By Sashah Robertson
I want what most parents want for their child: to be a happy, healthy and productive citizen with a bright future. I know my son, currently an IPS student, will change his mind a time or two as he grows and learns, but what I also know is that the IPS board will make choices that can help or harm his future, which is why selecting who we would endorse for the At-large board candidate was such a big deal.
After meeting with Kenneth Allen, a lot of us talked about how we felt he connected to us. We liked that he has a strong variety of experience we felt fit our community needs. From the arts, to business, sports and financial literacy, he will look at the entire child when it comes to improving IPS.
Kenneth’s life work told me all I needed to know to give him my support. He’s the current chair of the Indiana Commission on the Social Status of Black Males. He started his own first business at 12 years old and by 15, he was a certified entrepreneur instructor. He’s a community leader who has been a guest speaker for several IPS schools and can bring the changes we need to IPS by implementing programs and activities that can help kids like my son be more prepared to take their first steps into the real world.
Other than exposing our high schoolers to more internships and working to make sure all kids graduate ready to make choices about their future careers, I think Kenneth Allen truly understands the equity challenges IPS faces. Black and Brown students like my son don’t get the same level of education or the same level of treatment as other kids in the same school system. I need to see this change and I’m not alone in feeling this way. If there’s one person running that I believe could close the opportunity gap, it’s him. He has plans to make teacher pay competitive and agrees that teachers and school leaders should all have racial bias training. He also realizes that a lot of students learn better when they have teachers and school leaders who look like them and when the curriculum correctly covers their own histories.
I liked that Kenneth said he would work to make sure the district was responding to the changing needs of families because of COVID-19. I was planning to send my child back to school and while it’s going better than planned, I know a lot of families are struggling to make eLearning work. A lot of kids are missing out on the education they deserve and there are going to be a lot of roadblocks for some children with returning back to school when it does happen.
No matter how or when you vote, make sure you select Kenneth Allen for the At-large IPS board seat if you want someone working for your kids who will focus on making sure all students get a fair shot and the opportunities they need to have successful futures. Are you unsure if you’re registered to vote?
Check your registration status or request an absentee ballot here