David J. Weinstein

David J. Weinstein
2017 Candidate for Cambridge School Committee

Home address:
45 S. Normandy Ave.
Cambridge, MA 02138

Contact information:
website: votedavidweinstein.com
e-mail: votedavidweinstein@gmail.com
phone: 857-285-2194
Facebook: facebook.com/votedavidweinstein
Twitter: twitter.com/voteDWeinstein
LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/djweinstein

Send contributions to:
Online: https://secure.actblue.com/contribute/page/votedavidweinstein
or by mail to:
David Weinstein for Cambridge School Committee
45 S. Normandy Ave.
Cambridge MA 02138


David J. Weinstein
Candidate for Cambridge School Committee
Teacher, Parent, Communicator

Let's challenge ourselves to do better for all of the children of Cambridge

Priorities:

  • Expand public junior kindergarten to include all four year olds – in developmentally appropriate classrooms.
  • Strengthen our upper schools (grades 6-8) by supporting teacher collaboration and planning between schools, hiring full-time family liaisons, and implementing evidence-based social and emotional learning programming
  • Guide the superintendent's implementation of our new strategic plan, so that all of our schools have the resources they need to serve our children well.
  • Meet and exceed out goal of 30% teachers of color in our schools by hiring, supporting and retaining excellent teachers.
  • Focus on closing the opportunity gap in the Cambridge Public Schools with a multi-pronged approach.
  • Ensure all CRLS graduates are prepared to succeed – in college, in careers, as citizens.

The right skills, experience, and perspective
We need someone on the School Committee who is in the thick of it as a current Cambridge Public Schools parent, has on-the-ground classroom experience, and knows how to build consensus and get things done.

I was a full-time classroom teacher in public schools for five years (teaching both art and English), and studied school reform and teacher leadership at the Harvard Graduate School of Education.

Cambridge has been my home for 16 years, and my children are now in kindergarten and 5th grade in the Cambridge Public Schools.

I get things done, I have bridged scholarship, public understanding and action in my career at non-profits and at Brandeis University. I am now coordinating a new national program based at Brandeis that is teaching college students how to be effective, engaged citizens at the state legislative level. (ENACT: The Educational Network for Active Civic Transformation.)

I know the classroom. I know our community. I know how to build consensus. I will be accountable to you.

I ask you for your #1 vote on November 7th. Let's work together.

El texto de arriba está disponible en Español aquí. [The above text is available in Spanish here. Thank you to Azlin Perdomo, CRLS and Amigos parent, for her translation!]

Where to start?
We need to continually improve our schools, with a sense of urgency. Every child only gets one shot at this, and we can’t afford to wait. Yet we need to combine this focus with a long view. We cannot simply churn through policy ideas and program trials. Evaluating, tweaking, supporting and improving existing programs is just as important as creating new ones.

Important areas of focus:

  • Guiding the superintendent’s implementation of our new strategic plan, so that all of our schools have the resources they need to serve our children well, including supporting and strengthening our still-relatively-new upper schools (grades 6 thru 8). One of the School Committee’s most important roles is working with the superintendent.
  • A laser focus on closing the opportunity gap in the Cambridge Public Schools with a multi-pronged, JK-12 approach. Making progress toward this goal helps all students, and many of the specifics I’ve outlined in my platform support this effort. There should be a standing item on the School Committee agenda focused on the opportunity (or “achievement”) gap.
  • Improving communication. Better communication results in more participation from the community. More participation from the community results in a better education for our children. There are some immediate steps that the School Committee can take, including: providing childcare during all School Committee meetings. Rotating attendance of individual School Committee members at school steering committee meetings. Ensuring all School Committee meetings, including roundtables, are videotaped and easily accessible online.
  • Ensuring that all Cambridge Rindge and Latin School graduates are prepared to succeed – in college, in careers, as members of the community.

