April 2nd is right around the corner; for those that have not yet taken advantage of the many early vote options, I strongly encourage you to consider the current races and get your vote in before 7:00 pm next Tuesday. Feeling lost about which candidates to choose, or just plain curious? I highly recommend a new local resource:
Have you seen any of these “That’s a School Board Thing” billboards around town? It took me a few days, but I finally started to google what this was all about. So far, I have not run into anyone in Champaign who knows anything about “XQAmerica” or the signs themselves (I even asked Tom Kacich, still waiting to hear back from him).
I have mixed feelings about what I find on the XQ SuperSchools website. However, what I really do love is the section about school boards – they have a whole section that explains what school boards do, and even provide pointers on how to engage, get involved and ask questions:
Know what else is a school board thing? Making sure that the school policies and objectives reflect the community’s desires. “The public schools belong to the people” says Section 105 of the Champaign Unit 4 School Board Policies. As I look to what is going on our neighboring school district of Urbana 116, I find a lot of narratives unfolding as people spin stories one way or another. Most relevant to the topic of the April 2nd elections, I was given the opportunity to read an article by Allison O’Dwyer; yes, it is an endorsement piece for two School Board candidates who are challenging the incumbents, but the thrust behind the story is very relevant for Champaign schools as well. I encourage you to read this all the way through:
The following quote is a good cardinal rule for us to follow:
It is when we address and work to tackle the embedded, systemic problems of poverty, racism, and mental health that all of students rise–when we focus on the best for our community as a whole, instead of just the best for our own kids. — Allison O’Dwyer
To have your signature added to the article, I can provide Allison O’Dwyer’s email address for you; or you can find her on facebook/twitter.
Allison also highlighted a piece written by Urbana student Michael Tessene, which is an excellent read all by itself:
As XQ encourages us:
- Read Up
- Show Up
- Speak Up
Make sure you vote before or on April 2nd! This is your chance to choose people who represent your ideas, your ideologies, your passions.