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Does it matter who gets elected?

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  • troubled_h2o
    It disturbed me to be told at a recent meeting of the Richmond Greens that Scottie Smith says it doesn t matter who runs for school board, because the school
    Message 1 of 5 , Sep 3, 2006
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      It disturbed me to be told at a recent meeting of the Richmond
      Greens that Scottie Smith says it doesn't matter who runs for school
      board, because the school board has no power. That is not true, and
      let me tell you why.

      Did you know that the voters in our school district have chosen to
      tax local homeowners almost a billion dollars- yes that's billion
      with a B- over the next 30 years? Do you know that not one dime
      of that money can be used for books or teachers salaries? Aside
      from that, did you know that the disbursement of that money is at
      the sole discretion of the school board?

      Yes, folks, our school district has the second richest building
      program in California. Yet, how many city council candidates from
      Hercules to Pinole, San Pablo, Richmond and El Cerrito are aware of
      the scope of that program and the potential social and environmental
      impacts in their respective cities?

      How many of the school board candidates have a plan to support green
      building policies and sensible attendance patterns?

      How many of YOU are aware of the defacto social engineering that
      certain of our school board members have slyly implemented over the
      years to the detriment of many of our neighborhood schools?

      I served on the school board for four years, and people sometimes
      ask me , "How important is an endorsement from the teachers union?"

      My answer is this: candidates who have been handpicked and endorsed
      by the teachers union will not necessarily make good school board
      members.

      Yes, we all love teachers. When our teachers call us to action,
      voters, citizens, and community-members strive to influence policy
      in any way we can to improve their working conditions and salaries.

      However the elected school board has very little influence over
      union contracts; the state-appointed trustee in this district is the
      real power behind what the teachers and other employees get paid,
      and most of the available money already is already allocated for
      retirees.

      Please make an effort to meet the candidates before the election and
      to query them on the following crucial questions:
      „X What experience do you have in school construction issues,
      and how will you ensure healthy and green construction?
      „X How will you use our federal money to ensure English-
      language proficiency in our high schools and middle schools?
      „X How will you get rid of clauses in our UTR contract that
      consistently force many of our schools to open with too few
      teachers?
      „X Will you direct the superintendent to hire middle-school
      curriculum experts so that our students are prepared for high
      school?
      „X How will you direct the new superintendent to restructure
      the district so that college-bound students actually receive the
      support they need?
      „X How will you get rid of provisions in our non-teacher
      contracts that force the district to guarantee full-time jobs to
      part-time and temporary employees even when they are incompetent,
      anti-social or unethical?
      „X How will you purge our district of ingrained policies that
      perpetuate failure?
      And the most important question of all:

      „X What specific knowledge do you have about my neighborhood
      school, and what do you plan to do to make it better?


      Does it matter who gets elected to the school board? It matters a
      great deal! The district has a brand new superintendent, and with
      three of the five school board seats up for grabs, this might be the
      most important election in the past fifteen years.
    • ladyluvslife67
      Hello There I am a parent, and one person who voted YES on all those taxes you homeowners pay for the rebuilding of our schools. As I look back, my only reason
      Message 2 of 5 , Sep 4, 2006
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        Hello There
        I am a parent, and one person who voted YES on all those
        taxes you homeowners pay for the rebuilding of our schools.
        As I look back, my only reason for voting YES was to give
        my kids better schools and I thought very little about
        the taxes because I was NOT a homeowner. Did not bother
        to educate myself any further on that issue. Only when
        the District re-introduced Measure J to the voters did
        I finally vote NO.

        At the last election when there were two available seats
        on the school board, I made the very first INFORMED vote
        of my life in regards to school board members. I was
        so impressed with one candidate that I walked a precinct
        to get the message out. INCUMBENT = NOT NECESSARILY A
        GOOD THING.

        One must examine the fact that people make UNINFORMED
        votes for something like school board members. People
        vote UNINFORMED regarding taxes if it is clear it does
        not affect THEM PERSONALLY.

