School Board Hopeful Supports “Strengths-Focused” Education

"Since she started teaching in 2005, Heizer says she has seen a decrease in students’ ability to think critically, collaborate, write persuasively, and other skills that cannot be easily measured by a test, another issue that she attributes to an overreliance on standardized tests as an indicator of knowledge or success to the detriment of more creative or flexible forms of learning.

“I think we need to do a better job of helping our teachers, empowering them to say it’s okay to do this fun stuff. It’s important. It’s valid,” Heizer said. “I think we haven’t been empowering them to do that, because we’ve been pressuring them so much on tests.”

Thank you to Fairfax Times for the chance to share my vision and experience with you!

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Rachna Heizer
BlueVirginia Endorses Rachna Sizemore Heizer for Fairfax County Public School Board (At-Large)

“It’s important, by the way, to stress that Sizemore Heizer is not one-dimensional in her focus on disabilities. To the contrary, as we discussed in our conversation, Sizemore Heizer is passionately committed to making sure that all FCPS students succeed, whether their talents lie in “academic, artistic, or vocational” areas, and focusing on “teach[ing] to our students’ strength…not using their challenges to limit their potential.”

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Rachna Heizer
Candidate Speeches at Mt. Vernon Dems’ Mardi Gras Party

Rachna Sizemore Heizer was happy to participate in the Straw Poll at the Mt. Vernon Dems’ Mardi Gras Party on Saturday, February 23, 2019. If you weren’t able to make it in person, you can catch her entire speech at the event and write-up at the end of this article.

Speeches at Mt. Vernon Dems’ Mardi Gras Party by Candidates for Fairfax County Board Chair; Commonwealth’s Attorney; At-Large School Board; Lee District Supervisor

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Rachna Heizer
Virginia Students Learn in Trailers

“In this era of school shootings, having our children in trailers, which is open to the public without any of the security that we have for the buildings is dangerous, anyone can walk in at any second – that’s not safe and that’s not a good learning environment” said Rachna Sizemore

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Rachna Heizer
Kitchen Table Conversations - Rachna Heizer

(May 1, 2018) Catherine Read speaks with Rachna Sizemore Heizer about her son, Jake Sizemore, who is a local musician with special needs. Rachna speaks with Catherine about her journey as a parent navigating the system with a child with an autism diagnosis, and how she learned to focus on Jake’s abilities, instead of his disabilities, in order to discover his gifts.

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Rachna Heizer
The Progressive Happy Hour: Disability and Inclusion in the Progressive Movement

In the September 7 episode of “The Progressive Happy Hour,” co-host Drew Courtney and guest host Diallo Brooks talk to Rachna Sizemore Heizer, disability rights activist and board member of the Virginia Autism Project, about the fight for a more inclusive progressive movement that incorporates disability not just as a health care issue, but as an issue that affects people in every aspect of their lives.

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Rachna Heizer
Fairfax activists represented at Netroots Nation Conference

Netroots Nation, the largest gathering of progressive political activists in the nation, convened its annual meeting in New Orleans on Wednesday, August 1. Rachna Heizer of Fairfax is training activists on “Empowering the Largest Minority Group: Diversity Outreach to People with Disabilities,” and Delegates Mark Keam and Jennifer  Boysko are scheduled on a panel with Fairfax residents Holly Seibold and Catherine Read on Menstrual Equity issues.

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Rachna Heizer
Educators Share the Power of Stories

“Everyone’s story matters. We have learned through our work over the years that it is only through our collective and diverse thinking, and actions, that the true promise of public education is held — and kept,” said Harriet Sanford, President and CEO, The NEA Foundation.

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Rachna Heizer