Question about superintendent’s strategic plan highlights priorities for District 6 candidates
Sarah Favot | March 2, 2017
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A question posed to the District 6 candidates for the LA Unified school board at a forum Wednesday night about Superintendent Michelle King’s strategic plan highlighted the differences and priorities among the contenders.
High school students posed the question at a candidate forum at LA Mission College sponsored by the United Way of Greater Los Angeles and the Pat Brown Institute at Cal State LA. About 200 people attended, mostly students. It was the last in a series of forums the students have held in each of the three districts that are part of Tuesday’s election.
The forum can be viewed at the United Way of Greater Los Angeles’ Facebook page.
Here’s how each candidate for the east San Fernando Valley seat responded to the question about King’s plan:
Imelda Padilla: “I like her strategic plan. I am a big fan of Ms. King. … I wish we had a board who if the board was told let’s increase magnets, let’s increase dual immersion programs, let’s increase student attendance, that the board would be able to say, ‘Well, guess what, in District 6 Panorama High school is ready to be in a magnet.’ … I think it’s a little bothersome that we have a board that can’t help Ms. King fill in those gaps and those general goals she has set up.”
Araz Parseghian: “I do support the plan. The only concern I have is decentralizing the budget. I would want to keep that centralized, that’s the one concern I have … at the leadership level, she can’t do it alone … one person is not going to be able to generate any results.”
Gwendolyn Posey: “I do support the strategic plan. However, I think implementation is going to be a challenge. One thing that I find that’s missing is that where’s the voice of the parent, that first teacher for every student?”
Kelly Gonez: “I definitely support the overall goals of the plan. I do think it’s missing a lot of the plan part, the action steps. … I also challenge 100 percent graduation. I don’t think that’s a high enough bar for our kids. I think it’s not just about, ‘Are our students graduating?’, but it’s also about what does that diploma mean in the real world? Is it helping our students being prepared for college? … It’s also about if our students are ready for careers. Are they workforce ready?”
Patty López: “I support the superintendent’s plan, but I think like my colleagues here, I feel like there’s a lot of room to improve. … I promise myself to dedicate all of my time to work with the superintendent and the staff to make improvement in the plan.”
Candidate Jose Sandoval did not attend.
The forum was moderated by Javier Fernandez, a senior at Sun Valley Magnet who has been accepted to Columbia University to study mathematics and political science in the fall. Fernandez said after the forum that all of the candidates spoke from their heart.
“No matter who wins that seat, it’ll be in good hands,” he said.