This is an archive of a past election.
See for current information.
LWV League of Women Voters of California Education Fund
Los Angeles County, CA March 3, 2015 Election
Smart Voter

Ankur Patel
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?

The single most important issue facing LAUSD is the fact that not enough resources are getting to where they need to be -- the classroom. This is due to a combination of top-down governance, a lack of accountability, and insider politics.

Currently, the LAUSD budget is complicated and not transparent. As a Board Member I will make the budget more accessible and searchable, similar to what Control Panel LA has done for Los Angeles City.

Being able to follow the money easily will allow us to cut wasteful spending and direct those resources to directly benefit students.

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

The School Board is the elected body responsible for making sure we have high-quality public education in Los Angeles. Primarily, the Board's role centers around approving the budget, setting policy directives, and hiring the Superintendent. I also feel that each Board Member should have a relationship with each school in their respective district and be able to help address problems as they come up.

The Superintendent is responsible for running the day-to-day operations of the LAUSD including many important personnel decisions. The Superintendent should be able to manage the many levels of bureaucracy, facilitate communication between different divisions of the District, and be responsive to the needs of all district staff.

The Board and the Superintendent need to have a strong working relationship based on respect and a focus on doing what is necessary to make sure that our schools are running smoothly.

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

I want to include meaningful student input in teacher evaluations. Students spend tremendous time with their teacher and are in the best position to evaluate the effectiveness of their teacher. Intelligent and pointed questions need to be asked of the students, but it is a missed opportunity not to get some input from students in a systematic way on their teacher's effectiveness.

Assessments parents, peers, and supervisors (Principals) can also be an important part of the evaluation process. Having taken many standardized tests during my tenure as a student at LAUSD, in hindsight I can see that from class to class, subject to subject, grade to grade, there are significant differences that are difficult if not impossible to account for. How are Special Education Teachers going to be evaluated on the result of standardized tests? Even though I feel that standardized tests can be useful tools for measuring student capability and progress, tying a teacher's evaluation to a test can take focus away from developing critical thinking skills.

Again, I think that including some meaningful input from students on the quality of their teacher is a simple yet big idea that can change how we look at evaluating teachers.

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).

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

Created from information supplied by the candidate: February 12, 2015 18:25
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.