I am a teacher running for State Senate and here is why.
Our world is changing. Rapidly. The changes are occurring in part due to revolutions in technologies that are disrupting the way we work, live and play. My concern as an educator is whether we as a state are investing in the futures of our students by providing them with access to the proper tools and training to keep up with the changes promoted through technology. And are we preparing a segment of our student population, who have shown interest and skill sets in more traditional careers, to enter a pathway that leads to more technical trades that also utilize technology and require training?
According to the World Economy Forum, 35 percent of core job skills will change by 2020 and California, with the sixth largest economy in the world, is facing challenges in advancing student curriculum to match the demands of emerging industries looking for a highly-skilled workforce.
As a teacher, I am driven to help prepare students for their futures in higher learning and in careers of their choosing. The challenges I see are in accessibility to technology in and out of the classroom. I have seen the rapidly changing landscape within education of those students who have little to no access to technology and those with the resources to advance their skills in areas like coding and use of online learning tools.
Additionally, by not talking about careers in the trades, where advanced training is also required, we are short-changing students whose skills sets are not always in the pass/fail academic world.
Changes in the business community are shifting from a service industry to engagement and information economies and traditional trades need individuals who are able to solve complex issues related to their trade.
This is where a focus on science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) plays a vital role. Students from all walks of life benefit from technical training because it helps open doors to new possibilities and careers, especially those that require abstract and technical thinking. Whether it’s coding or working towards becoming a member of the Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE), our kids need a new educational stimulus that combines their innate skill sets with training in advanced technologies.
I want to work on building a world-class educational system for our students and join business leaders in identifying workforce skills and qualities needed for emerging economies.
My work as a classroom teacher and teacher’s union representative enables me to navigate the truly overwhelming bureaucracy surrounding the most fundamental right we have in our state – a free, accessible and quality public education.
I believe that when it comes to education the end depends on the beginning.
On Tuesday, June 5, 2018 voters in the 22nd District will be asked whether they prefer business as usual in Sacramento, or if a new perspective is needed in these challenging times. This is exactly why I have chosen to run for the 22nd State Senate seat – I believe a new perspective is needed and I want to bring a fresh point-of-view to our state’s capitol by representing the interests of our families – beginning with education.