By Kimberly Anderson, candidate for Amarillo ISD Board of Trustees
As a candidate for the Amarillo ISD Board of Trustees, I’ve made a few core statements about why I am running for the school board, and I want to take this opportunity to dig in to one of them.
I believe you deserve a Board of Trustees which acts in the best interest of our children, not in the best interest of test scores or appearances.
While I understand the importance of meeting state accountability, investing resources and time into chasing STAAR scores and distinctions is evidence of faulty priorities. STAAR scores reveal more about the socioeconomic demographics of a school than the level of achievement of students. They are not the metric by which we should be evaluating our success and should never be the justification for our decisions. Our decisions should always be made with the best interest of our children in mind, so we should be investing our resources, time, and efforts into developmentally appropriate practice, essential skills, and college and career readiness instead of legitimizing a bogus assessment tool and accountability system.
The enrollment rate in Amarillo ISD has been in decline the past few years and because of this the district’s revenue has also been in decline, but decisions should not be based on students we do not have. Luring new students to our district with trendy academies, programs, and gimmicks should not be our priority. Our priority should be to provide the students we have with an excellent, well-rounded education which provides a solid foundation to prepare them for post-secondary success whether that be in a university, the armed forces, a skilled-trade, community college, or another career path. We must invest our resources in providing EVERY existing student with opportunities to explore and achieve because this is what will make Amarillo ISD the district of choice in our area.
I also want to touch on personal gain. I am not running for school board for personal benefit or notoriety. I have no aspirations to higher office for which this could be a stepping stone. I am not running out of concern for my own children. If my concern were those two, there are a myriad of other ways to advocate for them which do not require the time, energy, or scrutiny that running for and serving on the Board of Trustees requires. I am running for the other 29,600+ students in the district who may not have someone able to advocate for them. Their parents may be working two jobs just to make ends meet; they may not have had a great experience when they were in school; they may not speak English or may be self-conscious if English is their second language. I want to advocate for them and uphold the sacred trust parents place in our schools when they send their children through our doors each day.
I am Kimberly Anderson, and it would be an honor to serve you on the Amarillo ISD Board of Trustees.