Teto Wilson, Community Representative, Business Owner (Wilson's Image Barbers and Stylist) and Parent, District 2.
What motivates you as a volunteer to serving on Minneapolis Public Schools Superintendent Search Committee, and what educational committees have you served on?
I am an African American resident, business owner and single father of three daughters, two of which attend South High School. It's imperative for the next superintendent understand the overall well-being of students and be keenly aware of the socio-economic constructs of our underserved and underrepresented area codes of the city. Minneapolis Public Schools is currently not doing it's best in ensuring that the complete student body is being equally & adequately educated. The suspension rates between African American students & white students has the widest gap in the entire state & students need teachers eager to teach with modernized schools to accommodate that teaching. The right superintendent will recognize and tackle these tasks.
The School Board is aware that there has been a great deal of discussion about the achievement gap (difference in achievement between students of color and whites). Do you have an opinion, one way or another, on this subject?
The entire community should be thoroughly invested in educating the complete student body. We know that Minnesota has the widest educational achievement gap between African American & white students in the nation; that gap needs to close. Appropriate curriculums in reading that highlight properly the lives, customs and practices of all people and all other curriculums with adequate rigor properly directed need to be introduced amongst many other educational tools. Parent and community engagement around education needs to be heavily practiced. The teacher that loves his/her career path needs to be in front of students and not the teachers that treat their jobs like a missionary mission "in the hood".
Are you comfortable listening to diverse opinions and feel free to respond in turn (i.e. give and take dialogue)?
I'm absolutely comfortable listening to diverse opinions, I do so on a daily basis in my business. I'm constantly having to listen to clients, co-workers, neighbors about various client-worker relationships: how clients feel about their service, how they think we could better serve them and the community, and their sometimes unsubstantiated complaints. I listen to my co-workers talk about the work environment, duties in/around the shop and how they feel about me as the establishment owner.