Written by Tim Sun
Jennifer DiBrienza, a district parent and former teacher, believes her experience gives her a different perspective. “The board grapples with really heavy issues, and a lot of times they make policies that directly impact classrooms,” she said. “They know they want to improve [the classroom], but it might have other effects that they don’t know about because they haven’t been in the classroom.”
One of the main pillars of DiBrienza’s campaign is equity and support for all students regardless of background. She believes that the district can make better use of its resources and provide this support to every student. “We are a public school and our obligation is to educate everyone, and I think we have an opportunity to do that,” DiBrienza said. “We’re well-funded, well-educated and informed, so I think we can actually achieve that goal.”
DiBrienza has many experiences in education that have shaped her core principles. From her work as a PhD student at Stanford’s Graduate School of Education, DiBrienza has cultivated a strong desire to use data and research to make better-informed decisions and wants to bring this insight to the school board to help assess programs and improve them. “I think we can better use data, metrics and evaluation to determine how well the things that we’ve implemented are working,” DiBrienza said.
The end-of-semester evaluation is one source of information that DiBrienza believes can be unlocked to help teachers and administrators provide a more balanced experience for students. “I think that’s a treasure trove of data,” she said. “We can look at that data and either let instructional supervisors or principals look at it and I think getting more consistency in how our teachers view grading and homework load can really make students much happier, but also just feel like it’s a more equitable situation.”