Thursday, January 17, 2013

School Board Candidate Questionnaire - Cedrick Goodman

CEDRICK GOODMAN seeking a 1-year term

What motivates you to seek this office?
As a tax payer and lifelong resident born and raised in the City of New Brunswick and graduate of the New Brunswick school system, I know first-hand the impact of obtaining a good quality education. With the graduation rate of our school children around the rate of 58% while maintaining the status of an Abbot school district I determine this as troubling and very problematic. I see the need for a better system of oversight and fiscal accountability that could help improve in program areas that remain unproductive and help address those deficiencies for our students. In my view there is no justification for our schools’ lack of performance and low test scores compared to other students in NJ. 

What will be your top priorities as a member of the School Board?
My first priority will be to evaluate all current program services and funding to determine what areas are in need of improvement or re-evaluation of their affectability. I would like to develop a system of fiscal oversight, accountability and better parent participation; improve relations between administrators and parents and develop a more welcomed environment at all school board meetings to improve parent participation; and seek out ways to reduce government waste. New Brunswick is considered the Hub City and attracts millions of visitors and employment opportunities for residents everywhere our schools should be a model of success for the state. Our city is the host of economic powers such as Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital, Johnson & Johnson, Brystol Meyers, Devco, St. Peters University Hospital, and Rutgers University our State University. 

How will you seek to foster parent involvement?
I truly feel that board members should take a more active role in reaching out to parents within the community to develop a better working relationship that would encourage more parents to take an active role in their children’s education. I would like to propose a system of questions to obtain more input from parents who have concerns and what challenges or improvements do they recommend we should consider. I think televised school board meetings would accommodate any parent unable to make the current meetings and assist them in taking a more active role in relations with board meetings. This information will help find solutions to those challenges. Board members must develop better dialogue with parents and better relations which in turn would create a more welcoming and friendly atmosphere at all school board meetings.

How will you ensure that students who are immigrants themselves or whose parents are immigrants receive equal and high-quality educational opportunities?
I would seek advice or consultation from those professional who are bilingual and evaluate all current programs and services being offered by our schools and determine which if any can be improved or what we can develop to meet the growing demands of the Latino population. This means improvements in hiring bilingual staff to attend address parents’ concerns and answer their question at schools. Develop a system of translation for parents at meetings or parent/teacher conferences. Are current programs of bilingual and ESL programs providing the best results. What English classes are available for parents so they can communicate with teachers/administrators.

How will you support all students, from the gifted to those in need of extra help?
I will make an active effort to provide every service available to both gifted and challenged student to connect them to the best tools and services available. I will evaluate all available resources at my disposal and recommend according the students’ needs the programs or services that suits each student’s described need. I will encourage students to seek my input if frustrated in the classroom and contact teachers to let them know I care and available for student assistance. I would like to propose programs that would allow a partnership with students from Rutgers University and Middlesex County College who could take a more active mentoring and tutoring role in preparing our kids for college.

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