Sunday, October 18, 2009

get schooled on schools

I don't know if anyone else caught the post on the Daily Bulletin's Pomona Now blog about the school-board candidate forum, but I was rather unimpressed. Not by the post (although if those were the two most interesting questions to cover...), but by what the candidates said. Were any of our loyal readers there to report more fully?

One item I was unimpressed by was the presence of all the candidates except the Sons (Robert Torres and Jason Rothman). I'd be delighted to have my suspicions about nepotism disproved, but the only way to do that is to come out to these events and demonstrate content and convictions.

I was also unimpressed by the answers to the question about education in "the arts, social studies, geography, or economics." Several candidates seemed to be saying that in these tough economic times (cue the violin), parents will have to take care of that. Great -- so the educated keep getting more educated, and the less educated slide further down the hill.

The best answer, though, was DOCTOR Roberta Perlman's, in which she lumped the sciences in with the arts in terms of seemingly-peripheral subjects. Nancy Matarrita had the best defense of arts education, saying that the arts help keep kids in school (presumably by giving kids another venue in which to excel).

All these half-baked opinions of mine are based only on the DB article, but there is another candidates forum coming up on thursday, sponsored by One LA. It's at the First Christian Church on Artesia (off of Garey, by the hospital) at 7pm.

Reading over the info (sent to me by our own Pomona Joe), I see that it is explicitly not a debate; candidates will only have one minute to respond to each question. Instead, One LA envisions the forum as a way "to let them know our values and ask them to commit to working with us on them."

If any candidates are reading this (yeah, Meg, don't flatter yourself), I encourage them to use that minute to say something that will really give us a sense of who they are, not just to reiterate how much they care and how important our schools are. I assume that every single candidate shares those convictions. Show me how you differ from the others, and you'll probably get my vote.


Hank Mollet said...

Not to resort to petty flattery, but I've been reading your blog for quite a while.

I think you made an assumption in your post about how the candidates feel versus what they express. Of course people express ideas that are positive, but is that because of how they feel or how many votes it will get them?

There were eight questions asked at the Willie White Forum with a one minute opening statement and a two minute closing statement. There are three more forums scheduled. Inland Valley Faith Consortium on Wednesday, One LA on Thursday, and the Golden Springs PTO sometime during the week of the 26th.

If you'd like to know more about me, please come to the other forums and speak to me personally. You can also reach me by phone or e-mail. 909-437-1890


Hank Mollet

calwatch said...

Are the other ones open to the public? What are the times of the forums?

Ed said...

If Mr. Mollet is willing to offer us some insight as a teacher and parent, I'd like to know what school(s) his children attend and what he likes/dislikes about their PUSD experience.

Pomona Diva said...

I'm with Ed...:) I'd like to know just what schools fall into the candidates neighborhoods. AS for the absence of the young candidates... after all, it was a school night and just might have been too late for them to stay up.

John Clifford said...

Diva, you naughty girl. Of course it could also be that they don't want to face the sure-to-be-asked questions about their qualifications and relationships. Better to say nothing than to possibly put your foot in your mouth. Especially when you've already got "support" out there.

Hank Mollet said...

I believe all the forums are open to the public. The next one is at the Antioch Church tomorrow at 6. On Thursday, One-LA is holding a forum at the First Christian Church on Artesia at 6:45. The final one is to be held October 27th at the Diamond Bar Center (1600 S Grand Ave).

We live near Arroyo Elementary. My son attended kindergarten there. When they tested him at the beginning of the year, he was done with all but a few of the math concepts. By the end of the year, 8 students gained proficiency in the kindergarten standards.

Because of No Child Left Behind and the low score that Arroyo received, we were offered the choice to move him to another school in the district. I looked up the reports on the schools and picked the one with the highest API and most diversity. He has been at Ranch Hills since the beginning of last year.

One positive that I have seen on his two campuses are the caring, hard working, and patient teachers that strive to provide the best education to the diverse groups they serve.

One negative is combo classes that seem to serve the budgetary needs of the district, but force teachers to divide their time teaching two different levels to two groups of students in the same amount of time that other teachers have to teach one subject.

Thank you for the opportunity to share a few of my thoughts. Please let me know what you see as strengths and weaknesses

Pride in Garfield Park said...

What do you say we pose a few questions of our own (3 -5?) to the candidates, then invite each to respond on the blog (100 - 250 words per question?)? If memory serves, the Goddess did this in preparation for the City Council elections.

What question(s) would you like to ask the candidates?

Ed said...

Since no one is offering up any, here you go:
1. Are you in favor of keeping the DWA (District Wide Assessments)?
2. How would you propose to shrink the racial disparity in academic achievement?
3. Given the school district's limited funds, how would you increase college counseling for high school students?
4. Here's a softball for Mr. Mollet: what changes would you make to Arroyo Elementary to increase the number of students reaching proficiency?
5. What accounts for the higher scores at Claremont schools compared to Pomona schools? What would you bring from Claremont Unified to improve Pomona Unified?

Should I come up with some more?