe and call for broader choices teaching. Curricula should include instruction in languages, arts and sciences, critical thinking, citizenship, peace and nonviolent education and the history of social movements including creative and vocational areas, and making PSHE (including sex and relationships education, and also first aid) compulsory, with a coherent 16–19 qualifications framework allowing a real choice of academic and vocational areas, or a mixture of them.
4 • I support the continuation and expansion of bilingual education. To place Texas education on a par with most other countries, I believe that all students should be taught a second or third language of their choice, beginning in the first grade.
5 • I support student, parent, and teacher control of curriculum formation, and in the hiring and dismissal procedures of school personnel, through the formation of local school/community committees.
6 • I call for encouragement and flexibility in the structure of the school day and how individuals are taught by going beyond the traditional concept of the classroom. Teachers must bring the world into the classroom, and bring the classroom out into the community.
7 • If Elected to the AISD Board I call for adding a vigorous and engrossing civics curriculum in later elementary and secondary schools, to teach students to be better active citizens.
8 • Every disabled learner will have an entitlement to an assessment of his / her learning needs. This will identify equipment and facilities required, curriculum differentiation and learning styles, and any educational professional and personal assistance that is needed.
9 • In addition to Special Needs Coordinators, schools should employ appropriate professionals such as counselors. They will provide support and, if appropriate, early diagnosis for young people with mental health needs or behavioral problems. Where behavior is preventing someone from learning they will be supported with an Individual Learning Plan which may include activities outside the school environment while still remaining on the school roll. This would include working with their families and within their local communities.
10 • I believe that In exceptional cases it is not appropriate to be fully integrated into mainstream education for all subjects. An example is when there are multiple learning difficulties. There are children with behavioural difficulties and emotional difficulties who need to be protected by temporary separation. In the longer term the Green Party hopes to address this through having special resource units in mainstream schools.
11 • I will introduce more targeted educational interventions for groups of students identified as vulnerable to not do well academically based on their demographics.
12 • I will investigate how best to ensure that schools are diverse, and not actively segregating ethnic or religious communities. Any such scheme should balance the need for a local school against making school a place where different communities’ children grow up together. Where school catchment areas lead to de facto segregation in schools, the local authority and schools should facilitate the children mixing with other local schools. Schools with large minority and excluded populations should be given extra support and funding.
Equal opportunity/Respect for Diversity
13 • I call for vigorous affirmative action programs so that the faculty and student-body of all schools reflect the community at large in terms of race/ethnicity, gender, and economic background.
14 • I call for equal opportunities for lifelong self-education, with retraining programs and transitional financial support for workers displaced by technological advances.
Student and Teachers Political Involvement
15 • I call for student representation on school boards, and for those boards to be fully accountable to students, parents, teachers, and school workers.
16 • I support and call to removal of legal restrictions that prevent teachers from participating fully in political life. Everyone in America should be encouraged to participate in the political activity
17 • I support promoting a diverse set of educational opportunities, including bi-lingual education, continuing education, job retraining, distance learning, mentoring and apprenticeship programs.
18 • One of the most important priorities is everyone in our schools not only feels safe but is safe. We must provide a safe environment for our children so that no obstacles stand the way of their educations. We must also provide a safe environment to our educators and staff faciality members by also providing them a safe work environment. Another view of safety that must be considered is to provide support and tools needed by these educators and staff faculty members so that feel secure enough to teach using the best of their skills and abilities. If children and staff faculty members do not feel safe in our public-school system, then we have no chance of providing the quality education to our community expects and deserves.
Equal Access and Accountability for Public Education
19 • Equal access and accountability for education means that every child should have access to a quality education. It also means that school administrations, teachers, and school boards must be held accountable for student learning and performance without “teaching to the test” or being over-burdened with repeated standardized testing. Teachers should be paid in a way that matches their skill and criticality to our society
Heathy Lunch Meals
20 • If elected I will make it a minimum requirement that all children are provided free of charge lunch with a balanced nutritious including local and organic non-GM food, free from additives. Vegetarian, vegan, religious and other dietary requirements will be catered for. Vending machines will only supply healthy snacks and not crisps, carbonated drinks and sweets. Schools will be encouraged to involve children in growing, preparing and cooking food. Not only will this provide invaluable and essential education in the importance of a good diet, but evidence shows it will greatly improve behavior, quality of life and learning. Also, I support creating Farm-to-School programs that will provide food from local family farms as well as educational opportunities to teach children a little about American agriculture.
Promote Health in schools
21 • Arlington ISD schools and teachers will continue to have a duty of care towards young people. While we recognize that parents our likely to have a significant influence on their child’s personal development, it is very important to promote this in public schooling. I recommend that there will be regular health checks in schools and a return to school nurses with health personnel trained to work alongside teachers in schools. As part of their duty of care schools they will have strong and effective anti-bullying policies which will recognize the vulnerabilities of children from different backgrounds to the majority of pupils or who are LGBTIQA+ or have learning disabilities.
Peace and Nonviolent Education
22 • I call for peace and nonviolent education to be added to the K-12 curriculum. Students must be taught non-intellectual skills such as interpersonal relations, dealing with emotions, nonviolent conflict resolution at every grade level, environmental appreciation, and vocational training. They should be taught in the arts of democracy, including how to be involved politically in their communities. Teaching should focus on helping people to learn at their own rate rather than encouraging rote learning and submission to authority.
23 • I call for all schools in the Arlington Independent School District to have an anti-bullying organization as part of the proposed peace and nonviolent education program that is run by both teachers and especially students who see this kind of abuse every day. Bullying is a serious problem, not some political game for politicians to feed on and not some opportunity for celebrities to polish their “public image” and make money off! At the same time, we do not want to produce a nation of wimps, victims of bullying need to know it is perfectly okay to stand up for themselves!
24 • I encourage student individuals to act to improve their personal well being and, at the same time, to enhance ecological balance and social harmony. Students should seek to join with people and organizations around the world to foster peace, economic justice, and the health of the planet.
25 • If elected I will oblige AISD schools to promote equal opportunities in their anti-bullying procedures and to monitor equality issues in teaching recruitment.