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LWV League of Women Voters of California Education Fund

Smart Voter
Alameda County, CA November 4, 2014 Election
Candidates Answer Questions on the Issues
Board Member; Fremont Unified School District

The questions were prepared by the League of Women Voters of Fremont, Newark, and Union City and asked of all candidates for this office.     See below for questions on Common Core, Most Important Task

Click on a name for candidate information.   See also more information about this contest.

? 1. What will Common Core requirements do to improve FUSD students performances?

Answer from Moina Shaiq:

Common core requirements are mandated by the State. Students in the next few years will determine how they are working. Common core integrates subjects taught, thus preparing our students for jobs, college and real life.

Answer from Larry Sweeney:

FUSD is very proud to be a High Performing School District as defined by the State of California standards. We are a district of over 34,000 students and 42 schools in a very diverse and education-oriented community.
Fremont Unified School District is a destination school district. Many people move to Fremont specifically for our high performing and safe schools.
Common Core was designed using high performing school districts, seeing what they had in common, and using many of these strategies to help all of the schools in the United States.

FUSD had already been using many of the strategies that Common Core incorporates.
In English, for example, Common Core calls for more non-fiction reading and the use of more relevant and concrete examples to support student essays and presentations.
In Math, Common Core shakes up what has been a traditional Math track for many students and exposes students to 'less breadth and more depth' in certain stages of math development.
One of Common Core's directives, is to have Algebra 1 taught as a 9th grade class. As a Board member, I have been supportive of offering waivers to students and parents who wish to continue the accelerated math offerings that FUSD has provided for many years.
Common Core has also allowed FUSD to receive about 6.6 million dollars in additional funding specifically dedicated to Common Core. FUSD has allocated these dollars in three equal pools of 2.2 million dollars each - Technology (and adding an additional 1.1 million dollars from our General Fund), Professional Development for our employees, and Materials.

Answer from Yang Shao:

Common Core requirements encourage FUSD students to develop more critical thinking skills as well as creativity. They also require students to be liberated from traditional standardized tests and engage in more dynamic tests which more truthfully reflect the overall performances of students in all the subjects. They also require students to be familiar with modern technologies since the tests are to be taken on computers.

? 2. What do you see as the most important task ahead of the district now that Measure E has passed?

Answer from Larry Sweeney:

The most important task of the district now that Measure E has passed is to make sure the bond dollars are implemented as intended by the voters. Using the 2002 Health and Safety Bond ($157,000,000 in which all projects were identified beforehand and all projects were completed and it came in on time and under budget!)as a guide, I will use my experience to keep the processes transparent, accountable and on track.
The Citizens' Bond Oversight Committee will be fully engaged and the two independent audits (financial and performance) will continue to provide tools for accountability and control.
I continue to support an open bidding process as well as procedures that give our district and public as much control as possible while keeping our projects on time and on budget.

Answer from Yang Shao:

The most important task ahead of the district now is to find out the most urgent projects in upgrading facilities and technology, and spend bond proceeds in a way that ensures accountability and transparency.

Answer from Moina Shaiq:

Most important task after measure E is, implementation of the projects and continued support for teacher training to strengthen common core teaching in the classroom.

Responses to questions asked of each candidate are reproduced as submitted to the League.  Candidates' statements are presented as submitted. References to opponents are not permitted.

The order of the candidates is random and changes daily. Candidates who did not respond are not listed on this page.

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Created: July 23, 2015 14:55 PDT
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