The Polk Experience — 2020 & Beyond

Leading the first CBEL meeting.

Looking to the future, if we’re going to keep the momentum going and enhance the Polk school experience for everyone, we’ll need to tackle tough challenges — educational, social, and political. We must decide for ourselves the type of educational system we want. And we must commit to making it real. Here are some thoughts, strategies, and priorities.

* Talk honestly about segregation — by race, class, type of school, and test score.

  • How do we diminish it?
  • If we can’t diminish it, how can a unique Polk experience reduce the harm it causes — through increased resources, teacher recruitment, or other approaches?

* Develop voluntary screenings and intervention strategies for children with high levels of early childhood stress. Studies show toxic stress is a powerful predictor of struggles in school.

* Survey children and teachers annually about the quality of the classroom experience.

* Prepare an alternative model of assessment and accountability that is smarter and more humane than the state’s. If we have a model ready to “opt-in” to, we’ll be better positioned to seize political opportunities for change at the state level.