This is an archive of a past election.
See for current information.
LWV League of Women Voters of California Education Fund
Alameda County, CA November 4, 2014 Election
Smart Voter

John Affeldt
Answers Questions

Candidate for
Board Member; Emery Unified School District


The questions were prepared by the LWV Berkeley/Albany/Emeryville and asked of all candidates for this office.
Read the answers from all candidates (who have responded).

Questions & Answers

1. The new Local Control Funding Formula moved many decisions about allocating funding from the state to the local school boards; how well has the District followed the spirit of the Formula in identifying what our children need? Would you change anything in the process of developing the Local Control (LCAP) budget for next year?

In my day job directing Public Advocates education program, I have been a key advocate working with the Brown Administration and the State Board of Education around the state's new Local Control Funding Formula (LCFF) on behalf of low-income communities. In this role, I have helped to ensure the new laws require additional funding and new services for low-income students and English learners and greatly enhanced community engagement and transparency requirements when it comes to shaping districts' local educational programs. Locally, I have worked to help the district comply with the new LCFF law, including its requirement that additional funding and services be directed to our neediest students, that we be transparent in how we are spending funds, and that teachers, parents and students be active participants in designing the district's educational program. The students recognized our district as a model for how to engage students in the LCFF process at a press conference in June and again in testimony before the State Board of Education in July. I supported parents input into our LCFF plan by making sure the Anna Yates School Site Council was informed of the new law and that its input was considered by the superintendent and the Board. I have examined dozens of LCAPs from districts around the state as part of my job enforcing LCFF. I believe, overall, our District did one of the best jobs around in this first year of implementation. That said, I think we, like other districts, need to do an even better job engaging community stakeholders in the LCAP development process, including with respect to setting the metrics for how we want to measure our progress on state priorities and helping to decide how ambitious we should be in the goal-setting.

2. How well has the District done in introducing the Common Core standards and methods in classes K-12? What improvements would you recommend or do you anticipate for the coming year?

I think prior to this year, the District has done only an average job implementing the Common Core standards. We have relied largely on the County Office of Education's professional development and waited for publishers to publish better Common Core aligned textbooks. I have not been satisfied with this pace of implementation for our students. I have been pleased with our enhanced Common Core implementation this year. Our new superintendent, Dr. John Rubio, has a great deal of expertise in curriculum and instruction. He has significantly ramped up our Common Core professional development with new trainers and additional days of training. I am in full support of continuing these efforts. Dr. Rubio started the year with a few voluntary days of Common Core professional development for our teachers. Nearly all teachers took advantage of this opportunity and responded very positively to the training. Dr. Rubio and the teachers' union have further agreed to add five additional Common Core training days to the academic calendar. The first three of these will take place October 7, 8, and 9; the other two will follow later in the year. Finally, Dr. Rubio has worked with teachers around adopting a new Common Core math curriculum--Eureka math. Dr. Rubio brought this curriculum to his last district and garnered support from all the teachers for its adoption. He has done the same already with our teachers here. Eureka math is a curriculum developed by teachers in New York; it appears to be one of the only, if not the only, comprehensive Common Core-aligned math curriculum in the country. I look forward to the District continuing and expanding these efforts, including in our approach to teaching English Language Arts and the new Next Generation Science Standards (which is the next set of Common Core standards coming down the policy pipeline).

3. Is early childhood education being well implemented in the District? What would you recommend in this area?

The City runs a fairly good preschool at the Emeryville Child Development Center. This is a unique enterprise for a city to undertake, and I remain grateful for ECDC's presence. My son attended ECDC and it helped prepare him for entering Anna Yates as a kindergartner. The District also houses a very good HeadStart program at our Ralph Hawley campus which is run by the YMCA. Together these two programs offer some very good early childhood education opportunities for our community. Ideally, both programs will serve as easy pipelines to enrolling young children in Anna Yates prepared and ready to learn. To that effect, we adopted a Board policy this year that makes it easier for graduates of these two programs to enter Anna Yates if they are not Emeryville residents. The District, the City, and the YMCA need to continue such work on improving the integration of these programs with Anna Yates.

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.

Read the answers from all candidates (who have responded).

Candidate Page || Feedback to Candidate || This Contest
SmartVoter Home (Ballot Lookup) || About Smart Voter

Created from information supplied by the candidate: November 3, 2014 13:59
Smart Voter <>
Copyright © League of Women Voters of California Education Fund
The League of Women Voters neither supports nor opposes candidates for public office or political parties.