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bring equity, transparency,
and fairness to education!
Text DARRELL to 31996
Born and raised in Ward 8, educated in DC Public Schools, Commissioner Darrell Gaston knows first hand the importance of why we need quality schools in our neighborhoods. As a four-term ANC Commissioner, Darrell fought and delivered millions of dollars to modernize schools such as Stanton ES, Turner ES, and Moten ES.
Darrell is the leader who will stand up for what's right and speak the truth even when it's unpopular. We need a Board Member who knows that if we can invest billions in building sports arenas, we can invest in our students, communities, and families. We need a Board Member who will believe in the promise of our students, who will stand with our educators, fight for equity and fairness, but most of all, FIGHT for Ward 8.
Darrell attended both DC Public Schools and DC Charter Charter Schools. He attended Coppin State University, where he studied Political Science, and he completed a law program at the Howard University School of Law.
In 2011, Darrell was one of many Young Elected Leaders honored by President Obama for being trailblazers in their communities. WKYS 93.9 named Darrell a Top 30 Under 30 in 2016.
a ward 8 native.
dc public schools educated.
fighter for education.
proven track record.
"With a city as prosperous as ours, the largest investments in education in the country, we should be achieving so much more. We can't continue failing our children, families, and communities without providing real opportunities, real equitable funding, and real resources to close both the achievement and opportunity gap. The fight for equity should not be in building sports arenas and hotels but rather in fixing our system and leveraging the playing field."
- Commissioner Darrell Gaston
DC School's are required to spend 1% of their budgets on training and education programs for parents to help them understand District goals. Schools are also required to help parents understand the Title I law and how to help their children. Parents must be involved in decisions about how that money is to be spent. Parents must jointly develop and approve the district and school's parent involvement policies, which should spell out how this money is spent. My goal is simple, DC must comply with not only federal law, but DC Council needs to match these funds. We need a Parent Resource Officer at every school to match parents to careers, educational training, or opportunities. If a parent can't read or write, how can the parent help their child? Let focus on expanding not only our outcomes for students but their parents as well.
We need to create Universal College Access Program at both our public high schools in Ward 8, Anacostia HS and Ballou HS. With current partnerships with GWU and a city-funded college, UDC, our students should not be competing for access to college programs at selective schools. Every student we not go to college, but imagine if every student graduates with an associate degree. They will be ahead of the game, and better prepared for life without debt.
DC INFRASTRUCTURE ACADEMY
Our DC Infrastructure Academy should partner with our high schools to provide certifications and trades. Because we know all high school graduates will not go to college, if we train our high school students their senior year in IT, CompTIA, A+, Entrepreneurship, etc., our students will be ready for work on day 1.
Equity means adding more resources above the baseline. After we ensure funding equality, which means all grades receive the same per-pupil funding, we must then add additional funding to close the opportunity gap. At-Risk Funds should not be used to fill budget gaps. At-Risk funds should only be used to help those at-risk students. Each school should have an At-Risk Committee to decide how those at-risk funds are to be used for that school. Central Office should not be deciding how to use those funds.
School access and safety is paramount to protecting our students. Every school should have a minimum of 2 School Safety Techs (Crossing Guards). We need to create a safe passage route for every school in Ward 8.
Teachers should be paid fairly and not overworked. All teachers should have fair labor standards, whether they are DCPS or Charter Schools. I support unionizing charter schools to ensure there are universal standards in pay, healthcare, education opportunities. Our teachers work hard and experience the hardships of balancing the environment of doing home visits and educating thru trauma. We must ensure the mental well being, and the retention of our teachers is essential.
My goal is to advocate to implement Trauma-Informed Certified Schools by 2022. In a trauma-informed school, the adults in the school community are prepared to recognize and respond to those who have been impacted by traumatic stress. Those adults include administrators, teachers, staff, parents, and law enforcement. We need to fully fund the South Capital Street Memorial Act of 2012, which requires all schools to at least one school-based behavioral health specialist.
We need to modernize and provide a standalone building for Excel School for Girls. This school, which is PK-8, should be extended to 12th grade with a focus on Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math. This will be one of my top priorities. Lets re-modernized or build a state of the art STEM School for girls at Malcolm X Opportunity Center.
HOW WILL DARRELL ADVOCATE FOR WARD 8!
HOW WILL DARRELL ADVOCATE FOR STUDENTS!
HOW WILL DARRELL ADVOCATE FOR FAMILIES!