Keisha Cary works in business corporate wireless for Sprint. She spoke to SaportaReport via email.
Q: What’s your No. 1 concern for the students in District 2?
A: I have several concerns for students in District 2, with one being equity. I live in Vine City and it is rather disturbing to see surrounding schools such as Woodson and Bethune as abandoned. Equity can be achieved by partnering with organizations and businesses for internships. Students learning entrepreneurship and obtaining revenue to earn academic scholarships is a must. I will pursue these challenges by listening to the community and reviewing historical trending data to determine how low performing schools can receive a turnaround without the impact of more school closures and loss of jobs that ultimately impact the community.
Q: What could you as a Board of Education member do about that?
A: I will achieve these results by being an advocate for education and serve as a subject matter expert in the areas of policies and structures. I will also fight to protect education rights in order to provide an action plan for resolution by ensuring that students, teachers, parents and classified employees have a voice, are heard and are being treated fairly within the system.
Q: What’s an uncomfortable truth the Board of Education needs to face?
A: The community and people of District 2 have concerns regarding charter schools versus public, to include funding. Many state that charter schools provide innovation which is very much needed, however, innovation should not come with a price tag of compromise that ultimately impact students and teachers. There has been much discussion and not enough answers to the public with a clear vision, explanation or understanding to create effective dialogue. Since the previous Atlanta Public Schools Boards of Education have already voted to make charter schools a reality, I would like to create an open communication action group that can try to determine areas of opportunities related to the impact at hand which will assist in bridging the related gaps within the community.
Q: What’s something the Board has gotten right in the last four to eight years?
A: It appears that the graduation rates for students have slightly increased. Having said that there is still more work to be done, which means an additional area of opportunity to strive for higher graduation target goal results.
Q: What’s something the Board has gotten wrong or failed to do in the last four to eight years?
A: The previous APS BOE failure to be transparent to the community/public with board decisions, updates or new policies. If elected, as a new board member, I would have the understanding of knowing that casting a single vote towards education is critical to students, teachers, parents and the community as a whole.
Q: Overall, bottom line, what’s your pitch to voters?
My experience is brought forth as a graduate of the of the Atlanta Public School system and a former classroom substitute teacher for grades K-12 in a nearby county. I have always had a passion for education as I know that knowledge is power and is the key to success. My motivation to serve as a school board member is for students to be able to develop and excel in academics by learning and growing in a variety of subjects with innovation. I believe that nothing can be accomplished without the foundation of a solid education.
And lastly, I intend to serve as a sounding board for Atlanta’s future youth for many years to come even long after my candidacy. I know that without question hard work, perseverance and strength will enable the ability to empower youth through the building blocks of education. Please cast your vote for me in the run-off election on December 5, 2017. www.keishacareyatlantaboard.com