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2019 Sun Current Voter's Guide

Janie Shaw

Neighborhood: Minnehaha Woods, Edina
Age: 47
Family: My husband Dave and I have two sons, 11 and 14
Education: University of Colorado, School of Journalism and Mass Communications
Occupation: Previously a marketing executive in the airline industry, currently a small business owner
Years lived in the community: 18
Community involvement: Volunteer and parent leader at Edina Family Center, Highlands Elementary, South View Middle School, and Edina High School. I have sat on various district-level committees representing our schools and community. Board member at Jammy Peace, a local nonprofit.
Contact information:,


What are the stakes of the 2019 Edina School Board election?

I believe the stakes are high, as they always are in education. We can all agree that our common goal is to uphold and build upon the tradition of excellence in education in Edina. Where I start to differ from some of my fellow candidates is in my approach and ability to make that happen. The board that takes their seats in January must be poised to set a clear strategic vision, work towards a common set of priorities that allow all students to grow and reach their full potential and hold themselves and administration accountable to metrics set against this work. A wide lens view, solid understanding of the moving parts of our schools, and proven track record of results are critical to ensure our board operates more effectively and efficiently.


What more, if anything, can the district do to promote equity while also doing its best to help all students – from the least advantaged to the most advantaged – reach their potential?

Promoting equity is about helping all students reach their potential. By using data, we can start to see trends that serve as an objective starting point in identifying barriers to learning. Our work in equity should support the cycle of identifying, supporting, and monitoring the individualized and unique needs of students – which will change from year to year – and should remain our priority in terms of funding and resource allocation. Our district work should be about creating systematic and sustainable solutions to address these barriers. Whether that barrier exists at home, where we might look at connecting parents with more actionable information, or at school, where we can find flexibility in schedules allowing more real-time academic interventions, these systems targeted at one population can ultimately support every student.


To improve standardized test results, should the district widen the practice of adjusting grading formulas to give students more incentive to take the exams (and score well on them)? Why or why not?

The MAP test is important to show individual student growth, national grade level proficiency, and its scores are part of qualifying students for intervention services and/or enriched and gifted opportunities. The MCA test is an important measure of how well our curriculum aligns with state standards, our student’s proficiency in those standards, and is a key metric in some district rankings. If we recognize that all three of those measures matter, I believe we should explore ways to attach value to effort. That looks different by grade level, but ultimately works to avoid students both
opting out and undervaluing the test. Our teachers are experts at finding ways to use the MCA as a tool in the learning process, and I support their work at creative, equitable and sustainable opportunities to bring the student voice into this process.

Prepared and paid for by Janie Shaw for Edina - 3948 49 1/2 St. #24654, Edina, MN 55424

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