Falls identified low high school graduation rates and post secondary education preparation as the greatest problems facing the district. She said one of her methods for addressing this issue would be to, “increase student achievement by recognizing the need for individual support and resources in each community, in each school and each student.”
When asked how she would address the achievement gap between White and Black students Falls said she would, “support and create policies that require a higher standard of academic achievement, insist on equity, eliminate racial disparities and promote pride in the Pittsburgh School District.”
Falls will have some big shoes to fill on the board in replacing Fink, who was harshly criticized by some for securing resources for schools in her district while other schools suffered. However, Falls said she would work to benefit all students in the district.
“Policies that will be created will have to be developed so that it reflects the needs of all the students in the District, not just District 7,” Falls said. “I also plan on visiting some of the other Districts so I can get a better feel of the needs of other Districts.”
She’ll also have to tackle working with other members on the school board, a task departing representatives have identified as one of their greatest challenges over the years.
“(I would) listen to the opinions and thoughts of the other school board directors to acquire a better understanding of their positions, present my thoughts and ideas in a respectful manner, (and) display flexibility and compromise as needed on various issues,” Falls said.
Falls said her overall priorities would be to increase student achievement across the board, provide students with more individual support, and increase the flow of information between the district and the public.
District 7 is made up of Overbrook, Carrick, Bon Air, Knoxville, Mount Oliver, St. Clair, South Side Slopes, South Side Flats, Arlington Heights and Arlington.