For Cambridge Public Schools
Advanced course offerings for every student (math, writing, technology)
Restructure requirements that don't make sense (like master's degrees) to recruit and retain top teachers
Use our wealth of local experts to mentor and teach deep topics
Updating curricula for a changing modern society
The most pressing immediate issue is of course reintroducing algebra at all CPS schools this year instead of the current delayed reintroduction. That is a no-brainer.
But given the incredible resources we have, we should be making it easier for students to pursue all their passions at the next level. Many of our local universities allow students to cross-register at other schools in the area. It it a great - and very easy - way to open a lot of opportunities.
We should do the same thing for our upper schools. A first step is to allowing students easy registration in all elective classes at Cambridge Rindge and Latin School. The next step is to expand offerings at CRLS by working with the local community colleges and universities.
Restructure meaningless teacher requirements
One of the most consistent findings in education research is that that having a master's degree is completely uncorrelated with performance. It is an artificial way to restrict supply and force teachers to go through additional obstacles. That is bad for teachers, bad for students, and bad for recruiting teachers from currently underrepresented groups.
One solution would be to grandfather in the compensation structure for people who have already or are currently going through the system, and then do away with it for newcomers. Determining compensation from other factors will be a complicated task, but we shouldn't continue wasting teacher's time and money for getting degrees that have no impact on their main goal - teaching.
Make it easier for the community to contribute
We are extraordinarily lucky to be surrounded by several of the world's best universities. One of the most consistent themes I've heard from everyone I've talked to -professors, parents, university students, community members - is that they want to contribute by teaching what they're good at. These have included math and writing to skateboarding and photography.
Unfortunately, every one of those people has run into red tape. Connecting people to schools is an opaque process. When people have tried to start small clubs at the schools, they've been given many reasons why it's not possible. We should consider the challenges, but the end goal should be to encourage the community to contribute rather than shut them out.
Updating curricula for the new world
The world is changing. While everyone learns in their own way, we have a pretty good idea now about some things that work better than others, such as the science of reading. There is no reason to delay these kinds of transitions in our textbooks.