Wednesday, April 3, 2013

April 2013 School Board Election -- Martin Arocho

MARTIN AROCHO    Ballot Line: A4

What motivates you to seek this office/another term in this office? My motivation is to help the community, especially the children of New Brunswick.  Knowing that the graduation rate is very low and the drop-out rate is too high,   I want to bring positive changes to our schools and advocate for the children of our community.
What will be your top priorities as a School Board member/in a new term on the School Board? There are a few priorities that need to be addressed.  However, the top priorities are the low graduation rate and the high drop-out rate.  We need to find out why this is so and find ways that can ameliorate the situation.
How will you seek to foster parent involvement in New Brunswick Public Schools? This has been an ongoing issue in New Brunswick.  I do think that working more closely with the school PTO’s can help.  We need to be creative and flexible to work with the diverse needs of parents.   I do believe that parents want to be involved in their children’s education but many times there are other barriers that interfere.  Such barriers include work schedules and language barriers.
How will you ensure that students who are immigrants themselves or whose parents are immigrants receive equal and high-quality educational opportunities? It is the constitutional right of ALL children, no matter their immigrant status to receive an equal education.  If discrimination is taking place in any of the New Brunswick Public Schools, then we have a serious problem.  As board members, we have an obligation to ensure that these rights are afforded.   

How will you ensure that the School District supports struggling students who are in danger of falling through the cracks? The best way to ensure this as board members would be to get monitoring reports on student academic achievement by school.  In this manner, we as board members can assess the effectiveness of current programs or implement new programs.  We also need to ensure that students receive the proper remediation when they begin to struggle.  Social promotion is not a solution.  
In addition to parents, how will you engage other stakeholders in the New Brunswick Public Schools, such as city residents, students, alumni, teachers, staff, and community institutions? I think we as board members have a large influence in engaging stakeholders.  It is our responsibility to bring positive visibility about New Brunswick public schools.  We can begin doing so by including stakeholders in school activities so that they can see the great work being done in the schools by students and staff. 

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