Guest Columnist

Davis: Treat students like humans, not test scores

Maurice Davis is a candidate for Cedar Rapids School Board at-large.

I love Cedar Rapids.

If we want the schools and Cedar Rapids of tomorrow, we should focus on creating a bridge for that future. Our children need the skills and resources to be the leaders of tomorrow. I am running because there are boys and girls that don’t think they belong. I want to be a part of the solution.

A few things I am passionate about:

• Equity — We are long overdue for changes that treat our children like humans, rather than test scores and averages.

As a young black man who was taught how to cope with dyslexia, my educational experience was different from the surrounding people. I often felt the system didn’t care about me. I believe that just because a child is different doesn’t mean they are wrong.

Alternative routes for post HS education-We view our children’s options as college or failure, but there is much more in between.

On the small scale, this looks like helping students find what they love to do. After discovering their passion, we can help them turn this into a career to support their families and live a fulfilling life. In a broader sense, this is promoting paths like trade schools, certificate programs, and so many more options Cedar Rapids has to offer.

• “S.T.E.P A” — As a business coach, I teach people how to understand the voice of the customer; The goal is to do what’s best for stakeholders. School is the business of preparing future leaders. The business of education is vital to the success of the community. We must engage students, teachers, other school employees, parents and anyone else that is apart of the school system (S.T.E.P A)- all of Cedar Rapids. A major community concern with the current master facilities plan is the feeling of not being heard or included. If we focus on understanding the voices of all stakeholders when making major choices, we can consider everyone’s voice.

• Safety — I want our kids to be physically and emotionally safe. We know kids won’t be able to sit down and focus on school work when they are in a state of personal chaos. All our kids deserve to have an educational environment where they are free of fear and anxiety. Kids act out to communicate a personal struggle. We can implement practices designed to help a kid better communicate their emotions will help to reduce peer-to-peer violence.

Maurice Davis is a candidate for Cedar Rapids School Board at-large.

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