The following priorities are based on Key Insights from the Urban Excellence Framework

Student achievement-based teaching & learning

Implementation of a student-achievement-based model that results in continuous improvement of teaching and learning. Teaching and learning are rigorous and modified by data-driven cycles of improvement.

Achievement & belief-based district-wide culture

District culture infuses a focus on results, high expectations for every student, order, caring and respectful relationships, and a sense of adult and student personal responsibility for academic achievement.

High-quality staff, teachers & leadership aligned to the district vision

Clear expectations and feedback of all district-wide employees. Intensive focus on recruitment and selection of high-quality staff; teachers and administration. Ensuring that DPI-licensed educators provide instruction to all students.

Operations & systems drive learning & district-wide culture

The budget supports the vision, mission, and strategic plan of the district. Management of district leadership responsibilities, facility improvements, and tools to institutionalize consistent execution of a district-wide plan for improved instruction and culture.

Education Policy
Bill of Rights for Students

Each student is guaranteed inalienable rights to a premier education; experiences that result in achievement at the student’s maximum potential; liberty to form opinions and make decisions based on truth and fact, not fantasies and fallacies; and, successful transition to post-secondary experiences which may include day services or sheltered workshops for students with disabilities, military, trades, Peace Corp, career and/or college. (Career readiness is just as important as college readiness.) 

Each student shall:

1. Have access to high-quality early childhood education (K3 & K4), infused with developmentally appropriate practices centered around the attainment of pre-reading, pre-writing, and pre-mathematical skills through play and exploration.

2. Receive full-day K5, in areas of pre-reading, pre-writing, and pre-mathematics skills to ensure readiness for 1st grade.

3. Demonstrate 3rd-grade reading, writing, and mathematics proficiency and/or achievement of IEP goals by the end of primary school (grades 1-3). 

4. Demonstrate 6th-grade proficiency in all content areas (reading, writing, mathematics, science, and social studies) and/or achievement of IEP goals by the end of intermediate school (grades 4-6). 

5. Demonstrate proficiency in all subject areas (reading, writing, mathematics, science, and social studies)) and/or achievement of IEP goals by the end of secondary school (grades 9-12). 

6. Receive instruction in art, music, physical education, library media, and computer science beginning in primary school and throughout intermediate and secondary school.

7. Receive instruction in communications, financial literacy, economics, health, and civics in intermediate and secondary school.

8. Receive instruction in an additional world language throughout intermediate and secondary school.

9. Receive high-quality instruction from licensed teachers who are compensated at or above the rate of other professionals holding similar degrees and credentials; demonstrate mastery of the Wisconsin Teacher Standards; and, hold a valid certification/permit/license issued by the state.

10. Receive guidance counselor services throughout secondary school.

11. Receive nursing services, as needed, to ensure academic success beginning in early childhood and throughout primary, intermediate, and secondary school.

12. Receive social worker services, as needed, to ensure academic success in early childhood and throughout primary, intermediate, and secondary school.

13. Have opportunities to participate in extracurricular activities (academic, sports, civic, social, clubs, etc.) throughout primary, intermediate, and secondary school.

14. Receive quarterly feedback on academic progress via one on one conferences with students, parents, and teachers beginning in early childhood and throughout primary, intermediate, and secondary school.

15. Have the option of receiving instruction in different modalities (face-to-face, online, blended).

16. Receive tutoring or additional support to ensure academic success in partnership with community-based organizations.

17. Receive related services (speech, occupational therapy, physical therapy, transportation, nurse, social work, etc), as needed, to ensure success in achieving IEP goals and objectives.

18. Receive mentoring and/or coaching services beginning in intermediate school and throughout secondary school that address the attainment of "soft skills" and the creation of a resume.

19. Identify career interest and complete a two-semester internship for credit leading to industry-recognized credentials and/or 6 dual enrollment credits at one of Wisconsin’s public or private colleges and/or achievement of transition-related activities per IEP goals during secondary school.

20. Receive leadership development training during secondary school, culminating with the development of a personal leadership statement informing how knowledge, skills, and dispositions attained will result in meaningful contributions to the community.  

Responses to Questions & Candidate Surveys

What do you see as the role of a school board member and what should be the board’s priorities?

Per Wisconsin Association of School Boards, the role of a school board member includes the following: (1) adopt academic standards, establish expectations for education in the district, monitor student achievement, and exercise general supervision over the schools; (2) engage in policy  making in order to take action needed to direct the district administrator and staff regarding district priorities as well as possess a sound philosophy of education; (3) sets goals and operational policies and expects administration to carry them out while maintaining a healthy board-administration partnership – the board determines what needs to happen while administration determines how it should happen; (4) evaluate all facets of school operations, including policies, people and programs; (5) use public input to align resources with MPS district vision and goals; (6) build support for public education while simultaneously listening and understanding the values and concerns of the community as well as build support and establish relationship with stakeholders; (7) advocate for students and schools in the community as well as engage with state and federal policy makers to ensure they understand the impact of legislative actions.  I believe MPS board priorities should be (1) improving teaching and learning (2) improving district-wide culture (3) aligning high-quality staff to the district’s vision; and, (4) ensuring that operations and systems drive achievement-based teaching and learning as well as belief-based district-wide culture.

