Priorities of this campaign's election Platform

Incentivizing Children from economically weaker section of our community to attend schools

To offer rewards to students based on their attendance records and exam performance is sure way to reduce achievement gaps. I fully endorse reward systems. However, I don’t think that offering money should be the reward. Many children are already over exposed to the desire for money. If linked to focused attendance incentives and a strong Back-to-School campaign, then it becomes worth while. 

Parents whose children show perfect attendance during the school year will be eligible to win gift cards. The local high tech companies could be involved  to reward the families of students with zero absences.

Increasing Education standards of the Santa clara city schools

Looking at the low API scores of significant number of the schools in our district, this will be one of the most important policy feature of this campaign. In last few decades, the district's population has trebled, but we still only have couple of schools which can take credit of having consistantly achieving very high API scores. Millikin(1981) and Washington Elementary(1973) are the 2 open enrollment schools in the Santa Clara school district, who have achieved that distinction. Basically here is how it works for these two schools. If you are in this school district, there is a lottery to fill the open spots each year. The primary catalyst behind what makes the school unique is that it is a parent participation school. Each family is required to put in 4 hours in the school per week and take on additional work out of school responsibilities. Millikin parents are required to volunteer 10 hours per year per child in support of the school, its activities and programs. Briefly here are the key features:

1) The school has a ton of resources. Using parent's skill sets and using their time to offload some of the teacher's busy work load. Using parents' time in class allows the kids to work in smaller, more focused groups. Simply put, the kids get a lot of opportunities that a normal school just can't do.

2) Almost like a sports team fan, the more time, parent put in, the more involved/invested they become. The parent base is almost overboard in their love for the school and many parent are putting in well more then the minimum required time into the school. 

These are just examples. Every school need not follow same way of parent participation and curriculum. I would like to target every year, atleast one more school from approx. two dozen public schools here in our district with low API scores, which should atleast achieve comparable API scores as Millikin and Washington elementary schools do.

Bringing greater transparency in the SCUSD

One of the cornerstone of this campaign's policies for next four years would be to bring transparency in various administrative processes and policy changes undertaken by SCUSD. Time and time again, parents and other residents of Santa Clara had to bear all the burden of all the anomalies of policy changes. Too often the processes are so complex that an average resident is not able to understand how one can arrive to any of the policy decisions, which are affecting his or her or family's daily lives. There should be more deliberative way of coming to any policy conclusion. I will make sure that parents, teachers are included in all the new policy changes deliberations explicitly specially who are affected by the said policies.

Increasing economic benefits of Santa Clara school teachers

Teachers of SCUSD schools are one of my prime priorities. I will strive to remove any disparity in the teachers salaries and their benefits. This includes teachers for special education need children, classified and certificated teachers. Along with this I would insist on higher API goals for our schools. Since teachers are our schools' engine, we have to make sure that their growth is intrinsically linked with growth of our schools and children who are students of that school.

Create innovative programs that offer students challenging academic and life-enriching opportunities

Today in our district we offer opportunities of going into special academic programs and job oriented programs to very less number of children. Infact our parents should have more such programs to choose from. I will work diligently for next four years to expand special programs which will provide more academic challenges and also bring more futuristic job oriented programs for our high school students. 

Provide schools with staffing necessary to achieve goals

Every year in our district most schools exhibit dismal scores in standardized tests. Most schools lack appropriate staffing levels so that  there is proper, regular teacher and student interaction. We need to have more resources for teaching aids for our valued teachers so they can use that for providing more and better instruction to all the children. Some children who need more efforts from our school district, specially require such highly motivated teachers so they can pace along with whole class. More often, teachers in district have to ask for donations from wards so they can comply with the requirements of the subject to be taught more effectively. I will make sure that we device policies so that more budget is spent on our students than on bureaucrats.

Focus resources and structure schools to support successful programs

Many times we donot focus our resources to higher achievement in different subjects like Science, Maths., English. More often our school teaching structures do not reduce the achievement gaps in the children. I will make sure that as governing board member, we set our focus on few but important programs, catering to reducing gap in the achievement scores and getting the child's overall personality to new and higher levels. It should be our goal that our students should become a pool of highly qualified techies available to the Silicon Valley companies, so that they can stay in Santa Clara and donot have to move their families.

Provide each school with Art, Music, Physical Education resources and goals

Today we have very few qualified teachers in our school district who can provide leadership in Arts, Music and Sports. Most parents really feel helplessness and frustated that there is total lack of emphasis on getting our children's total personality. Without having influence of Music and Sports, we are not providing a wholesome environment in our district schools. I will change that in my first year of joining the board by creating special policy targets in Music and Sports.

Provide support and resources to special education needs children

There is very little emphasis in our schools for helping our parents who have kids who have special education needs. Very few schools have all the facilities of special education. I will make sure that all schools in our district have equal staffing and other resources, And they should be more than just adequate for all our children including special education need children.