My name is Elechi Kadete, and I am a candidate for Cambridge School Committee. It is my hope that you will consider giving me your Number One vote this Election Day, November 7th.
Above all, I am passionate about education. I want to help ensure that each and every student has the learning tools, support, and guidance that they need to succeed, and that we as a city are making use of new and innovative methods to make this a reality. A mind is a terrible thing to waste, yet in Cambridge, even with the city’s tremendous resources, it happens all too often.
I am running for School Committee for a number of reasons. First, I have an insider’s perspective as a product of CPS; I sat in the classrooms and saw what worked and what didn’t. Many of the issues that were present when I was in CPS still persist. Second, I understand the value and significance of education, and work with children in the community as a chess coach, basketball coach, and mentor. Third, because my family matters, I have a nephew who will be entering CPS soon, and I want to make his journey, and those of his peers, the very best it can be.
I have lived in Cambridge almost all my life, since moving here from Tanzania at the age of four. My entire elementary and high school education was spent in Cambridge. I attended the then Joseph Maynard School (now Maynard-Fletcher Academy), the Mariah Baldwin School and Cambridge Rindge and Latin High School. For College, I attended Brandeis University, a college with a huge international population which fit my Cambridge experience and my background. I graduated with a Bachelor’s Degree in Business with a minor in politics in 2012. My experiences at Brandeis, a wonderful research institution with a diverse student body, and an emphasis on language, and justice for all people were what inspired me to run for School Committee.
A strong guidance system is a crucial resource for any student, helping to prepare them for life after Cambridge Public Schools and wherever that may take them. We need to thoroughly review that ours is up to this task, and reform accordingly.
Early childhood education has been shown to improve young learners’ brain development and social abilities. An increase in the number of pre-kindergarten learning opportunities would be a boon for students, parents, and teachers alike.
It is important that we actively hire and retain high quality teachers of color to reflect our diverse student body.
The World Languages and K-5 Language Immersion Programs are vital tools not only for learners’ brain development, but for their preparation for a future in the workforce. In the past, international powers found that learning English was necessary for success, and future generations will likewise be well served knowing multiple languages as they prepare for an ever-globalizing world.
Evaluate and fix any deficiencies that are found in the Upper Schools and address concerns.
The current generation of students has the potential to achieve the highest degree of expertise in any field they choose. Helping our young people access online educational platforms such as Khan Academy, which offers personalized learning in a multitude of subjects, can create a reduction in the achievement gap.
A program, created by the Massachusetts Chess Association, that will introduce curricular chess in participating K-3 classes on a trial basis. The initiative seeks to enable early educators to harness chess as a teaching tool, one proven to enhance brain development by challenging and improving spatial reasoning, calculating abilities, and verbal communication. More information is available here.