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If given the opportunity to return to the School Committee, my immediate and longer-term priorities, include the following:
  • Work with other School Committee members to monitor, evaluate and support the implementation of the new district plan

    • Ensure School Committee has access to dashboard of key metrics and receives timely reports on meeting or not the district plan’s goals.

    • Provide socio-emotional support to students so they can thrive

    • Work so that students are career and/or college ready by graduation

  • Support the successful roll out of universal pre-school (UPK) in the Cambridge

    • CPSD should provide high quality programs that serve as examples for other providers

    • Confirm that CPSD’s UPK admission process does not disrupt enrollment in elementary schools

  • Gain support to undertake our first school committee self-assessment in recent memory


  • Starting this autumn, but knowing it will take more than a year, I will:

    • Review multi-year construction & maintenance plan through the building & grounds subcommittee and in coordination with the City Council

      • Respond to demographic changes and implications of best use of facilities

      • Expand educational programs that work (and therefore are oversubscribed by our families)

    • Improve relationship with unions and the community

    • Budgets that focus on better use of existing resources, as well as consider additional spending on new initiatives to narrow opportunity gaps


  • These priorities are in addition to my commitment to ensure the School Committee has data-driven discussions and that we have equally high expectations for all of our children.

Closing the Opportunity Gap
  • Early education is key. Universal pre-school (UPK) matters.

    • I will support successful roll out of UPK in the Cambridge, while minimizing kindergarten enrollment issues.

  • Access to advance mathematics

    • I will support multiple paths for students to access advance mathematics, from access to Algebra 1 in 8th grade to compressing early mathematics in high school.

    • I will continue to advocate for students to have strong foundation of middle-school mathematics.

  • Bilingual education has shown to address the opportunity gap and provide other learning benefits.

    • I will support the expansion and/or addition of more bilingual immersion schools.

  • Cambridge's Montessori school has provided the highest achievement growth for all subgroups.

    • I will support a study to explore the possibility of starting another Montessori school.

Assessing Systems Intended to Support Learning of all Students
  • Testing has led to improved standards, but there are challenges – for example, student anxiety, teaching to the test, etc. Student achievement should be assessed using a combination of measures, of which test results are only one. As has been pointed out by other School Committee members, additional measures could include graduation rates, student attendance and participation in extracurricular activities.

    • I will support engaging learning environments and culturally responsive teaching practices, rather than focusing only on testing students.

    • I will support the compilation of multi-layered data to show student achievement, such as those proposed by the Massachusetts Consortium for Innovative Education Assessment (MCIEA)

    • I will challenge the District to improve the schools that are truly missing the mark on overall student achievement.

Right-sizing School Capacity
  • While new schools have been built, classroom capacity has remained virtually flat while Cambridge's student population has decreased because of demographics and the pandemic.  This has highlighted the community’s historical preference for more small community schools relative to other districts.

    • I will asses district’s overcapacity and resulting unnecessary overhead costs

    • I will ensure district develops a maintenance program for the existing schools, to ensure that pupils are learning in a safe and engaging environment.

Including More Diverse Array of Voices in Decision Making
  • Some parents feel their voices are not listened to, based on their socio-economic background, their race, their immigration status, etc.

    • I will endeavor to attend a School Council meeting in each school (17 schools) over my 2-year term, to meet parents in person and hear their opinions.

  • More student voices need to be included in the decision making at the high school

    • I will meet with high school student leaders and help bring their voices to the School Committee.

Making the School Committee More Effective 
  • School Committee members should respectfully agree to disagree when needed, while at the same time working to support higher expectations for each student and joyful / vigorous learning for all.

    • I will build support to undertake our first school committee self-assessment in recent memory

  • The School Committee has accomplished a lot. But it must continue to address the opportunity gap.

    • I will ensure the School Committee holds the administration accountable when achievement targets are missed.

    • I will request explanations for those short-comings and an analysis of lessons learned, in order to ensure strategies are adjusted to better address the opportunity gap.


I hope that you will give me your #1 vote on November 7!  No candidate is "safe" in our rank choice voting system.  Every vote counts!
If you are looking for passion, community and leadership in School Committee - 
Vote #1 for José Luis Rojas Villareal!
Thank you,
José Luis
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