Focused On Our Future
My name is Elechi Kadete. I was born in Tanzania, East Africa. I have lived in Cambridge, MA since I was 4 years old. I received my elementary and high school education at the then Joseph Maynard School, the Maria Baldwin School, and Cambridge Rindge and Latin High School. In 2012, I graduated from Brandeis University with a degree in business and minor politics.
Cambridge's outstanding public school system and programs offers students of all races, economic backgrounds, and learning aptitudes incredible opportunities. Many parents and students wisely take advantage of the resources Cambridge has to offer. At the same time many parents and students remain unaware. Let us all work together to make everyone aware of these opportunities in order to help each student achieve his and her academic potential.
What makes me DIFFERENT?
I am the only candidate running for school committee who is a recent graduate of the Cambridge public school system. I went to a four-year university, graduated, and presently working in Cambridge.
In addition I have seen firsthand the results of the Cambridge public school system. I have friends who went on to college then to acquire a higher education degree. On the other hand, I have many talented friends who were unable to attend college, acquire an education, hold a steady job, and now many of them struggle. For a city with incredible resources such as Cambridge this is unacceptable.
What would I do differently?
- Forecast a long term budget and plan
- Increase transparency within the School Administration
- Ask that the Superintendent meet certain annual benchmarks
- An excellent, high-quality education for all students
- Increased opportunity for Family Involvement
- Greater support of professional development for our teaching staff
- Improvement of special needs programs
Early Education Programs
Universal junior kindergarten (JK) made accessible to all families who wish to take part in it. Early education is critical because it gives students a head start on their education by teaching them:
- How to share
- Behave in an educational and social setting
- Provides confidence and head start going into kindergarten
- Self respect, honesty, and integrity
We must engage our early learners to recognize their potential and set the foundation for a successful path through the Cambridge public school system.
Increased opportunity for Family Involvement
We must create more opportunities for parents to be involved and contribute to their children's education. Parents ought to be taught the critical role that they play in their children's academic career and future. We can do this by
- Support parents in helping their children at home
- Frequently communicate with parents using various methods
- Host events and activities that will bring parents into the school
- Make all families feel welcome into our schools
Special Needs Education
The special needs education program in Cambridge must be improved. We need to make sure that these students are especially receiving the adequate resources and attention required for them to be successful through the school system. We can start by strengthen the bridge that takes special needs learners into regular classrooms.
Greater Support and Professional Development for Teachers
Professional development for teachers is significant because it allows teachers to grow and further their careers, and at the same time it allows them to turn around and continue to offer an excellent education for our students. What can we do for our teachers?
- Provide growth opportunities and leadership for teachers
- Offer incentives to outstanding teachers who continue to perform well and grow
- Provide for a better work/life balance for our teachers
School Department Budget and Capital Needs
There is a noticeable achievement gap across social economic lines. Many students who graduate from Cambridge Rindge and Latin fail to obtain a college degree or acquire an advanced certificate. As a school committee member I will look at the budget in depth and forecast a long term plan, talk to successful students and parents, then offer suggestions on how to better allocate the budget.
School Department Administration and Superintendent
I plan to work with each member on school committee to do what is best for the students of Cambridge and build a strong relationship with current Superintendent Dr. Jeffrey Young. At the same time we must hold Dr. Young accountable and not be afraid to ask him tough questions.
Letter submitted to Cambridge Chronicle:
Dear Cambridge Chronicle Readers,
My name is Elechi Kadete and I am running for Cambridge School Committee. This is my first time running.
I have lived in Cambridge almost all my life. I came to Cambridge from Tanzania, East Africa when I was four years old. My entire elementary and high school education was attained in Cambridge. I attended the then Joseph Maynard School, the Mariah Baldwin School and Cambridge Rindge and Latin High School. For College I attended Green Mountain College in Vermont and later transferred to Brandeis University from which I graduated with a Bachelors Degree in Business with a minor in politics in 2012.
I am running for School Committee because I believe I can make a difference as I am in touch with Cambridge youth. I feel blessed that in Cambridge, I was able to attend school with others from various walks of life. My schoolmates were the children of University Professors, doctors, High tech specialists as well as people who were on public assistance. My schoolmates were of different races and religions, but we sat in one class and we were friends and remain so. I have seen the many struggles and many successes of my schoolmates. I have seen kids who were smart and qualified to go to college unable to go because they could not get the necessary funding. Some have ended up on public assistance. A mind is a terrible thing to waste, yet in Cambridge, with all its resources, it happens too often.
I would like to see equal opportunity for all Cambridge students as the city spends a large amount of money on each student. Cambridge should be the stop scoring Public School System in the state of Massachusetts but it is not. Cambridge is home to world reknowned Universities like Harvard and MIT, we should also have world renowned public schools.
I ask for your Number One vote, so that I can get on the Cambridge School Committee and help make a difference for the children of Cambridge.
Thanks for reading.
Elechi Kadete 2013 Candidate Profile - Cambridge Chronicle
CCTV candidate video (2013)