        I do agree with you about this being the most important
        school board election in years. However, until voters
        see this and make an INFORMED choice,
        we will see folks continuing to attempt to remain on the
        school board for over 10 years. How has this person stayed
        on the school board? My take is that he is running on the
        "familiarity" of his name only. That is living proof voters
        do not make informed choices when it comes to school board
        members.

        Now we could argue that point also, being that an INCUMBENT
        (George Harris III) who received MANY big endorsements and
        had several fancy flyers sent home in the mail to all the
        voters - well he LOST. That was hope to me that people are
        starting to pay attention.

        And regarding all your other questions raised in your post,
        I don't know about any of that. Let me tell you, it is hard
        enough for "politically concerned parents" such as myself
        to stay on top of ensuring their kid
        gets the education that the State promises them. I learned
        more volunteering @ my kid's school and being on the school
        site council
        than in my attempts to be involved by attending
        school board meetings and appealing to our board members.

        It only takes 3 to make a majority on the board, however
        these 3 must be in agreement on what they want to focus
        on. With the exception of Dave BRown, I have never seen
        any of the board members bring items to the board for
        their consideration. Even
        when they are fully aware of certain problems at the sites
        (such as site council members not receiving information on
        site budget) no one seems to have the guts to do anything
        about it. Or they are acting with the knowledge that they
        are POWERLESS over these things. and therefore do NOTHING
        about it. If that is the case then I agree with Scottie Smith's
        statement. It will not matter who gets elected.

        amedina








        --- In wccusdtalk@yahoogroups.com, "troubled_h2o" <axharris@...>
        wrote:
        >
        > It disturbed me to be told at a recent meeting of the Richmond
        > Greens that Scottie Smith says it doesn't matter who runs for
        school
        > board, because the school board has no power. That is not true,
        and
        > let me tell you why.
        >
        > Did you know that the voters in our school district have chosen to
        > tax local homeowners almost a billion dollars- yes that's billion
        > with a B- over the next 30 years? Do you know that not one dime
        > of that money can be used for books or teachers salaries? Aside
        > from that, did you know that the disbursement of that money is at
        > the sole discretion of the school board?
        >
        > Yes, folks, our school district has the second richest building
        > program in California. Yet, how many city council candidates
        from
        > Hercules to Pinole, San Pablo, Richmond and El Cerrito are aware of
        > the scope of that program and the potential social and
        environmental
        > impacts in their respective cities?
        >
        > How many of the school board candidates have a plan to support
        green
        > building policies and sensible attendance patterns?
        >
        > How many of YOU are aware of the defacto social engineering that
        > certain of our school board members have slyly implemented over the
        > years to the detriment of many of our neighborhood schools?
        >
        > I served on the school board for four years, and people sometimes
        > ask me , "How important is an endorsement from the teachers
        union?"
        >
        > My answer is this: candidates who have been handpicked and
        endorsed
        > by the teachers union will not necessarily make good school board
        > members.
        >
        > Yes, we all love teachers. When our teachers call us to action,
        > voters, citizens, and community-members strive to influence policy
        > in any way we can to improve their working conditions and
        salaries.
        >
        > However the elected school board has very little influence over
        > union contracts; the state-appointed trustee in this district is
        the
        > real power behind what the teachers and other employees get paid,
        > and most of the available money already is already allocated for
        > retirees.
        >
        > Please make an effort to meet the candidates before the election
        and
        > to query them on the following crucial questions:
        > „X What experience do you have in school construction
        issues,
        > and how will you ensure healthy and green construction?
        > „X How will you use our federal money to ensure English-
        > language proficiency in our high schools and middle schools?
        > „X How will you get rid of clauses in our UTR contract
        that
        > consistently force many of our schools to open with too few
        > teachers?
        > „X Will you direct the superintendent to hire middle-school
        > curriculum experts so that our students are prepared for high
        > school?
        > „X How will you direct the new superintendent to
        restructure
        > the district so that college-bound students actually receive the
        > support they need?
        > „X How will you get rid of provisions in our non-teacher
        > contracts that force the district to guarantee full-time jobs to
        > part-time and temporary employees even when they are incompetent,
        > anti-social or unethical?
        > „X How will you purge our district of ingrained policies
        that
        > perpetuate failure?
        > And the most important question of all:
        >
        > „X What specific knowledge do you have about my neighborhood
        > school, and what do you plan to do to make it better?
        >
        >
        > Does it matter who gets elected to the school board? It matters a
        > great deal! The district has a brand new superintendent, and with
        > three of the five school board seats up for grabs, this might be
        the
        > most important election in the past fifteen years.
        >
      • axharris@sbcglobal.net
        In response to your question: Charles Ramsey continues to get elected because he empowers a large constituency of voters who do not otherwise have access. He
        Message 3 of 5 , Sep 4, 2006
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          In response to your question: Charles Ramsey continues to get elected
          because he empowers a large constituency of voters who do not otherwise have
          access. He reaches out to them and makes himself available. He answers his
          phone calls. He keeps his promises. Any other complaints you might have
          about the man cannot negate those simple facts.


