Mike Lee 2014 PA-PAC Questionnaire

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Mike Lee, candidate for Durham School Board of Education District 1, 2014 People's Alliance PAC questionnaire

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Mike Lee 2014 PA-PAC Questionnaire

  1. 1. 1  Mike Lee PA-PAC Questionnaire for Durham Public School Board of Education 2014 Candidate Name:__Michael D Lee (Mike Lee)_________ Address: ___607 Fanning Way, Durham, NC 27704 E-mail address:____michael.darnell.lee@outlook.com____ Phone: _____919-768-2662____ School Board 1. Why do you want to serve on the Durham Public School Board of Education? What is the role of a board member? a. The next few years will be the most important we’ve seen for Durham Public Schools in a generation. There are numerous issues looming over our district and we will need a diverse set of ideas, backgrounds, and experiences to successfully navigate through this fragile time. As a technology and business professional, I am a problem solver, an idea generator, and constantly look for ways to improve even the smallest of problems. I would be honored to serve Durham Public Schools to help ensure our talented students have the opportunity to achieve the highest of success in life. Also, I have a direct, vested interest in the success of Durham Public Schools by way of my 6 year-old son Nicholas (First grade at Sandy Ridge Elementary) and 3 year-old twins Peyton and Cameron who will be attending Sandy Ridge in about 2 years. b. I believe the role of a school board member consists of being an advocate for students, teachers, and parents in every decision and action supporting the mission of the Durham Public Schools. Supporting the missing of DPS also includes creating, advising, enforcing and monitoring policies set forth for the district. Each board member should constantly solicit input from all members of the community to support the growth of DPS. The board collectively is responsible for hiring and supporting the superintendent. 2. The board will be involved in the hiring of a new superintendent. What should the search process look like? What qualities should the successful candidate possess? a. Initially the board should work as long as it takes to develop a candidate profile to outline exactly what we are looking for in the next superintendent. At this time, DPS is in good hands with Mr. Osteen, so the board can takes its time making the right decision. It will be important to make sure each candidate fits the predetermined qualifications for the job, and Durham Public School’s unique environment. Once the board has determined the profile of the candidate, an external professional search company should be interviewed and hired to look nationwide for the best candidates (according to the board’s profile). Once three to five
  2. 2. candidates have been chosen, it will be important for the board to do a direct and in-depth review of the candidate’s background, experiences, successes, failures and possibly even visit the district in which they are working. b. A successful candidate should at the very least have experience with the diverse set challenges we face as a district. The candidate should arrive with ideas on how to support and retain talented teachers in a tough budget environment, a vision on success of lower performing schools and students, a plan to train teachers, students and parents on the administration of common core standards. It is also important for the candidate to have a record of making hard decisions and taking ownership of the results. 3. How should teachers and administrators be evaluated? Are the current state standards effective? a. Administrators and teachers should not be evaluated solely on test scores and the average score of their schools. I believe each student is individual and evaluations should be the growth of their students individually for teachers and collectively for administrators. This means a baseline for each student should be taken at the beginning of the school year, and compared to the same measurements a the end of the year to understand how that student has grown. The teacher can be evaluated by the growth of her students and administrators can be evaluated by the growth collectively of all students. 4. How should students be assessed? What role should standardized tests play in evaluating students? a. I believe children learn and test differently. I do not agree with standardized tests to solely provide evaluations of growth for students. I believe each student should have a baseline evaluation at the beginning of the school year. At the end of the year, the same measurements should be evaluated and compared to the baseline. This comparison should be included with evaluations, along with the teachers personal assessment. These three evaluating pillars (Tests, Baselines, Teacher Assessments) to determine the success of the student. 5. In spite of the introduction of magnet schools, it appears that Durham Public Schools have become increasingly segregated by socioeconomic status and race. What are your thoughts on this situation? a. The segregation by socioeconomic status has grown at a rapid pace over the last number of years, and is growing worse each year. I believe because of the influx of charter school public funding and private school vouchers, a new set of options is being introduced to parents and students of DPS. I agree with the theory behind charter schools; however the state of North Carolina has relaxed the requirements for free and reduced lunch, after school programs, and transportation which excludes many lower income families and students. This exclusion immediately groups families that can’t afford to conform to the relaxed requirements leading them to have higher numbers in traditional public schools. This increased percentage of lower income students combined with the loss of higher involved parents will continue to grown as more charter schools are introduced to the DPS system. 6. Does DPS need to make changes to its school suspension policy? If so, what changes would you work for as a Board Member?
