Four of the seven seats on the Ann Arbor School Board will be decided by the results of next week's election. Nine candidates are actively campaigning for the positions and I interviewed them all. Patricia Ashford Manley is the focus of today's final report.
Manley spent over 40 years working for the district, retiring in 2011, after serving the last decade as Thurston Elementary School Principal. She hopes to serve on the board as a voice of an educator that lived through the impacts of outsourcing and budget cutbacks in Ann Arbor schools. Part of this effort includes seeking input from teachers and building administrators to help boost staff morale.
Manley also wants more done to address the student achievement gap, partly through returning valuable resources to schools. "We had social workers, and psychologists, and reading specialists almost everyday, but with the cutbacks that has changed, and this is at the elementary level, to now you may have it once or twice a week. That's not enough," Manley says.