Name: Dr. Cara Berg Powers, EdD
Occupation: Executive Director- Transformative Culture Project, Adjunct Faculty- Worcester State University, Clark University
Political experience (offices held, campaigns worked on, etc.):
First time candidate. While not a political office, held office as member of Human Rights Commission for 8 years, serving two as Vice-Chair, supporting a number of community forums and events. Longtime member of the Democratic City Committee, through which I have volunteered for a number of local candidates.
Connection to schools (enrolled kids, employment, volunteerism, etc.):
Alum of Worcester Public Schools, parent of 1st grader at Chandler Magnet; former foster parent of Chandler Magnet 3rd grader for previous school year; PTO Member at Chandler Magnet School; Developed and Supported Arts Programming at University Park Campus School, Claremont Academy, Woodland Academy.
1. What are your top three platform issues?
Bringing Community Voices to the Table- I am committed to listening to those most impacted by our decisions- students, teachers and parents. There’s a number of ways we can do more to solicit and support community voices in our most important decisions.
Whole, Healthy Kids- Schools are more than places that kids learn reading and math. I will be an advocate for school nurses, adjustment counselors, social emotional learning, libraries and other vital services that make our school communities great. A comprehensive, 21st century curriculum also will build the skills and confidence our students need to lead.
Strong City and School Partnerships- We cannot ask our schools to solve our most pressing social issues alone. Working closely with the City, we can create a comprehensive agenda that makes sure families have the transportation, economy and housing needed to support their kids outside of the classroom so that they can reach their full potential inside the classroom.
2. What is an issue in the schools you feel should get more attention?
By far one of the issues I hear about most while door knocking the city is the impact that high-stakes standardized testing has had on our classrooms. Arts, physical education, government and civics, and other things considered “extra” have been cut. My crying kindergartener refusing to go to school over frustration at a particularly ill-written testing focused math sheet really brought home how much our kids have been affected. Still, at her school, our daughter has access to incredible in and out of classroom supports. We need to ensure that every child, regardless of what school building they walk into, or what they bring with them, has access to the tools, resources and community they need to thrive.
3. Why should voters pick you to serve on the School Committee?
Because of the opportunities that I had as a Worcester Public Schools student and graduate, I went on to earn a doctorate in Education. I have spent the last 15 years bringing arts into classrooms and creating youth jobs. Now, as a Worcester Public School parent, I want to bring my professional experience to the table to make sure that my daughter, and every kid in every neighborhood in Worcester has access to the tools and resources they need to succeed.
Read Cara’s candidate profile on the Telegram, here.