Three specific changes I will work for from day one:

  • Expand public junior kindergarten to include all four year olds – in developmentally appropriate classrooms. Quality pre-kindergarten options for families that need it are hard to find and hard to pay for. We should ensure all Cambridge families have this option available, and we should take this goal into account in our school renovation plans.
  • Hire full-time family liaisons for each of the upper schools. Our elementary schools and high school already have these professionals. Family engagement is just as important in grades 6 through 8 as it is before and after. This should be part of a comprehensive approach to supporting and strengthening the upper schools, also involving support for teacher collaboration, fostering planning between schools, and implementing evidence-based social and emotional learning programming.
  • Hire enough teachers and guidance counselors at CRLS so that the increasing high school student population has reasonable access to the courses they need and want to take, and so guidance caseloads are small enough that all students get the support they need during high school and as they transition to colleges and careers.

A little more background:
As a product of public schools, a former public school teacher, and a parent of two current Cambridge Public Schools students (kindergarten and 5th grade) I'm deeply committed to our students and our schools. My public education shaped who I am as a person, as an educator, and as a citizen.

I was fortunate to go to school in and later teach in a community just north of New York City that, though smaller than Cambridge, had a similar level of racial, cultural, and economic diversity, and which was committed to ensuring every child reached their potential.

More diverse classrooms benefit all children. And all of our children benefit from learning from excellent, committed teachers with a range of lived experience. This is why I’ve lived in Cambridge for more than 16 years now: for the diversity and excellent education I experienced growing up.

As a former classroom teacher in my hometown school district and in public schools in Massachusetts, I know that along with the skills and content I taught, my students learned from the “curriculum” that was me. And their learning was strengthened when my colleagues and my supervisors and my students included many people not like me in terms of race, as well as other aspects of identity and experience.

I have seen children in Cambridge, including my own children, benefit from this dynamic, and we must ensure Cambridge builds on its successes hiring excellent teachers of color, including Black teachers, and works to support and retain those teachers.

I want the same thing for my children and all of the children of Cambridge: an excellent education grounded in a diverse, loving community of families, teachers, administrators and community members who are not afraid to challenge each other to grow and improve. On the School Committee I will work for this goal, and I know that will mean always listening and always learning.

Fun Fact:
I’m an avid photographer, and have done some professional photography as well. Starting when my daughter was in kindergarten, every two years she and I have exhibited artwork we create together, combining my photos and her paintings, in a faculty/staff exhibition at Brandeis University. Last year was our third joint exhibit!


I am happy to announce that I am running for Cambridge School Committee! Why? As a parent and a community member I'm proud of the Cambridge Public Schools – but not satisfied.

We need someone on the School Committee who is in the thick of it as a Cambridge Public Schools parent and who has my on-the-ground classroom experience — a critical level of understanding when deciding and implementing policy.

We need to continually improve our schools, with a sense of urgency. Every child only gets one shot at this, and we can't afford to wait. And we need to combine this focus with a long view. We cannot simply churn through policy ideas and program trials. We need to follow through, evaluate, tweak, support, and improve upon the things we are doing well — and we need to make hard decisions about which initiatives we neeed to change or eliminate.

I was a full-time classroom teacher in public schools for 5 years (teaching both art and English), and studied teacher leadership and school reform at the Harvard Graduate School of Education.

I have lived or studied in Cambridge since 1999, and my children are now entering kindergarten (after a terrific JK year) and 5th grade in the Cambridge Public Schools.

For 15 years as a communications professional at non-profit organizations and at Brandeis University I have bridged scholarship and public understanding. I am now coordinating a new national program based at Brandeis that is teaching college students how to be effective, engaged citizens at the state legislative level.

I bring these important perspectives together with an understanding of education policy and of what is happening in the classrooms in our schools in Cambridge.

I ask you for your #1 vote on November 7th, 2017 — and for your questions, ideas and concerns about the Cambridge Public Schools and what the School Committee can do to ensure that very child has the support they need to explore and achieve their fullest potential.

I hope to have the chance to connect with you soon! I invite your thoughts in the comments at votedavidweinstein@gmail.com.


David on Cambridge InsideOut - Oct 17, 2017


Parking Day 2017 - NeighborMedia Interview with David Weinstein
from Cambridge Community Television on Vimeo


CCTV candidate video (2017)

Cambridge Parking Day interview

2015 Candidate Page


Page last updated Wednesday, October 18, 2017 11:21 AM Cambridge Candidates