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Pediatrician Offers Parting Advice, Looks To Next Act After School Board Term

Tamiko Jackson-McArthur gives advice for people who would replace her at the New Haven Board of Education: Take a deep breath, and remember the kids.

Working on the New Haven school board can be “everything emotionally draining and can tap into feelings you don’t use every day,” she said in an interview Thursday on WNHH FM’s “Dateline New Haven.” “You see people doing things that are not in the best interests of the children.”

“Try to leave outside influences and political influences off the table and out of the room.”

MacArthur Jackson, a New Haven pediatrician who raises children who attend public school, is completing the last month of a four-year term. He replaced Mayor Justin Elicker McArthur-Jackson and another board member who has sometimes questioned management policy, Larry Conaway, with two new appointees for the January 1 term (read more about that here).

The past four years have been turbulent on the school board, with protracted struggles, sometimes filled with accusations, over who should serve as a supervisor, how to deal with racial bias, and how to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic.

MacArthur Jackson, who played a voice role in those discussions, said she had “no regrets”. She is proud of her leadership in efforts to enact a new equality policy for the district, a “correctional justice” approach that significantly reduced the number of suspensions, a gender affirmation policy, a review of school resource officer policy, and the renaming of the former Columbus Family Academy to Columbus Family Academy of Multiple Exploration Languages ​​(FAME).

She recently oversaw a new policy to support families whose children “dropped” from high-stakes standardized tests, ensuring that they stay in school and receive an education.

This issue – the reliance on standardized tests – has been of interest to MacArthur Jackson for years. Her children withdraw. She often writes letters to her pediatrician’s practicing parents in support of withdrawal. She said schools dedicate a lot of time to teaching for standardized tests, with the health impacts on children from stress, leading to time away from more productive teaching.

She said the withdrawal policy is just the beginning of addressing this problem. She’d like to see school districts like the states of New Haven resist tying in millions of dollars in classroom assistance to ensure 95 percent of students take exams, for example.

MacArthur-Jackson said she plans to continue to advocate publicly about this, and other education-related issues — such as the need to improve distance learning after the pandemic so that students, for example, who are staying at home while recovering from surgery, can have more than two hours a day of instruction. .

“I’m not going anywhere. My kids are still in the school system,” MacArthur Jackson said.

She is also launching a non-profit organization called Heart of Virginia to meet the short- and long-term housing needs of mothers in crisis.

Click on the video to watch the full discussion on education with Tamiko McArthur-Jackson on WNHH FM’s Dateline New Haven Show.

Posted by: jwilkox On December 3, 2021 12:22 PM

This is not an easy task, and Dr. Jackson, you have a lot to be proud of. Your work on BOE always comes from your heart, and I am grateful to you for the support you have given to the many issues raised by parents in New Haven, and for the confidence in your intuitive power. I will miss your vision of governance, and I wish you well in your efforts to provide supportive housing through your work with Virginia Hart. I take good care of you, so you can continue to take care of the little New Haven babies. Atmosphere

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