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November Election Could Be Big For Local Education

Audio

Aired 10/20/10

What are the most important education-related races and issues on the November ballot? We speak to KPBS Education Reporter Ana Tintocalis about the taxes measures, the school board races, and the candidates who are running to replace outgoing State Superintendent of Public Instruction Jack O'Connell.

What are the most important education-related races and issues on the November ballot? We speak to KPBS Education Reporter Ana Tintocalis about the taxes measures, the school board races, and the candidates who are running to replace outgoing State Superintendent of Public Instruction Jack O'Connell.

Guest

Ana Tintocalis, education reporter for KPBS News.

Comments

Avatar for user 'Frankie'

Frankie | October 20, 2010 at 10:45 a.m. ― 4 years, 1 month ago

I will call your description this morning of the SDUSD School Board race peculiarly off-point rather than biased, though a case could be made for the latter.

Prominent mention of the editorial endorsement of the U-T newspaper (that fewer and fewer people read and none take seriously) was irrelevant. You spent most of the time talking about "governance" issues that are the new focus of deep-pockets school privatizers, rather than emphasizing the pressing academic needs of our students and bleak fiscal realities facing the school district.

In addition, you over-emphasized the name and specious write-in candidacy of an incumbent who was DEFEATED by both of her Primary election opponents and who sued in court to be allowed as a write-in candidate on the November ballot, even though she decisively lost her Primary election in June. You failed to mention that the City Charter governing General elections explicitly forbids write-ins of any kind.

Apparently you never looked at the sources of candidates' campaign contributions. The defeated incumbent has raised maximum contributions from numerous developers, business supporters of former Superintendent Alan Bersin and downtown development hustlers who managed to get $20 million diverted from school bond Prop S money to build a downtown Central "schoobrary." The second-place candidate and businessman has lent himself nearly $100,000 to run.

By contrast, District B frontrunner KEVIN BEISER is broadly supported by countless small-dollar contributors because he is an intelligent, energetic and committed middle school math teacher who knows how to change the status of a low-performing school from being on a state "watch list" for potential takeover to one that is now designated positively as "a school to watch." Beiser has lived that invaluable (and replicable) experience at Granger Middle School in South Bay.

BEISER is the frontrunner because he has actual classroom expertise working with low-achieving kids and experience making a school budget work so that student needs are the highest spending priority. Beiser is committed to small class size and to shifting School Board emphasis from adults and unions to children and their essential education. This is what's sorely needed at San Diego Unified public schools and, respectfully, this is what
the conversation should have been about on "These Days" this morning.

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Avatar for user 'mikivuckovich'

mikivuckovich | October 21, 2010 at 8 p.m. ― 4 years, 1 month ago

Quite a campaign speech under the guise of an editorial comment. Fact is that the current state budget crisis has hammered school districts across the state, San Diego Unified in particular. To think that an inexperienced school teacher is going to step in, figure out the fiscal and political realities of making a bad budget work as well as possible for our kids, and solve all of San Diego schools' problems is naive, to say the least. Right now, more than ever, we need someone who not only cares enough to fight for what's best for our kids, but who has grappled with the budget realities San Diego Unified has been facing for the past few years. This isn't the time to train a newbie. It's also not time for politics as usual. We need leaders who are experienced and who care about the students, who have seen what the system looks like as a parent of students. I've not seen a candidate who fits that bill as completely as Katherine Nakamura. She's been fighting the fight for our kids. And we need her to continue to do so now, more than ever. Notice I didn't put her names in ALL CAPS. This isn't a campaign speech--just one voter's observation.

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Avatar for user 'Frankie'

Frankie | October 22, 2010 at 12:18 p.m. ― 4 years, 1 month ago

Maybe the best reason not to capitalize the name of your favorite person is the fact that she was an incumbent who was defeated in the Primary Election in June and is now making an end-run around election rules by litigating in order to call herself a "write-in candidate."
KEVIN BEISER KNOWS FIRSTHAND WHAT OUR STUDENTS NEED; HE IS EXPERIENCED IN THE CLASSROOM AND SAVVY ABOUT MAKING SCHOOL BUDGETS WORK FOR THEIR INTENDED PURPOSE -- TO EDUCATE CHILDREN.

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