Somerville Times - Meet the Candidates

Submitted to the Somerville Times in response to a questionnaire, October 9, 2013.

 

What do you feel is the most important duty of the School Committee?

Enabling students to reach their potential is the primary goal of Somerville Public Schools, and the most important way the School Committee accomplishes this is through the budget – by knowing and advocating for the needs of families in Somerville, making tough trade-offs to support those needs, and fighting for resources.

 

What is the number one issue you would address once elected?

Parents and guardians, when engaged in their child’s education, have a significant impact on their child’s success, and parents currently experience an inconsistent level of communication at different schools. In order to truly partner with families, I will first focus on how to increase communication with parents across the district.

 

How would you rate the job performance of the Somerville Public Schools Superintendent?

While the Superintendent has moved SPS a long way during his tenure, the recent mishandling of teacher evaluations – one of the primary jobs of a superintendent – has significantly damaged teacher morale and confidence in the district’s commitment to professional development. Teacher evaluations must be a top focus in 2014.

 

How do you feel about charter schools?

We owe it to our students and families to invest in our public school system without reducing resources by adding charter schools in Somerville. Charter schools are only a part of the discussion because of existing gaps in innovation and outcomes in public schools, which I want to improve.

 

Bio: Dan Futrell serves as the Director of Operations & Strategy at the youth development nonprofit Year Up, where he manages a $9M budget and provides human resources support to a 60-person staff to include performance management and hiring. Prior to this, Dan served five years as a US Army Infantry Officer commanding at the Platoon and Company levels. Serving 27 months in Baghdad, Dan was awarded the Combat Infantryman’s Badge, the Ranger Tab, and was twice awarded the Bronze Star. Growing up partially in foster care and later in a single parent home, Dan attended college on an ROTC scholarship and later completed a graduate degree in public policy at Harvard. Dan currently serves on the board of the Community Action Agency of Somerville (CAAS). Visit www.danfutrell.com.

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