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LWV League of Women Voters of California Education Fund
Los Angeles County, CA March 3, 2015 Election
Smart Voter

Filiberto Gonzalez
Answers Questions

Candidate for
Board Member; Los Angeles Unified School District; District 3


The questions were prepared by the League of Women Voters of Los Angeles and asked of all candidates for this office.
Read the answers from all candidates (who have responded).

Questions & Answers

1. What is the single most important issue facing LAUSD today? As a Board Member, what would you do to deal with it?

LAUSD has been overcome by corrosive politics. While some of that has changed with the departure of the former superintendent, more needs to be done.

I am running, in part, because I believe the incumbent perpetuated this toxic environment as the former superintendent's number one supporter. It is time that LAUSD turn the page on the corrosive politics that have consumed it for far too long.

Replacing the incumbent won't fix everything. Far from it. I want to give students of Los Angeles a real fighting chance at competitiveness in the 21st century global economy with a school district that serves them first and that parents can believe in. In many ways, we are wasting taxpayer dollars, and worse yet, the formative years of generation after generation expecting the leagues of bureaucrats at LAUSD to change themselves. We can't wait for them to change. Instead, I believe we should begin the process of providing real local control by breaking LAUSD into smaller and manageable school districts.

2. What is the role of the Board, and what is the role of the Superintendent? How should they interact?

While the superintendent is essentially the District's CEO, the Board of Education is, in fact, the superintendent's boss.

The Board of Education is responsible for shaping education policy with directives to the superintendent that reflect their budget priorities. The superintendent is tasked with developing a budget based on the board's policies and priorities, and thereafter, implementing them.

In the wake of a serious child abuse scandal, an iPad scandal that has brought the FBI to LAUSD's door, and a complete breakdown of the District's student record system, the students and parents of LAUSD are in desperate need of a Board of Education that is ready to carry out robust and thorough oversight to help prevent similar disasters in the future. Indeed, school board members must, at all times, assume responsibility for the actions of school personnel, including the superintendent.

As a board member, I will fulfill the letter and spirit of the law by assuming my duties as the public's advocate, and not as an extension of the bureaucracy.

3. What are your criteria for an effective teacher evaluation plan?

The model put forth by the former superintendent was unproven and unnecessarily antagonistic. The new superintendent will have a chance to introduce a model that is far more inclusive to stakeholders. I would urge the superintendent to use the Peer Assistance & Review (PAR) model, which is currently used by the Long Beach and San Jose school districts. Its common characteristics include: a) a review panel with equal part teachers and administrators, b) a struggling teacher is assigned a mentor-teacher for a year to help with lesson plans and other aspects of professional development, and c) all parties reconvene after one year to review the teacher's progress and determine their outcome.

Responses to questions asked of each candidate are reproduced as submitted to the League.  Candidates' answers are presented as submitted.

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

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Created from information supplied by the candidate: January 9, 2015 18:06
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