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Where is McKenna on LAUSD issues? He wouldn’t say

LA School Report | August 8, 2014

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George Mckenna with question mark LAUSDWith LA Unified’s District 1 election approaching, LA School Report asked each of the candidates, Alex Johnson and George McKenna, a series of questions about some of the bigger challenges facing the district.

The effort was based on the fact — an unfortunate one for voters — that the two have not appeared together for a policy debate since they emerged at the top of the June 3 primary to face each other in Tuesday’s runoff. We believed District 1 residents might want to know where the candidates stand on issues that might come before the board over the year ahead.

Five of the eight questions were the same to each candidate, with the other three focusing on how their backgrounds might inform their views. Yesterday, we heard from Johnson, a lawyer and aide to LA County Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas.

Today we wanted to give McKenna, 74, a former school administrator, the same opportunity to share his views so that voters could compare their answers. But repeated requests seeking his participation were ignored. Here are the questions we had sent:

Question: What do you consider the biggest challenges facing the school district? If you could address one of those issues now, what would you do?

Answer: No response.

Q: You have had a long career as a school principal and administrator with strong views and a strong will. What would be most difficult for you in adapting to a more collaborative role as a board member?

A: No response.

Q: In your campaign literature you reference your experience in the 1980s at Washington Prep when you worked to turn around the struggling school, making hard choices that included firing teachers. Has your thinking about how you approached that situation changed? 

A: No response.

Q: You have been supported by the teachers union in this election despite having been heavily criticized by union leaders in the past. What has changed?

A: No response.

Q:  What steps would you recommend to forestall a teachers strike?

A: No response.

Q: The Common Core curriculum has been embraced by LAUSD and the board. But it has generated intense opposition in other states. What do you think about the Common Core as a means to improve academic achievement?

A: No response.

Q: What have you learned from Sylvia Rousseau’s experience as a board liaison for District 1? 

A: No response.

Q: Parental involvement within LAUSD is at an all-time low.  How would you change that, taking into consideration the significant number of foster children in District 1?

A: No response.

Previous Posts: Low voter turnout predicted in LAUSD board race; Ratliff forgoes neutrality, endorsing McKenna in board race; Johnson outpacing McKenna in school board race for money

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