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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a-1600759302 Sep 22, 2020 12:21 AM
Op-Ed: School Board Incumbents Earn an "F"

Surprised nobody has brought up the real reason for badmouthing the incumbents- “Fair Education Santa Barbara”, and the debates on bias training, ethnic studies and comprehensive sex education. Where do the challenging candidates stand on these things....?

PitMix Sep 22, 2020 07:11 AM
Op-Ed: School Board Incumbents Earn an "F"

Edhat commentators tend to be more extremist than Santa Barbara as a whole. Most liberal posters no longer engage here. Posters hate Murillo but she has been re-elected several times and would have been top 2 for Assembly if the field of candidates hadn't been so strong and split the vote. Will see how you Elrawd and Brian supporters do in November. My guess is, not very well.

dukemunson Sep 22, 2020 09:16 AM
Op-Ed: School Board Incumbents Earn an "F"

You are correct...and the status quo will prevail. The teachers union, which is horribly powerful and works against our kids best interests will get their candidates elected. Same with the police union in most elections. It's sad that the extremes of both parties have the microphone and sway public opinion.

PitMix Sep 23, 2020 07:32 AM
Op-Ed: School Board Incumbents Earn an "F"

Duke, speak for the extremes of your party. The extremes of the Dems would defund the police and reallocate capital, and you notice how none of those bills went anywhere in the last legislative session. You can sleep easy knowing the moderate dems are in control.

Byzantium Sep 22, 2020 09:34 AM
Op-Ed: School Board Incumbents Earn an "F"

A good school board represents the mission, the students, the parents and the taxpayers. They stay arms length from the in-house teachers unions, because the board's primary duty is to negotiate with internal school employee unions keeping in mind the interests of the mission, the students, the parents and the taxpayers, but also along with the school employee union interests as a consideration too. There is no need for an elected school board if all they do is bow down to the teacher union demands. Their role is to exercise independent judgment and walk a tightrope balancing act between all interested parties. Current school boards have wrongly become extensions of only one part of this interests consortium they were elected to represent. That is the imbalance that has led to mission failure, cost over-runs, administrative chaos and frank disloyalty to their full spectrum of their intended school board service. Teacher unions howl the most during school board elections, but they are not the only voice that needs attention. Who will bring balance to the multipart role school boards were intended to play: the mission, the students, the parents and the tax payers. Not just subservient loyalty to the teacher union members who substantially fund their campaigns, do their marketing and field the GOTV ground troops. When all parts of the equation are working together you cannot have failing schools. We have failing schools, so the board make-up and relationship to the larger goals must be rebalanced. Bring badly needed independence and balance to the currently lop-sided, teacher union dominated SBUSD board.

Happy2BeSB Sep 22, 2020 10:18 AM
Op-Ed: School Board Incumbents Earn an "F"

Solar panels do not have a limited lifespan. Even after 25 years, they still operate at roughly 88% of their original capacity. I appreciate that you want the administrators to focus on education, and I agree with you. But please don't spread disinformation about solar energy to support your opinion. Also, do you have any statistics to show how many hours the board spent on solar panels? My guess is that they spent a tiny fraction of their time on the issue, which will be more than adequately offset by the money saved on energy expenses.

mahneke Sep 22, 2020 11:14 AM
Op-Ed: School Board Incumbents Earn an "F"

This loser of a school board did a country wide search for a superintendent and settled on a person from the worst school district in CA, and the second worst district in the country( NY is first) These people need to be voted out in the worst way. They have no integrity and have to go.

a-1600897348 Sep 23, 2020 02:42 PM
Op-Ed: School Board Incumbents Earn an "F"

Ever think with the current SBUSD board, the budget and the local hyper-activism, any good school superintendents would not take this job for a million bucks, let alone apply for it? The dance of the lemons applies to school superintendents too; not just bad teachers. SBUSD is a career killer position for anyone serious about education.

Lorax Sep 23, 2020 02:13 PM
Op-Ed: School Board Incumbents Earn an "F"

Any one can go to greatschools.org and get the scores in all areas for all our schools in reading and math proficiency as well as other information such as the percentages of ethnicities and socioeconomic factors. This is why Franklin keeps standing out and Adelante shows failure to provide opportunity for learning English. Check it out and then vote!
All property owners pay taxes that support this district even if they don't have children or grandchildren enrolled in school in Santa Barbara.
We need the incumbents out, they have failed on their watch. Time to switch the team out for success.
Anyone that cares about our schools that is a registered voter between Goleta and Montecieto can vote for the Santa Barbara Unified School District

PitMix Sep 23, 2020 03:07 PM
Op-Ed: School Board Incumbents Earn an "F"

Franklin is a 5 out of 10 according to CSR results. They only look good compared to Harding and other failing schools. Given the past election results, I don't know overposting on Edhat is the best way to convince other voters to get onboard with your agenda. Duke and the others are probably way ahead of you on this. But our pesky liberal majority is SB is not.

letmego Sep 24, 2020 05:42 PM
Op-Ed: School Board Incumbents Earn an "F"

Franklin's scores have be increasing consistently over the last several years. Most of the schools in SBUnified also have increasing scores, but theirs are increasing at a much higher rate. This last year their scores surpassed Roosevelt's.

a-1600996295 Sep 24, 2020 06:11 PM
Op-Ed: School Board Incumbents Earn an "F"

Good, now Roosevelt does not have to be the only magnet school in this town. Sounds like the Franklin magic can be applied across the board. What's holding the others back?

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