Where do you see the role of parents in determining curriculum?

“Curriculum” consists only of courses necessary to complete a particular course of study (WI Stat. 45.20(2)(c)4.a.). Under the US Department of Education, Protection of Pupil Rights Amendment (PPR), parents have the right to inspect instructional material, excluding academic tests or academic assessments, used by school districts as part of the educational curriculum for a student.  According to Wisconsin State Statutes 118.01, “Public education is a fundamental responsibility of the state. Each school board should provide curriculum, course requirements, and instruction consistent with the goals and expectations established under sub. (2). Parents and guardians of pupils enrolled in the school district share with the state and school board the responsibility for pupils meeting the goals and expectations under sub. (2).”  Parents, the state and school boards share the responsibility for students meeting education goals as it relates to (1) academic skills and knowledge, (2) vocational skills, (3) citizenship, and (4) personal development.  Therefore, parents, the state, and school boards share the responsibility for determining the curriculum.


What steps has the district taken or should it take to prevent and/or prepare for potential violence in schools?

In the 1970s there was a rise in safety programs administered by the federal government that focused on youth safety and drugs.  Alcohol and drug use increased in school during the 1980s. The 1990s was a period of “zero tolerance” to address violent behavior and discipline problems of students possessing a gun, knife, or other weapons. In the 2000s and as a response to the Columbine shooting, the focus was shifted to facility safety and security. In 2010, bullying and cyberbullying became the focal point. The federal government enacted laws and provided funding in an effort to make schools safe (i.e. Juvenile Justice & Delinquency Act, Drug-free Schools & Community Act, Gun-free Schools Act, Safe & Drug-free Schools & Communities Act, Safe Schools/Healthy Students Initiative, Project Sentry, Supportive School Discipline Initiative, and Comprehensive School Safety Initiative). Despite laws and funding, districts are challenged by violence in schools. MPS has received federal and state funding to implement programs believed to decrease violence in schools.  As an MPS high school principal, I experienced firsthand violence perpetrated on students, teachers, and myself.  I believe that the board needs to conduct a districtwide climate, culture, and school safety study and consider one or more of the following to address potential violence in schools:

  • Work with community partners, including local law enforcement; public safety or emergency management, public health, and mental health agencies; and local government in reviewing and improving district and school emergency plans;
  • Coordinate all emergencies with the state or local homeland security plan;
  • Develop a written plan designed to prepare MPS for a possible infectious disease outbreak;
  • Create a food defense plan to safeguard MPS’s food supply;
  • Design plans that took into consideration special-needs populations within MPS
If no changes are made to education policy, what do you think will happen?

Student achievement will remain stagnated.  Parents will continue to be forced to enroll children in low-performing schools because we lack high-quality schools in some zip code areas. Wisconsin's Institutes of Higher Education and apprenticeship programs will continue to be challenged by students who lack college preparation. Businesses and employers will continue to be challenged by high school graduates who are not ready for careers. The Wisconsin Constitution calls for a sound basic education that the legislature defined as including mathematics, science, reading, writing, geography, history, arts, music, vocation training, social science, health, physical education, and foreign languages. Without much-needed changes to education policy, we will fail to move Wisconsin Forward due to miseducation and undereducation of students.

Why are you running for MPS School Board Director representing District #1?

It is time to move our educational system along the trajectory towards continuous improvement by implementing Shandowlyon's Bill of Rights for Students and focusing on ensuring that every student is guaranteed their inalienable Constitutional right to a sound basic education.  We must ensure that parents have the option to enroll their children in a high-performing school. We can no longer ignore our communal and moral responsibility to our future, our children.  We have to maximize potential student by student; parent by parent; educator by educator; and, school by school.  Shandowlyon feels a tremendous sense of urgency in this matter. It is our students sitting in our schools right now that must be successful.  There is no room for complacency. When Shandowlyon wins this election, we will fulfill our constitutional promise to all students as she unveils opportunities for success for students, parents, and educators. 


What makes you a good candidate for Milwaukee School Board Director?

Shandowlyon's desire to serve as a School Board Director is grounded in her experience as a parent of a son with disabilities. Shandowlyon felt disempowered during her son's IEP meeting which propelled her into pursuing her own education. With over 25 years of service in the field of education, Shandowlyon served at MPS as a handicapped child assistant, paraprofessional, special education teacher, assistant principal, principal, and central office administrator.  Shandowlyon's 20-point education policy is a plan to ensure that all students receive a high-quality education that prepares them for high post-secondary outcomes. As an MPS School Board Director, Shandowlyon will create new trajectories as she uses her relentless drive to leverage change toward to goal of improving educational opportunities for our students, parents, and educators.


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