Voter's Guide, 2020 Fall Elections, New Orleans
NameDr. J.C. Romero

Campaign Information

Campaign Web Site

Bio Information

Party AffiliationDemocrat
ProfessionChief of Staff
Present Employer / positionEinstein Schools
Length of residence in Jurisdiction
List of educational institutions and degrees1) Associate of General Studies, English, Delgado Community College
2) Bachelor of Arts, Sociology, Northwestern State University
3) Master of Education, Curriculum and Instruction, Northeastern University
4) Doctor of Education, Educational Practice, University of Missouri-St. Louis
Prior elected and appointed positions
Civic involvement and affiliations1) Board of Directors, Center for Racial Justice at Dillard University
2) Board of Directors, Lycee Francais de la Nouvelle-Orleans
3) Board of Directors, Living School
4) Member, National Association for Multicultural Education (NAME)
5) Member, National Association for Peace Education (NAPE)

Questions specific to the position

1. Describe your view about school board oversight of charter schools. What changes do you believe are needed to improve performance? Currently, this is what our school system looks like-- the New Orleans Public School System, as a whole, oversees the larger portfolio of networks and schools. The job of the Orleans Parish School Board and the NOPS superintendent is to ensure a balanced school system budget, oversee performance of individual schools, provide the supports and interventions necessary for schools that may be struggling, and decide the next steps for schools that may not be meeting the standards they have agreed to in order to remain in operation. In engaging with constituents in District 4, one of the common themes that has arisen over the last several weeks has to do with a lack of community engagement in larger-scale decision making processes. I deem it extremely important to involve all stakeholders-- students, parents, teachers-- in transformational conversations to ensure that they are invested in what is happening within the school system, thus adding an additional layer of 'support' that can help us continue to grow as a school district.
2. What is your vision and three top priorities for NOLA-PS for the next five years? What obstacles do you foresee and what steps will you implement to overcome them? 1) Students must have equal access to technology and tools needed for high quality education in the modern era. As we respond to the COVID-19 pandemic, we must embrace the future of learning which undoubtedly includes the use of technology, moving forward. As an education leader, I have seen the impact that a lack of access to technology has had on families and students. It is important for board members, district leaders, and school leaders to work together to ensure that there is an appropriate allocation of funds within the budget to ensure that access to tools and technology is not a difficult feat in the 21st century.

2) Every single neighborhood in New Orleans needs exceptional schools. Families who want their children to attend their neighborhood schools should be able to do so. A high priority for me is to ensure that district 4 is able to see the development of more high performing schools to privide strong options for families in every part of the district. I wholeheartedly believe that all students in the district deserve a great education close to home, should they choose to engage in their neighborhood school.

3) We must break down the school-to-prison pipeline. Criminal justice reform and education reform are inextricably linked. All students must have the resources they need at school to have a clear and structured path forward and to find the support they need along the way. As a candidate, I have already begun having critical dialogue with criminal justice advocates and with policy makers to ensure that OPSB members can be essential partners in larger-scaled conversations that ensure that systems and policies are developed which positively impact the futures of all children in New Orleans.
3. In the Accountability Framework, there is no indication of any input from faculty members. What are your thoughts about giving teachers more input to decide how their performance is judged? I wholeheartedly believe that ALL stakeholders should have a voice in large-scaled decisions that impact THEM directly. This includes the voices of students, teachers, and parents.
4. What approaches will you implement to ensure that the needs of special education students are fully met? There are so many divisions that fall under the umbrella of special education. As a candidate, I would like to see more centralized systems within New Orleans Public Schools that ensures more consistent methods of supporting gifted students, students with exceptionalities, English Language Learners, etc. In addition, I am pro-equitable funding which ensures that schools are funded according to the degree of needs at a particular school. This would help students in special education, as it would provide them with the opportunity for additional resources and services so that they can move forward positively and are set up for success.
5. Last year some students were unable to graduate because of improper management of graduation requirements by school administrators. Do you think these issues could happen again and, if so, what steps would you like to see implemented to prevent this? This certainly could happen again; however, as an educator within the system I want to give credit where credit is due. While I wholeheartedly agree that this was unacceptable, I have seen intentional improvements made by the Office of Accountability to ensure that the likelihood of this occuring again is slim to none. For example, there is a leader who now specifically oversees high school accountability and support and additional accountability measures are in place to ensure stronger outcomes with regards to the graduation of our seniors. When elected, I intend on being a very active member of the Orleans Parish School Board and plan on working alongside network and school leaders as a thought partner and resource so that things like this do not happen again. As an active member, I would like to engage in network and school audits to ensure that all families feel confident in the path their children are taking to graduate on time.