  3. 3. 3  a.The Durham Board of Education has a very robust and detailed policy regarding suspensions. Over the last twenty years it has been updated eight times to account for the changing needs of DPS’s students. As a board member, I would like to add an intermediary step to suspension to empower the involved student(s) avoid disciplinary actions. I will propose if a student is involved in a lower level violation, time will be given to “cool off”. This proposed time could be the rest of the school day, or a period of time in an office or in a neutral environment. The student will be given all information regarding the policy, punishments, and next steps. The following day the student and a parent will meet with the Principle, staff and other persons involved. At that time, the student will be given the opportunity to reconcile with the affected parties and the ability to avoid suspension. This option will only be available for two occurrences. Upon the third incident, regular procedures will be activated. I believe this will drastically reduce the number of disciplinary actions resulting in out of school suspensions. 7. What is your opinion about the Charter School movement? a. I believe in the theory of charter schools an they have a place and purpose for the students they serve, however I believe the state’s implementation of the regulates regarding Charter Schools has been detrimental to traditional public schools. If a charter school received district money for students, I feel they should have to adhere to the same standards and provide the same services to their students, just as traditional public schools are required to provide. As an example, I believe charter schools should adhere to the same class schedule, free and reduced lunch, and transportation guidelines as other public schools. The absence of these services has reduced the ability of many in our city from being able to apply to the lottery in efforts to attend charter schools. My fear, with the influx of charter schools in Durham, is that it will lead to an even more segregated school system and eventually will revert to the type of differentiation Durham experienced with Durham City Schools and Durham County Schools were separate entities. 8. What is your opinion about school vouchers? a. I disagree with taxpayer money being given to families wishing to place their students in Private school, when there are so many options in our great district. The choice to attend a private school is personal, and funding should be the same. 9. As a board member how would you lead the decisions addressing the needs of the students who are at risk for low achievement and dropping out? a. I believe the world, as a whole, is changing and children are faced with many more pressures, challenges and opportunities than ever before. Children have access to technologies that were non-existent ten short years ago. I feel students have also have expended the learning descriptions we expect as adults. For example, common thought was a student either learned visually or auditory. I believe students use many different ways to learn now including visual, auditory, computer based, web based, highly tailored curriculum and many more. We, as a board, have to come up with fresh ideas to disseminate through the system to meet students where they learn the best. If we want to reach lower achievement students and/or prevent them from dropping out, we have to do something different than before. We have to change our way of thinking, and I believe my background the experiences will lead me to help provide these types of ideas.
  4. 4. 10. Why do you think that parents choose to take their children out of the public schools in Durham or don’t choose them at all? How would you address this issue? a. Parents are responsible for doing what they feel is best for their students. As a parent I think about this every day, which is why I believe traditional public schools are best for my children. There is a large, varying list of reasons parents remove their students from Durham Public Schools, however I’ve found a reoccurring theme to be safety and school success (as it relates to test scores). With the influx of charter schools, parents feel they have an option to have their students learn with like-minded children and more involved parents, which in turn will improve their school’s scores. I believe this mindset to be a red herring since generally speaking, the students who are successful in charter school where more likely to be successful in a traditional public school as well. b. I believe we, as a board, have to find a way to “compete” with charter, private, and other types of schools to remove the negative labels from traditional public schools. We have to introduce ideas, big and small, to draw confidence back into Durham parents. Every idea, practice and thought has to be on the table. To start this type of “re-branding” we will need to begin with retaining talented teachers and administrators. I believe there are things we can do as a board (outside of pay) by way of “perks” to make working for Durham Public Schools more enjoyable. 11. If you could do three things to improve Durham Public Schools, what would they be? a. Provide an abundant amount of options to help teachers continue their education and training on all topics affecting their everyday work. This could be continuously available and updated online classes, free training material, etc. b. Partner with as many businesses as possible in the area to provide students with the ability to gain credit by training in highly sought after careers with the possibly of moving into those jobs after graduating high school. c. Enforce a strict dress code or school uniform policy district wide from Kindergarten to Eighth grade. This, in many cases, will relieve many of the socioeconomic pressures students see each day at school. Personal Information 12. Please describe your educational background, noting any degrees and honors you have earned. (skip if resume included) a.Please see attached resume. 13. Do you have children? Where do they or did they attend school? a. Yes, I have three children. Nicholas is 6 years old and in the first grade at Sandy Ridge Elementary. Peyton and Cameron are three-year-old twins (girl and boy) who are currently in daycare, but will be attending Sandy Ridge in two years. 14. Please describe your adult employment history (skip if resume included)
  5. 5. 5  a. Please See attached resume.
