School Board Candidate Tracine Asberry: "We're All In This Together"
The long-time teacher has been contemplating a run since 2009.
Among her four fellow school board candidates, Tracine Asberry sees herself as the "triple threat" candidate—former Minneapolis Public Schools Teacher, Ed.D focused on helping parents advocate for their children, and a policy specialist who's been gunning for a school board seat since 2009.
"Teaching at MPS, I went into it thinking that every student had the same supportive background that I had, that they had that same love for learning I had as a kid," she said.
Teaching for ten years at the former W. Harry Davis Academy in North Minneapolis dispelled that notion, she said, but left her hungering for a way to offer that kind of support for students, propelling her into her masters and a subsequent doctoral program.
"I wanted to make a difference—supported by research," she said.
Her time as a teacher, she said, would help bring a ground-level perspective to the school board. Still, she resisted suggestions that that meant she belonged to one side or the other on divisive issues like teacher evaluations and seniority.
"Some people think addressing the achievement gap means giving some people less," she said. "Some questions are phrased to make people choose either-or."
"We can raise the (academic) bar and still address the achievement gap—every child should be able to reach their full potential," she added, referring to recent controversy at Washburn High School. "My strength is to bring people together. We can have the hard discussions and still come together. It's not easy, but it's necessary."