Heather Losurdo (R)

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Age: 40
Current Occupation: Parent
Website: www.heatherlosurdo.com

How long have you lived in Wake County?

Three years

Do you have children in the district?

Two in middle school

Why have you decided to run for office?

I’m tired of sitting back and waiting for the per­son to come in and do the things that I think need to be done to make Wake County schools the best they can be for our kids.

What are the three biggest issues you think the Wake County Public School System faces? In 30 seconds or less, how would you address those issues?

Obviously right now we’re facing an assign­ment policy. I would come up with the most family-friendly, common-sense assignment policy, imple­ment it and focus on stu­dent achievement.

Student achievement and growth, or lack there­of — how I would fix that is take a look at proven methods and begin to im­plement policy changes that will increase student achievement and growth. Achievement is what you show on paper. Growth is how far you’ve come.

What do you think are the best and worst decisions the current school board has made?

Best:

One of the best decisions is to end an assignment policy that had no proven data that it was helping any child. One of the best de­cisions I believe they have made is the hiring of Su­perintendent Tata.

Worst:

Not changing Wakefield Elementary back to a tradi­tional calendar.

What do you think is the most important issue facing your district, and how do you plan to address it?

Again, I go back to the assignment policy. That may be in place by the time I get into office. And I’ll bring it again back to stu­dent achievement. In the schools in District 3, I be­lieve that we have resources in Wake County that we can be doing so much more for our kids than what we’re currently doing: the businesses that we have here, the level of education that we have here, the phe­nomenal parents that we have here. When you break everything down, I believe that everybody in Wake County wants to give our children the best that we can give them. Look at best practices, policies, systems, different things across Wake County, North Car­olina, the United States, that ad­dress un­derachieve­ment, have proven re­sults, and find out what pieces of that can we imple­ment in our school system to help our teachers be more effective, which in turn will increase student achievement.

What do you think WCPSS should do to address the achievement gap?

Think outside the box. And, again, I hate to keep repeating myself, but I go back to not reinventing the wheel. There are pro­grams out there — again, they don’t have to be found in Wake County, but they might be — Wake County, North Carolina State, the country and beyond, into the world. But one of the very first things that you have to do before you can find a solution is figure out the real problem. Why is there such an achievement gap in Wake County? As diverse as this community is, why do we still see this great of a gap?

What are your ideas for measuring and improving teacher and student effectiveness in WCPSS?

Let me start by saying that EVAAS is a huge leap in that, in looking at value-added data. I would like to be able to use more infor­mation than just test scores for measurement. There are different factors in a s tudent ’s life and in a teacher’s classroom, and there are differ­ent factors with every child. Ev­ery child is an individ­ual. I don’t believe that full effectiveness of a teacher for student growth can be shown just based on a test score. There are a lot of oth­er factors.

Do you support merit pay for teachers? Why or why not?

Once we have a proven methodology of figuring out effectiveness, then yes, I do support merit pay.

How do you think WCPSS should attract more minority teachers?

Quite frankly, I don’t look at color of skin, and I can’t wait for the day that we can get past color of skin and hone on effective­ness, how that teacher is going to affect the students in his or her classroom.

How do you feel about the new student assignment plan that’s shaping up?

I’m glad they’re working diligently on it. There’s still not enough information. I have many questions that hopefully will be coming out shortly. When it be­gins to be presented to the board and either for pub­lic discussion or at least for the public to look at, then I’ll be able to address at that point if my questions have been answered. But I do love the premise of the Blue Plan, and I love and will continue to advocate for it. What is the percent­age that they’re using of seats to be saved for Level 1 and 2 children? What are the logistics going to look like? What are the trans­portation costs?

How do charter schools fit in to your conception of a healthy school district?

Charter schools are a choice. Choice drives com­petition. Competition brings about innovation. I believe that Wake County should be proud of their charter schools and not see them as a threat. In look­ing at best practices that have proven results for is­sues that we are dealing with here in Wake County — which there are many different issues — some charter schools have prov­en results for some of the issues that we face, be they in Wake County, the state or the country. It is anoth­er resource.

How would you address the issue of student discipline?

That’s a big issue. I don’t think suspension is the an­swer to every incident, but it is the answer to some. There needs to be tools for teachers who contin­ue to have disruptive chil­dren in their classrooms. Again, we need to figure out best practices in dis­cipline. We need to figure out what works so that we don’t continue to have re­peat offenders. Getting out of your desk when you’re not supposed to or con­tinuing to beat children up, anywhere in between, if the child continues over and over again to disobey the rules, there need to be consequences.

What would you do to ensure that WCPSS has the funding to educate its students adequately?

If I felt as a board mem­ber that we absolutely did not have enough money — after researching every single line in the budget and seeing if the programs that we currently have da­ta-driven results — then I would rally up with the rest of the board members, come up with how much more we needed and why and lobby our county com­missioners and our state legislators with factual data of why we need more money.

What was your favorite subject in school?

It was not math. Histo­ry and physics, because of all the cause and effect of how we got to where we are today.

2 thoughts on “Heather Losurdo (R)

  1. What a load of drivel! Losurdo continues to blather on about nothing (because she has no experience nor original thoughts). her only good ideas have been cribbed right from Jennifer Mansfield’s website.

    It’s dishonest to represent opinions as your own when they clearly are not. Losurdo’s entire campaign has been about dishonesty. She tells us these things she wants to do — but has no knowledge of the real issues and can demonstrate no substance behind her stance. She’s all soundbite, no substance.

    She’ll continue to steal thoughtful ideas from Mansfield until she’s elected, then she’ll slavishly follow the instruction of Margiotta, just like the rest of the Republican puppets. Please stop her before we’re stuck with her for 4 years of on-the-job training (unless she leaves after 2 seeking another office).

  2. Strange can she prove she has lived in Wake County three years? She does not have any background. Was she in the military?