  6. 6. Michael Lee (919) 768-2662 | micheaux@gmail.com Education UNIVERSITY OF MASSACHUSETTS – Amherst, MA Masters of Business Administration, 2011 FOCUS: Information Technology Management and Stategic Planning ALABAMA A&M UNIVERSITY – Normal, AL Bachelors in Computer Science, 1997 Certifications ITIL v3 Foundations – 2009 ITIL 2011 RCV (Release, Control, and Verification) – 2013 ITIL 2011 CSI (Continual Service Improvement) – 2013 Lean SixSigma Greenbelt PMP Certification 2014 (expected exam date in July, 2014) Profile Motivated professional with wide ranging experience and a successful 16-year track record of successful high value projects, application development, change management administration, systems administration, research and implementations. Including 8 years of full lifecycle technical Project Management. High business knowledge backed by years of experience and a Masters of Business Administration. Talent for quickly researching and mastering new technologies and trends. Highly Technical – experience with many lines of technology. In-depth hands on experience with server operating systems such as UNIX, Debian Linux, Ubuntu, RedHat, Windows 2000 – 2008. Have years experience with specific systems such as SQL Server, Tomcat, Apache, Weblogic, MySQL, and Oracle up to 11g. Proficient in programming languages such as C, C++, C#, Perl, PHP, Python, and JavaScript. Flexible and versatile – able to maintain a strong composure under pressure. Poised and competent with demonstrated ability to easily translate highly technical problems into layman’s terms, break down complex issues, and solve difficult problems. Specialize in high impact issues needing in- depth research and creative thinking to solve. Thrive in deadline-driven environments and have the ability to communicate with everyone from customers to CEOs. Professional Experience TECHNOLOGY: SYSTEMS/PROGRAMMING/NETWORKING Research, purchase, install and implement large-scale infrastructure environments including Servers, Databases, Network setup, and front-end applications. Designed iContact’s load balancing architecture using F5 technology, NginX and SQUID. Lead large scale enterprise applications from concept to delivery. Agent portal saved North Carolina Mutual an estimated $900,000 per year in mailings and administrative costs. Initiated and lead project of ant scripts for Motricity to automate server and commerce setup to reduce time to development and time to production for each environment from 3 weeks to 6 days. Lead development of North Carolina Mutual’s Agents Portal to reduce need for general content delivery for over 3 hundred agents in the field. The project is estimated to have saved NC Mutual $7 mm in administrative costs per year. Boosted uptime from 98.6% to 99.9%, eliminating 13 hours of downtime for iContact’s infrastructure by adding reducancy and a new change mangement processes. Explornet’s Donorsphere - $2.2 million project for transferring used computer equipment to schools in need. Conceived original concept of online donations for used computer equipment
  7. 7. Michael Lee (919) 768-2662 | micheaux@gmail.com from citizens to schools. Site was responsible for 7,500 used computer donations to Wake County Public Schools Aegis Mortgage’s Loan Line created over $113 million in new loans in the first 6 months of existence. Hands on experience developing applications in seven programming languages. Professional Experience, continued MANAGEMENT: ITIL IMPLEMENTATION/LEADERSHIP/PROBLEM SOLVING Current ITIL 2011 Foundations, RCV (Release Control Verification), CSI) (Continual Service Improvement) Certified through PeopleCert. Greenbelt project to reduce system generated email to support staff. Project is expected to save Credit Suisse over $100 million in email storage and usage over a seven year period. (currently in progress) Project Manager of multiple Datacenter Migrations, Decommissions and Installations for iContact, Motricity and ESJ Enterprises. Responsible for initial plan through hand off to Systems Engineers at the successful completion of each move. Managed teams varying in size, from 3 to 15 including: ESJ Enterprises: 23 (Systems Engineers, Network Engineers, Systems Administrators) iContact: 11 (Database Administrators, Systems Administrators, Network Engineers, and Help Desk) Motricity: Up to 8 (Database Administrators, Application Engineers) R.H. Donnelley: 10 (2 Local, 4 Kansas City, MO, 4 Chicago, IL) Proven ability to design functioning ITIL based processes and procedures, including creating and implementation of a full Change Management Process and associated Change Advisory Board. Introduced LoadRunner to iContact QA Processes in efforts to isolate system problems associated with capacity and concurrent users. Design and Implementation of multiple Change Management procedures including etablishment of a functioning Change Advisory Board (CAB). Lead database service offerings as Manager of Database Administration at Motricity. Team managed, developed and administered over two-thousands instances of Oracle Databases ranging from 9i – 10g. Presented a CEO Award for initiative to design and implement ITIL based processes in Change Management, Release Management, and Continual Service Improvement. Employment History CREDIT SUISSE – Durham, NC Product Manager – Global Data Services, 2013 to Present CREDIT SUISSE – Durham, NC Senior Equities Applications Engineer, 2012 to 2013 ESJ SOLUTIONS – Baton Rouge, LA Senior Manager, IT Service Delivery, 2009 to 2012 ICONTACT – Durham, NC Manager, Infrastructure Services, 2008 to 2009 MOTRICITY – Durham, NC Manager, Production Applications Engineering, 2005 to 2008 NORTH CAROLINA MUTUAL LIFE – Durham, NC Web Architect Contractor, 2007 R.H. DONELLEY – Durham, NC Web Programmer/Project Manager, 2003 to 2005 AEGIS MORTGAGE – Baton Rouge, LA Program Manager, Internet Technology, 2003 to 2004 METAMETRICS INC. – Durham, NC Project Manager, Technology, 2002 to 2003 STEAMSERVE – Raleigh, NC Implementation Consultant, 2001 to 2002 EXPLORNET – Raleigh, NC Internet Services Manager, 1999 to 2001 IBM – RTP, NC Java Developer, 1997 to 1999

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