Education equity is an investment and will be the top priority if KaCey Venning is elected to serve on the Atlanta Public School Board in the District 7 At-Large seat. Her plan is to ensure every student in Atlanta Public Schools has an evidence-based curriculum for all K–12 student achievement.
KaCey Venning's established career as a non-profit leader and advocate for youth and families is grounded in the pursuit of educational equity. In the last 17 years, she has sought to provide educators and parents with the support needed to empower the academic success of every student served.
As of 2019-2020, White students in the Atlanta Public School System presented 84.1% and above the English Language Arts proficiency rate while Black students were 25.3% and above. KaCey's chief response to the pitfalls in the data is to rethink how the Atlanta Public School system implements educational equity for all APS youth.
We know that the graduation rate for students in Atlanta Public Schools has fluctuated over the last 5 years, and projective numbers will not account for the recent impact of the pandemic. Why wait for the future? Education should prepare students with life skills that not only equip them for work or post-secondary education but navigating adulthood. Students should graduate with a diploma in one hand and a certification in a skill or trade in the other.
KaCey Venning has over a decade of supportive work in providing Atlanta Public School students in Title I schools with extra-curricular STE(A)M programming and life skills training. The objective for introducing STE(A)M to children in Title I schools was an intervention through supplemental education. The goal is to establish an evidence-based curriculum and support services that include creativity, critical thinking, and complex problem solving; and will also include vocational training and teach entrepreneurial skills for all APS students.
Other ways to prepare students for life includes providing real time opportunities for students to use the agency of their voice. This includes ensuring the Student Advisory Council has an advocate on the Board to share student facilitated suggestions and recommendations at each meeting and give students real time input and influence in policy making. This will creates ongoing engagement between the board and our primary beneficiaries, our students.
Atlanta Public Schools serves more than 52,000 students. Black students represent 79% of the student body but account for 91% of the suspensions. This number is disproportionate to that of other students. KaCey Venning believes that in addition to wrap-around services and other behavioral support interventions, like working towards zero out of school suspensions, can change the student achievement outcomes for underperforming students.
Restorative and social justice as an intervention will use social and emotional learning and mental health support as a tool for measurable success outcomes for all students. The objective is to reach underperforming and under-resourced students through a culturally responsive curriculum for inclusionary learning. This can and should include eliminating criminal charges for non-felony incidents by students.