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Los Angeles County, CA November 6, 2007 Election
Smart Voter Political Philosophy for Tom N. Reyes

Candidate for
Governing Board Member; Duarte Unified School District

This information is provided by the candidate

The most important duty of a school board member is to see that everyone, especially students, succeed. Five of 8 schools did not meet this year's academic growth rate. Andres Duarte and Maxwell are in Academic Performance Probation. The number of students taking A-G classes that qualify them for college has dropped to 15%. The number of students passing the High School Exit Exam in Math has dropped 10 points to 65%. Our kids deserve better!

  • I will emphasize a higher priority to direct classroom instruction
and student performance in the budget.
  • I will observe what works at the school sites and strengthen it
  • I will ask the tough questions other Board members are afraid to ask
  • I want to build partnerships with teachers and staff

Duarte is a small school district with the same Enrollment and same Total Revenues as La Canada and South Pasadena. Except, our teachers earn about $10,000 less than school districts of similar size. While administrator costs are over $800,000 more and almost twice LA County averages. Our salary structure is top heavy.

  • I will ensure funding stays in the classroom
  • I will request performance audits for administrators
  • I want to build partnerships and collaborate with teachers and staff
  • I will improve communications between school and home

As a long time volunteer with various school based organization I have seen how the school district operates. Along the way, I've noticed that parents aren't always included in the decisions made by the School District.

  • I will increase parent involvement through leadership and training
  • I want parents to feel like partners in their child's education
  • I will engage parents and listen to their concerns
  • I will strengthen partnership with community groups
  • I will continue to work with the city to make schools safer
  • I will be accessible and accountable to you

At School Board meetings, the public only gets to see the final vote, and little discussion of the issues. Board members rely on reports from the administrators. School Board members seldom visit the school sites.

  • I want to create more transparency in the Duarte Unified School District by conducting business with more openness.
  • I will discuss issues and appropriations openly in the public forum of school board meetings.
  • I will justify and explain the rationale for my vote
  • I will ensure district follows established policies
  • I will visit school sites often to view progress
  • I will push for televised School Board meetings.

It's time to focus on our kids and what's best for them. Our kids are paying the price for ineffective leadership. Our children are being hurt by low test scores and poor discipline. I will be accessible and accountable. I will be proactive. I will be honest about the challenges and meet them head on.

I challenge the practices and philosophy in effect by our current School Board that does not provide the resources to prepare our children for college, technical schools, or vocational schools. I want our children to be their best. My agenda focuses on what's best for the children.

I will tackle the questions that the incumbents are afraid to ask. I have the energy, enthusiasm, and the drive needed by the Duarte Unified School District to succeed.

I don't want to settle for good schools, I want excellent schools! Our children deserve nothing less!

Vote for Tom Reyes for Duarte School Board

"He's Looking Out For The Kids!"

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Created from information supplied by the candidate: October 22, 2007 17:04
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