Dr. Lori-Renee Dixon James filed for the Board of Education At-Large 9 seat in July and has a campaign site up and running (link). However, James has not made a formal announcement of her candidacy.
Based on her campaign website, she was born in Chicago, attended the Univ. of Tennessee, received the M. Ed. degree from Georgia State Univ. in the area of Specific Learning Disabilities and obtained the Ed. D. from Fielding University in 2002. She began her teaching career in Carrollton, Georgia, working with severely emotionally disturbed children in grades K-6, subsequently coordinated the Student Support Team and Section 504 Compliance processes for Atlanta Public Schools and for one year was a coordinator for the special education department for APS.
She is the founder and president of Focus on Education, Inc. (company website) and is a consultant for the Metropolitan West Georgia Learning Resources System, the Scholastic, Inc. and the Public Broadcasting Atlanta where she is currently the weekly blogger for the American Graduate project. Additionally, she currently provides graduate level instruction for Indiana Wesleyan University.
James is a volunteer for United Way, Trinity Shelter and other organizations, a Founding Board Member of Genesis Shelter, the Chairperson of Missions for Ben Hill United Methodist Church, the Recording Secretary for Council for Exceptional Children and Proud member of Delta Sigma Theta, Inc.
Dr. James’ educational priorities include a desire to ensure that,
“… all students, including students with disabilities, receive a high quality, effective and appropriate education that will allow them to realize their full academic potential. … I will review the policies that encourage low student achievement, allow students to drop out or be pushed out of school, and foster an environment of underachievement and complacency of special education students.
At her campaign website, she also addresses the lack of accountability in APS and says,
As a previous central office administrator, I have seen first-hand how the lack of accountability in programming, finance, and policy, affect schools and ultimately student success. I will encourage policies that eliminate these practices.
Further, she believes current policies do not encourage staff,
… to express concerns about local school or central level activities, as well as the elimination of policies that encourage staff to shy away from doing what’s best for students, and to keep quiet after observing inappropriate activities of staff, students, parents, and community members.
You can also follow Dr. James on Twitter at both @ElectDrLori and @FocusEducation.
At this time, her campaign website does not address her positions on current APS deficit spending, the allocation of resources, the existing class size waivers, charter schools or the budget process.
As Dr. James expands on her positions on issues publicly over the next couple of months, I will continue to document them in the BOE Candidates Positions and Links (see here).
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