          <http://geo.yahoo.com/serv?s=97359714&grpId=10178167&grpspId=1600946590&msgI
          d=7969&stime=1157404396&nc1=3848483&nc2=2&nc3=3>



          [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
        • ladyluvslife67
          Dear Poster axharris You are getting off topic with your personal endorsement of Charles Ramsey. You claimed to be bothered by someone saying that it doesn t
          Message 4 of 5 , Sep 4, 2006
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            Dear Poster "axharris"

            You are getting off topic with your personal endorsement
            of Charles Ramsey.

            You claimed to be bothered by someone saying that it
            doesn't matter who gets on the school board, I was merely
            offering a perspective as to why one may think that. It is
            regretable that you did not get that part, only my mention
            of some voters simply voting for a person because their
            name is familiar to them.

            My opinion on Mr. Ramsey is a separate issue as well, that
            is why I chose to LEAVE IT OUT OF MY REPLY to your post
            as it was off the topic of discussion entitled:
            DOES IT MATTER WHO GETS ELECTED?

            AMEDINA








            --- In wccusdtalk@yahoogroups.com, <axharris@...> wrote:
            >
            > In response to your question: Charles Ramsey continues to get
            elected
            > because he empowers a large constituency of voters who do not
            otherwise have
            > access. He reaches out to them and makes himself available. He
            answers his
            > phone calls. He keeps his promises. Any other complaints you
            might have
            > about the man cannot negate those simple facts.
            >
            >
            > <http://geo.yahoo.com/serv?
            s=97359714&grpId=10178167&grpspId=1600946590&msgI
            > d=7969&stime=1157404396&nc1=3848483&nc2=2&nc3=3>
            >
            >
            >
            > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
            >
          • troubled_h2o
            Dear Madam: you asked My comments on
            Message 5 of 5 , Sep 4, 2006
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              Dear Madam:
              you asked << How has this person stayed on the school board? My take is
              that he is running on the "familiarity" of his name only. >>

              My comments on Ramsey were a simple response to your question which I
              quote above, and therefore were "on topic."

              I am not using this forum to campaign. I just want to see the
              candidates discuss some of the issues which I consider crucial to the
              improvement of the district.

              As you pointed out very well in your post, parents do the most good at
              the elementary level by volunteering at their child's school site.

              Furthermore, I assert that the best thing a parent can do to insure
              success in high school is to help their child learn the times tables
              cold before the end of third grade. If every person within arms reach
              of this forum makes sure that comes true for every third grader they
              meet, I would be happy.

              That seems so very simple and self-evident to me, yet I was unable to
              have this included in the grade-level expectations for third grade math
              when they were established. I would happily endorse and campaign for
              any candidate who can demonstrate a background in mathematics or math
              curriculum development instead of the meaningless blah blah blah I
              heard at the EC Democratic Club endorsement event. Unfortunately, no
              such candidate is running this year!!
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