October 24, 2017

Orange County Democratic Party questionnaire responses

By James Barrett

What is your name as it will appear on the ballot? James Barrett

Age 47

Town Chapel Hill

What office are you running for? Chapel Hill-Carrboro City Schools (CHCCS) Board of Education

Website and Social Media  http://barrettforschools.com, http://facebook.com/barrettforschools, http://twitter.com/jcbarr, https://www.instagram.com/barrettforschools/

Preferred contact information james@barrettforschools.com

Education: Proud graduate of Seawell Elementary, Phillips Jr High, Chapel Hill High School; B.S. in Math and Computer Science from The College of William and Mary

Political experience: Served past 6 years on the CHCCS Board of Education, with 2 yearlong terms as chair.

Occupation/employment/life/volunteer experience: Software Engineering Manager in my day job, leading large, global  IT projects.  Before I was on the school board, held various leadership positions at my church, volunteered for many years as youth group leader and parks and rec baseball and basketball coach, and was a founding member of the strategy team for Justice United, focused on social justice change across Orange County.

Why are you running for this office? To continue to push for changes in our public school system that will better serve all children.  Read more about how to make our district truly great at tinyurl.com/hsjcbarr

What *specific* things would you like to accomplish?

    1. Maintain strong focus on closing achievement gaps: The board needs to ensure strong implementation of the equity plan: We must see that the entire district follows through to enable better outcomes for all students, so that every student–no matter what level–learns and grows, measurably, every day, every year, to close our achievement gaps.
    2. Ensure innovative, engaging instruction: The board must insist on a current plan that lays out what technology for instruction we have and need, and to what end; we must also support new ways of delivering instruction, which may include blended learning (a mix of online and face-to-face instruction that emphasizes content mastery), flipped classrooms, and other innovative, culturally responsive instruction that truly reaches all students and pushes them to learning growth every day.
    3. Continue progress on transparency and decision-making in our budget process: So far, we have added a 2-pager explaining how our money is used (tinyurl.com/chccsbudget). We should enhance this to clearly show individual program expenses, and overhaul our budget process to align our spending very clearly with the needs of every student. Such priority-based budgeting, which takes into account varying levels of need, would force administrators and the board to think even more carefully about how we follow through on our stated priorities.


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