NAME: Charlotte A. Droogan
Why have you decided to run for election/reelection in the Valley View Community Unit School District No. 365U race for members of the board of education? The first reason I considered running was because of all the people I talked to who said that they had moved out of Valley View or were thinking about moving before their child entered high school . It seems our school district has a reputation for not being very good. But after more conversations I realized that quite a few people were very pleased with their child’s education.so I became curious about the split in opinions. It almost seems like we are talking about two different places. Of course now I know that we are talking about two different places. The part of the school where kids are in honor’s classes and advanced placement classes, participate in band , chorus, sports etc. all are getting a fine education. Then we have the general education where things are not so good. My goal is to ensure that all children are able to learn in an environment that is conducive to learning, free of disruption and addresses all the children’s needs.
What project most needs to be completed within the Valley View School District? And how would you work to ensure the project is actually finished and done well? The first project I would like to think about and organize is a community conversation to get more people interested in talking about what they want for their children in this school district. I can’t say at this time how that would play out, but I am planning on holding a monthly meeting to see how many people are interested in this project. I am committing to a six month trial run. If interest is not there, I will have to think of something else. I will know when the project is completed by having a group of committed citizens talking about and working to improve the reputation of our district. Seeing the changes in community will indicate that things are improving.
The Valley View School district is very diverse. According to the Illinois Report Card issued for the 2015-2016 school year 43% students are Latino, 20.1% are black, 25.8% are white, 6.6% are Asian, and 4.1% students are from two races or more. What role do you think schools play in maintaining our community diverse and welcoming to people of all backgrounds? The diversity in our community and school district is one of our greatest strengths. After one’s family, the school is the place where most children’s values are developed and reinforced by living side by side with people different than themselves. I believe our young people for the most part have already “got it”. They are the future of our country and when I talk to them I have great hopes for our future. I believe our school district fosters respect and dignity towards all and that if we had more diversity in teachers that would really make a difference. I believe most racial and religious missteps come from ignorance rather than ill will.
What differentiates you from other candidates running for this seat? I am probably less interested in the status quo than other candidates. I want to add to what our district has attained and work to make sure the families that now feel marginalized are brought into the fold. I believe every voice should be honored and heard.
Outside of politics, what are some of your other interests? I consider myself a political activist and will be working to change conditions in our warehouses. Many of our families and often our former students, who for one reason or another, do not graduate from high school are employed in them .The working conditions are in many cases similar to conditions in third world countries. Wage theft, unsafe working conditions and no chance for full-time employment are some of the problems. I also am very involved in my church, love to read, roller skate and spend time with my kids, grandkids and great grandkids. I have a ton of them.
Why should people vote for you in this race? I am a hard worker, care about kids and teachers, and will do my best to improve the quality of education for all our children.
I think we all should be aware, also, of the possible changes coming with Betsy DeVos and the federal government’s role in dismantling the Dept. of Education and the Illinois Commission on School Funding. School vouchers is another whole story. I will keep up on both of those issues as we hear more about them.