Hussein shares thoughts on test scores, teacher resources and diversity initiatives.
BY ANDANI MUNKAILA, STAFF WRITER & JACK FEDAK, STUDENT SENATOR
FAIRFAX, Virginia – Fairfax “School Board at Large” candidate Ahmed Hussein is an educated, proud father, and a longtime Fairfax resident.
Identifying as independent, Hussein aims to focus on strengthening the relationship between parents and the Fairfax County School Board. Hussein believes that his background as an immigrant and government worker sets him apart from his competition.
Hussein said that the quality of schools is stagnating and current buildings are outdated.
“[Schools] are overwhelmed, we have less teachers, more students, [and] less facilities,” Hussein said. “One of my priorities is to look at the capacity of facility buildings and improve those facilities to prepare our children for the 21st century.”
Noting that SAT test scores have declined by 27 points over the last 5 years, Hussein proposes his plans for improvement.
“My priority is to advocate with the board and the community…to sit down and examine what’s going on. Based on that, we’ll probably improve the curriculum, look at what’s costing us right now, and revise some of the curriculum to equip the future generation so they can be acclimated with the technology.”
The school board candidate emphasizes that teachers are being stretched too thin.
“The teachers are underpaid, they’re overwhelmed. We need to provide the teachers with the resources they need so they can do their job,” Hussein said.
Earlier this year, the Fairfax school board made a change surrounding their grading policies. The updated policy allowed teachers to give students a “zero” grade for missing work. Previously, the lowest possible grade a student could receive for missing work was a 50%. Hussein states that this policy change should be reviewed.
Another topic that recently has caught the attention of residents is the Fairfax school board’s decision to block Gov. Youngkin’s new transgender model policies. Hussein believes that Youngkin’s policy needs reviewing.
“What I would like to do is work with the Board and the teachers and parents to look at it and look for the balance.” Hussein continues to state that parents have a “right to counsel” their children.
“I think the Governor is trying to minimize the challenges right now,” Hussein said. “What I would like to do is work with the Board and the professional teachers and parents to look at it and look for the balance.”
“My philosophy is, everyone has a right. We should not discriminate against anyone. We need to take advantage of the differences we have. We live in a society where we have diverse backgrounds. We need to live together and respect one another.”
Hussein discussed his beliefs on the county’s special education programming.
“I look at the Fairfax County policy for special education. It has excellent policies. To be frank with you, it just needs to be enhanced. One of the challenges I discovered is [that] implementation of that policy is not equal. I want to make sure the policy the county develops is consistently applied.”
Fairfax residents will cast their votes on November 7th and vote for their new school board. All 12 seats are up for reelection. Of these 12, nine are district seats and three at “at large” seats.