The Arlington Education Association Political Action Committee (AEA-PAC) recently announced its endorsement of Cristina Diaz-Torres, a teacher and education policy specialist, in the Arlington Public School Board Democratic Caucus, stating that teachers believe “Cristina’s hands-on experience as a teacher and an education policy specialist, combined with her deep commitment to equity and transparency, is just what we need now to help steer APS through the present crisis.”
The school board caucus was previously scheduled to take place, in-person, on May 7th & 9th. However, when Virginia instituted its recent stay-at-home order, the local Democratic party that manages the process adopted a vote-by-mail alternative.
Diaz-Torres is one of five candidates seeking the Democratic endorsement for two open seats. However, the AEA-PAC declined to endorse other candidates at this point in the process. They said, “Cristina impressed the interview committee with her inspired and energized commitment to schools, and her ability to listen closely to our concerns and respond with honesty and thoughtfulness.”
Cristina Diaz-Torres began her career as a part-time preschool teacher at a Head Start program before later teaching pre-algebra, geometry, and AP Statistics in an English Learning-dense school district. She said, “early on, I understood how teacher quality impacts student success. Students with access to high-quality educators have better outcomes than other students. This is why I support and advocate for rigorous, teacher-driven, job-embedded professional development.”
Diaz-Torres, now an education policy specialist, works with school districts, state education agencies, and education organizations that seek to use data to improve student outcomes and education efficiency. She advocates for an Interest-Based Bargaining, stating: “it’s a process that asks teachers and administrators to work together in the best interests of students, teachers, and the community.” The AEA-PAC agrees, saying the organization believes that “Diaz-Torres’s vision of a collaborative framework for education governance aligns well with AEA’s commitment to gaining our official seat at the table through collective bargaining.”
May 7th was the last day for Arlington Democrats to request a mail-in ballot. Ballots must be received by the Arlington Democratic Party no later than May 30th to be counted. Caucus outcomes will be announced in early June.