Op-Ed: School Board Incumbents Earn an "F"

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By Lisa Sloan

The School Board race could not be more important to voters this year.  Incumbents for years had the opportunity to work on improving literacy and math proficiency rates in our schools.  But what have they done?  Why did only Franklin Elementary School have the opportunity to magically transform student scores? Why were other schools left out?

At Franklin, by implementing low cost measures, such as encouraging parent engagement, Principal Casie Killgore achieved an improvement of over 33% proficiency in student scores.  Did the current board prioritize implementing such changes on other failing schools in the District?  No, they did not.  Did incumbents consider mitigating literacy and math failures?  No, they did not.  The current achievement scores of 50% are pathetic.

Now, incumbents distract away from the primary mandate of public schools which is to teach children how to read, write, calculate and think critically.  Incumbents choose to focus, not on our students, but rather on pet projects, such as green energy.  Please tell me, how does installing solar panels educate students?  The School Board should learn about solar panels.  Solar panels have a limited lifespan, and their disposal is very expensive.  Do incumbents realize that once removed, discarded solar panels are classified as hazardous waste?

During the Zoom Forum on September 17th, the candidates were given opportunity to discuss how they would improve the learning environment for students.  The incumbents focused on problems imposed by Covid 19, the resulting school shut-downs, and feedback from teachers who prefer to teach remotely.  That's short-term thinking.  Our children will be back into the school buildings when it is safe.  And the incumbents have missed the mark on improving learning.

In answer to the same question, challenger Elrawd MacLearn stated that he would engage the parents.  Many parents feel that their children need to return to in-person learning.  Mental Health experts suggest so.  Those who prefer can be given the option to "opt-out" of in-class learning and simply continue Zoom classes at home.  

The key difference between incumbents and two of the challengers  Elrawd MacLearn and Brian Campbell, is the desire to involve parents in their children's education.  Transparency and communication are the best way for students to succeed.  When students succeed, society benefits.  The future of Santa Barbara depends upon the education of our children.  

Currently, on the assignment to educate our students, incumbents have earned a big, fat 'F'.  It's well past time for a change on the School Board.  On November 3rd, vote the incumbents out!

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Byzantium Sep 21, 2020 03:32 PM
Op-Ed: School Board Incumbents Earn an "F"

School board elections are always a fight between the teachers unions and independents. Keep that in mind when reading any follow-up comments about any candidate. Teacher union candidates, such as the crop incumbents will always get glowing praise but mainly from teacher union fans; and their challengers will get nothing but disgust in return. Do really do not want to continue the current teacher union recipe for continued failure to infect our schools? School boards are intended to be a buffer between the teachers unions and the state's K-12 mission; not an extension of the teacher union agenda. This election calls for reinstating independence of our local school board between the K-12 mission and the teachers unions. Because decades of teacher union candidates sitting on our local school boards is a record of failure for our students. We can no longer accept this. Good choices exist today - exercise that choice.

bosco Sep 21, 2020 03:22 PM
Op-Ed: School Board Incumbents Earn an "F"

It's pretty simple. Each candidate should give a detailed explanation of their opinion on school reopening. Any Candidate that refuses or hesitates to open schools the minute they get approval from the PHD will not get my vote. This includes a waiver for elementary schools, and we have already seen how the incumbents feel about that.

letmego Sep 21, 2020 04:56 PM
Op-Ed: School Board Incumbents Earn an "F"

Have you looked at the SBUnified website? They have their reopening plans listed. There are 3 options, based on when we hit the "red" zone, but full opening (all students) varies from Nov 2 at the earliest to Jan 19. Hybrid opening sooner than that.

PitMix Sep 21, 2020 03:07 PM
Op-Ed: School Board Incumbents Earn an "F"

Puff piece for Elrawd and Brian. Franklin School had an improvement of 33%, but what was the absolute rating? CSR in 2016 was 5 out of 10. Franklin's principal Casie Kilgore is to be commended for her achievement, but it seems that a hard working charismatic principal can achieve great things before they move on to a higher salary doing something else. This happened at Harding and also at La Cumbre Jr High, where the principal literally gave her life to help her students. Very sorry that the School Board has become the gateway to local politics.

dukemunson Sep 21, 2020 08:18 PM
Op-Ed: School Board Incumbents Earn an "F"

It’s really not even a political issue... The school board has failed on pretty much every count... obviously! That they continue meeting to celebrate “robust online education” is actually pretty humorous...

ChillinGrillin Sep 21, 2020 05:37 PM
Op-Ed: School Board Incumbents Earn an "F"

Lol Byzantium and uninformed people are quick to find a scapegoat that suits their preexisting political views. If it was up to troglodytes like him we would still have kids missing school to work 16 hour days in factories.

Byzantium Sep 21, 2020 03:40 PM
Op-Ed: School Board Incumbents Earn an "F"

School board has become a gateway to continued student failure .That is no longer acceptable.
Voters were smart to reject Laura Capps movement up the political ladder. But now voters reward Monqiue Limon for doing the exact same thing - leap frogging her school board failure into higher and higher office - token school board service to token assembly service and now to even more token state senate - all by riding lock step with the teacher union agenda. We need better than that. Because that is why nothing ever changes - the teacher union agenda is this state has failed us big time. Reject their undue influence in our political decision making.

ChillinGrillin Sep 21, 2020 02:51 PM
Op-Ed: School Board Incumbents Earn an "F"

I'm not going to defend the glaring lack of school board leadership but problems SBUSD is facing are not unique to this area or even to school districts nationally. We were witnessing a large-scale societal decay prior to the pandemic and although rockstars like Principal Kilgore can be lights through the increasing darkness, there will need to be a massive reinvestment and shifting in priorities for school curriculum to realign with the skill sets needed in the workforce. While "many parents" can "feel" like things should go back to normal, the vast majority value safety above all else and know that no young children can honestly be expected to follow social distancing and mask-wearing rules. Keep blaming solar panels or local leadership if it makes you feel better. But the problem is far more serious with more diverse causes than the school board.

a-1600724275 Sep 21, 2020 02:37 PM
Op-Ed: School Board Incumbents Earn an "F"

Excellent. This is not a good year for any school board incumbents. There is no reward for continued failure. Voters have very good alternatives this year. Things must change and change now.


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