Autumn is a Time for Change

Autumn is a season of change. It has always been my favorite season.

When I entered the race for the State Board of Education in March, it wasn’t clear that I would be the challenger. At the time, my opponent had not decided whether he would run again.  After he announced his campaign for re-election in May and I became the challenger, I continued to run on the need for experienced educators to serve on the SBOE, the need for equitable funding for all schools and equitable opportunity for all students, and the need for families to have meaningful choices about their child’s education.

I spent summer with friends and neighbors, marching in parades, knocking on doors on sweltering weekends, and meeting hundreds of Ward 6 neighbors who care about quality schools and equitable opportunities for DC students.

Earlier this week, my opponent was endorsed by two current members of the DC Council. It is disheartening to see incumbents stick together when there is a clear need for change.

Over the past four years achievement gaps have persisted or grown for students in Ward 6 schools. My opponent voted against the ESSA plan that will help highlight continued gaps and stagnant achievement in our schools. He supports weakening the system of mayoral control that has enabled reforms which have led to renewed interest in and enrollment increases in District public schools. He identifies himself as “the voice of parents” on the SBOE, but offers conflicted support, at best, for parental school choice.

Ward 6 students and families deserve something different. They deserve an experienced educator’s voice for truly equitable funding and opportunities for all students. They deserve a representative who will call for real accountability for persistent achievement gaps and for a focus on replicating the successes of schools that show strong academic growth for students. They deserve representation who will support forward innovation in schools for teachers and students, not backwards shifts focused on governance. They deserve a voice for all students in Ward 6, wherever they go to school and all schools in Ward 6, wherever their students live.

Change is good. Ward 6 needs change this fall — no matter what the incumbents say.  

Jessica Sutter