Christina Boggess, State Board 8

Salt Lake Tribune: Queries on "Latino Representation and Achievement"

On Wednesday, September 28, 2022, the following questions were sent without context:

  • “Latino students are the second largest demographic in Utah Schools.  What would it mean to you to represent one of the state’s most Latino districts?”
  • “What do you hope to do, if elected, to help bridge the educational gaps for the Latino student community.” 

The following is my unedited response that the Tribune refused to print.

“Having served for over 21 years in a variety of educational roles and situations, I am confident I can bring the breadth of my experience to the USBE and create policies that empower the increased achievement of all students.

Students in Utah schools who self-identify as “Latinos” and “Latinas” are as diverse as any other group of students, and each student has unique academic needs. Unfortunately, painting with a broad brush creates stereotypes and limits students’ achievement. The State Board should not engage in the former, or it will force the latter. Therefore, championing policies at the state level that allow for the highest level of individual academic excellence will be an immediate solution for all students in our state. To that end, I would work to reduce redundancy, complexity and dysfunction within the system and its policies. 
Furthermore, I would work to respect the distinct roles and needs of parents, teachers and schools in promoting student learning. For example, to the extent any student or parent has a need, processes are already in place at the local level through Title III provisions to engage all parents at a very high level in their language of preference.
As an advocate of parental participation in, and control of, local schools, I strongly support improved communication, purposeful transparency and honesty from teachers and administrators to families. These build trust and authentic collaboration. Bridges are built from the bottom up. As a State Board member, I would support and champion policies that facilitate broad academic connections at the local level for all students.
For example, students are offered and engaged in English Language Learning targeted to their proficiency level in four domains: reading, writing, listening and speaking. As a member of State Board, I would support policies injuncting local districts from using these services as a reason to restrict access to other academic content that would/could connect our ELL Latino/Latina students to school and academic success in all areas.”