DESIREE V. ROBLES
CANDIDATE FOR DISTRICT 100 SCHOOL BOARD
1. What motivates you to seek this office? What skills, experiences, and perspectives would you bring to the Board, and why would those contributions be valuable to District 100?
I decided to run because I want to represent parents who do not understand how our education system works. This used to be me – I didn’t understand the system, and it made me feel terrible as a parent, like I was letting my kids down. I worked to figure things out, and now I want to help others do the same. This is what I bring to the table – I understand how parents can be intimidated by the system and I will represent the voice of those who are afraid to speak up.
2. What do you think makes an effective School Board Member?
Giving respect to everyone’s opinion, even if it is different from my own. Listening and talking with educators to better understand what they need. Representing all groups in the community – being their bridge to the schools.
3. When in your experience have you had to balance competing interests? What process did you use? What did you learn?
I work as a CNA (certified nurse’s assistant) in a medical facility. I have to balance the interests of families, the facility, other medical staff, and legal issues, while making sure I am doing the best thing for the patients I serve. I have to prioritize what is best for my patients, and know the system well enough to find the way to do this legally and ethically.
4. What does transparency in government mean to you? How would you put it into practice?
Transparency is highly important to me. I would provide this by attending school and community events to talk to people and answer their questions and concerns.
5. In what ways have you sought to better know and understand the concerns and needs of residents outside your demographic group (specifically the demographic groups of race, religion, ability, sexual orientation, and socioeconomic status)?
I am a Puerto Rican, Mexican, Polish, German-American. My own family is a mix of race, sexual orientation, and socioeconomic levels. I love them all and try to understand all of their needs and concerns.
6. Some have advocated for a shift from policing and surveillance in schools toward restorative justice, mental health, and supportive services in schools. Do you believe in these approaches? If so, how would you move this work forward?
I believe in treating children with respect and love. I see restorative justice as a chance to nurture kids, and I want to make sure our district has the support and services to do this well.
7. Some homeowners were shocked by the size of the tax increase after the recent referendum. How will you balance the community's desire to decrease the property tax burden with district stakeholders’ desire to have a school district that effectively serves all students?
I value education and community. We need to keep with the intent of the referendum and not get greedy. I think we should study other districts who has been successful in this way, to see what we can learn.
8. Between 2007 and 2018, the budget for the District has nearly doubled, and yet standardized test scores have fallen. What do you believe is the cause for this decrease in student performance on standardized tests?
I don’t know, but this is the most important thing for us to figure out as a district and as a community. I think we should examine everything (including our use of technology) so that we know what works and what doesn’t, and make decisions based on that.
9. As more of our local discourse happens in social media, what is your view on how local elected officials should communicate with and respond to constituents? How will you engage with the breadth of the community, and not just the voices that are loudest or easiest to find?
I am not on social media. I will make myself available through attending events and meetings, and I will respond to people’s questions and concerns.
10.How should the District assess its policies and progress with respect to special needs and the achievement gap? As a Board Member, what metrics will you use to determine whether the District is succeeding?
I don’t exactly know, but I don’t think this gets talked about enough. We should look at what successful schools are doing, talk to parents about the supports they think their kids need, and work with other organizations in the community to see what they can do to help.
11.How will you support budgetary decisions that better account for differences in student and neighborhood needs and resources? Will you prioritize reinvestment within our schools that primarily service Latinx and African American students?
12.Would you support funding to ensure that each District 100 school has a trained librarian, a nurse, adequate social workers & counselors, and support staff?
I would love to see this happen. I think we have to find out what supports are most needed in each school and use this to prioritize what we can provide and afford. Schools may need to share supports, or we may need to look into partnerships with other organizations. We should be creative in our thinking.
13.How do you strive to decolonize education? What work have you done personally and professionally to support this process?
My candidacy is an act of decolonization. I have fought to gain respect for myself and will help others do the same.
14.What have been your most useful sources of information about pre-secondary education? Have you found any research to be particularly informative?
When I realized I didn’t know enough to support my own children, I talked to teachers, other parents, and administrators. I attended meetings and asked questions. I will continue to do this to learn what I need to know.
15.What is your vision for early childhood education in Berwyn? Do you support the right for every child regardless of immigration status to receive a public education as specified in Illinois law? How can you educate and support these families’ involvement in the school?
I support preschool-for-all. I absolutely support the right for all children to receive a public education regardless of immigration status. As a Spanish-speaker and a Latina, I I will continue to build relationships in the Latino community to help them get involved and have their voices heard.
16. Please list the three largest donors to your campaign by dollar amount contributed.
Robert Fejt $100
José Ramirez $100
Anthony Harris $100
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[The above answers were supplied on 3/18/19. It may be possible to find more current financial information at the Illinois Sunshine website. Illinois Sunshine is also a useful resource for identifying past contributions by individuals to political candidates and committees in Illinois.]