With the news stories around the problems at Southwest High School I have been asked, while on the campaign trail, what I can do a to help the Kansas City Missouri School District if elected as a city council member. As your councilman, I will support the school board and Dr. Covington in any way that I can. I feel that as a citizen, however, that I can do more. For too long I’ve felt as a community that we have poured gas on the fire known as the Kansas City Missouri School District. It’s time for individual citizens to start sprinkling what water we have left on this fire and, working together as a city, I believe we can put this fire out. As a city, we are going about attacking this issue in a misguided way. The way society works is family, community, then schools. We are blaming everything from teachers to the school board to Dr. Covington closing extras schools. Yes, these are valid complaints, but you don’t fix the roof of your house when you have foundation problems. I believe there is a direct correlation with the single parent problems in our community and the detraction of the KCMSD. But that’s only half the story, if you go to majority of the students in the district and asks them who lives 3 or 4 houses down the street. They most likely will not know, that is because as a community we have lost connection with one another as a community.
So what I’m proposing is a system, like the classic neighborhood watch program, where community is used to improve the quality of the reinforcement of education in the children in Kansas City receives. Also, what teachers teach in school has to be followed up at home for the kids to retain the information. Two hours of extra reading a week and extra math questions from a community helper can influence every child no matter what age. With a lot of single parents working crazy hours or lacking the knowledge to help their kids, this is where my program can help. I know we have local groups in Kansas City who tutor, but what I’m trying to do is bring community back.
What I want the program to do is provide tutoring a few hours a day, 3 days a week during the school week and 2 hours on Saturday. I also want to have city wide meetings once every two months were we bring in different speakers, who came from the different districts, who have succeeded (i.e. city council members and local business owners). In this more united world we are moving toward, our kids are going to need college degrees to succeed. So we need to help create a higher level of expectations within the KCMSD. The days of graduating high school and getting a decent job are fading day by day and no one is educating students to this reality. I also want to have a program where we take high school freshmen to the campuses of MU, KU, UMKC, Avila, and Rockhurst to show them what college life is all about. You don’t dream about a university life if the only world you know exists within the boundary of the KCMSD. I also want to infuse the programs with volunteers from around the city. Because in some areas will have low participation and we need to full that void. It’s time for real change because, for far too long, young and old alike have sat around and watched the detraction of this school district and have done nothing. We all have a vested interest because it’s going to be hard to attract residents to this great city with a failing school system.
There are other problems to address, but the leaders of the district have to address the systemic problems within the district. These plans are preliminary and I will be meeting with different leaders over the next few months to improve on my plan. I would like to have the plan in place by the next school year. As a graduate of this great district I want to see it come back to its past glory. I’m open to all ideas that the residents have to offer. I’m also looking for volunteers to help me spearhead this project. Remember it takes a village to raise a child, shouldn’t it also take a community to educate one? If you have any questions, ideas or want to help please email firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @mdavis4kc Also all week, I will be accepting questions from residents and will post answers as my online forum continues. You can send your responses and inquiries to the two links above. Other topics from the forum at www.mdavis4kc.wordpress.com
MAHLON DAVIS 5TH DISTRICT AT LARGE WRITE-IN CANDIDATE