Dear Family and Friends,
Yes, it’s true! I am running for re-election (See Candidate Information here) as Berkeley School Board Director in the November 2012 elections. Over these last years that I have served as a board member I have learned a tremendous amount about Berkeley schools, adult education, board governance, advocacy and the responsibility a school board director has to the education of ALL of our students. I would like to share with you some of the highlights of my first term as Board Director:
- 9 of our 11 elementary schools have reached the State's standard for excellence (and the other two are within 20 API points of the standard) and all 3 middle schools have reached that standard.
- Berkeley's work in improving math education resulted in a visit from Secretary of Education Arne Duncan to Longfellow Middle School - a school that is 80% of color and surpasses national standards of excellence in Algebra.
- Over the past year, BHS has increased attendance and has started work on aligning class work to a standards based curriculum. As a district this extra focus and attention to improving attendance has yielded the district ADA funds.
- BUSD implemented the first district-wide student achievement and equity plan.
- African American and Latino students have a higher high school graduation rate and lower dropout rate than students of all ethnicities in the county and state.
- BUSD has worked with community leaders to overwhelmingly get passed by Berkeley voters two school parcel taxes and a construction bond measure
- We have furthered openness and transparency through establishment of a Budget Advisory Committee and I have frequently attended community meetings and met with community groups relating to educational issues, Parent Liaisons, Two Way Immersion, Bullying Policy and the Master Plan for English Language Learners.
With your support I would like to continue to improve our schools by serving for another term to expand on student achievement and making wider strides to reducing the achievement gap.
As your School Board Director I will be focused on:
- Improving student academic achievement in line with the 2020 Vision and District Goals;
- Promoting more rigorous classroom instruction and continuous improvement to instructional strategies to support ALL students academic performance,
- Increasing communications between all partners supporting our schools;
- Supporting our educators while simultaneously recruiting additional qualified and diverse teachers;
- Providing teachers and classified personnel with professional development opportunities that address school and district wide priorities; and,
- Continuing to welcome and increase diverse parent engagement and involvement on all school sites.
I look forward to your support and welcome this opportunity to continue serve the students and families of Berkeley Unified as your school board member. Your donation to my campaign is sincerely appreciated and welcomed!
Beatriz Leyva-Cutler, Berkeley School Board Director (Incumbent)