Keisha Carey is running for Atlanta Board of Education District 2.

Candidate website: www.keishacareyforatlantaschools.com

Q: What is your current job (include the name of your employer) and list any significant memberships in public service organizations? 

A: *T-Mobile Corporate Business, Former Substitute Teacher, Founder-Chair of Westside Communities United

Q: What is the biggest issue facing your constituents and why are you the best candidate to address it? 

A: The biggest issue that my constituents face is that many students have fallen behind academically due to the pandemic. After engaging in conversations with people who reside within the ABOE, District 2 neighborhoods and listening to their feedback, as school board member here is how I will address it. First, we need to ensure that schools are completely open with parents regarding the loss of student learning. Secondly, we need to set a measurement to access a baseline to determine where students are academically. Further, schools can also look at priorities such as, making adjustments to the academic school day and additional after school learning.

Q: The pandemic has brought unique challenges to public schools, including mask mandates and hybrid learning. What is a lesson you have learned from these challenges? 

A: The unique challenges regarding the pandemic with public schools has caused a need to re-imagine learning. A lesson learned is that virtual learning in some aspects has also impacted students social-emotional progress. Some positive lessons learned would be that communication between parents, families and educators greatly increased. Also, parents gained a better understanding of teachers’ roles.

Q: What is the future of virtual learning in APS? 

A: In addition to the traditional learning environment, Atlanta Public Schools provides a virtual learning environment choice which is known as the Atlanta Virtual Academy (AVA). This is the future of virtual learning in APS.

With nearly every seat either contested or open, the 2021 Atlanta municipal election will certainly shape the future of our city. Our election guide is a fact-based, nonpartisan primer on who’s running, how to vote, and other information you need to be an informed voter. Click to return to the main voter guide.

Q: Atlanta Public Schools is operating under a recently adopted “equity and social justice” policy. What is your definition of those terms in public education? 

A: The Atlanta Public Schools has recently adopted and is operating under the “equity and social justice” policy. My definition of those terms in public education means that equity is achieved when all students receive the resources they need so they graduate prepared for success after high school.

Q: APS Superintendent Lisa Herring is over a year into a three-year contract that the next Board of Education will have to consider extending or replacing. What is your opinion of Herring’s job performance? 

A: APS Superintendent Lisa Herring has only been in her position for a short while. Her tenure began with having to face a pandemic challenge causing her to quickly adapt. Her performance thus far speaks for itself. I will be open to working with the selected APS Superintendent while holding that person fully accountable as a school board member.

Q: The Board of Education last year demanded that the Development Authority of Fulton County cease granting tax abatements to developments within the City of Atlanta. Should the board maintain that position and why or why not? 

A: In regards to the BOE last year demanding that the Development Authority of Fulton County cease granting tax abatements to developments within the City of Atlanta, the board should maintain it’s position unless new details are revealed for reconsideration.

Q: What are some areas of opportunity for the Atlanta City Council to work in partnership with the Atlanta Public Schools superintendent and board? 

A: One particular area of opportunity for the Atlanta City Council to work in partnership with the Atlanta Public Schools superintendent and board is to create a successful student business entrepreneurship program to continue post graduation. Although we should encourage and strive that students be college bound, we have to consider that some students may wish to own their own business and need to develop the skills and have the opportunity do so. A partnership between the school board and the city would provide students with the platform in order to achieve this goal.

Q: What are some areas of opportunity for the Atlanta Public Schools superintendent and board to work with the mayor and City Council? 

A: The greatest challenge for Atlanta Public Schools is the on-going disparities of academic achievement gaps amongst the total student enrollment population. These gaps heavily impact failing schools, reading levels, and graduation rates specifically within the majority of the ABOE, District 2 neighborhoods. With these gaps increasingly becoming wider due to the pandemic, we must find ways to continue to address this challenge which centers around a long history of inequity. For example, at the on-set of virtual learning, many students did not have a computer or home internet access. As a school board member, I will address this issue by ensuring that we continue to identify ways to invest more in much needed student resources. This area would be an ideal opportunity for the board, superintendent, city council and mayor to collaborate in working together.

Q: Anything else that you want to share for voters who may be undecided? 

A: I am running for the Atlanta School Board, not only as a candidate but as a former Atlanta Public Schools graduate. My main purpose for running, is to restore the confidence of the constituents and stakeholders regarding transparency in education from pre-k-12th grade, specifically within the Atlanta District 2 neighborhoods. As a school board member, I will work hard for all people, support ideas, and fight for the needs of students, parents, educators, and staff while earning respect.

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