Tracy Shawn Wiggins

City: Compton Unified
Position Seeking: Board Member

Question 1: Please share a meaningful experience you had with art (visual, dance, drama, music, media arts) while growing up and its impact on you.

I grew up in small rural town named Ellaville Georgia and in middle and high school I participated in sports, home economic and wood shop classes. However, I attended Sunday school and church regularly and had the opportunity experience the Arts through Church plays and it was great! I use to enjoy acting and performing for the church audience, the more response and joy that I received from the audience the more confident I became. I use to love the attention and praise I received from my grandmother and the rest of the church audience and it transferred into the school setting. In addition, to participating in plays we had to memorize and recite speeches doing Easter Sunday which has been extremely helpful throughout my adult life. I often time draw back on my wonderful experiences from childhood acting and preparing for Easter speeches when I preparing to speak to large groups and during undergraduate and graduate college years.

Question 2: How can arts education support student outcomes such as English language development, reducing the achievement gap, and preparing youth for college and/or meaningful careers?

I have worked in many settings with disadvantage youths and other youths that were high functioning. I experience the impact that Arts education can have when dealing with these youths. Many of these youths were able to expressed themselves through the arts even though they might have been struggling in other areas of their lives. I can recalled when I was working with youths who were displaying self injurious behaviors such as, cutting, physical and verbal aggression using the Arts in addition to Cognitive Behavior Therapy was extremely successful when interacting with these youths and assisted with decreasing some of their negative behaviors. I strongly believe that Arts education can improve students outcomes in the academic setting and definitely prepare students for a successful college career and beyond.

Question 3: What do you think the role of the School Board should be in ensuring that students have continued access to a broad range of study subjects, including the arts (broadly defined)?

I believe the School Board roles should be to support and push the use of Arts in our schools, it is a great tools to enhance the student's academic achievement and minimizes some of the negative behaviors that often times become challenges for many of our students. When using Arts in the school, faculty can track how successful Arts are in improving students performance by requiring vendors to use evidence based practice. This evidence can be presented to the Board to determine what is working or may not working. This approach would ensure that our schools are maximizing the use of Arts to improve the outcomes for our students and consequently prepare our students productive and constructive lives.

Question 4: In light of the Local Control Funding Formula and development of district Local Control Accountability Plans (LCAPs), what are your creative solutions for achieving goals in the eight priority areas?

As mentioned above the district can use evidence base practice approach to assist with the development of the district Local Control Accountability Plan. This will ensure the we taking the right approach for achieving the goals in the eight priority areas. Each school district may require a different approach that's why evidence base practice is extremely important to ensure that our students are receiving the proper support to achieve their academic goals. In addition, it will ensure that administrators are on pace with reaching the goals in the eight priority areas. I have personally witnessed the impact of Arts in the academic settings when used effectively, for this reason I believe an appropriate strategy would be to have an effective tool to track the successful use Arts in improving students academic outcomes.