I met Mark Eads pretty early in his tenure when he was new to town. He worked with me as we shaped some of our programs for Mission San Marcos and River Stone, and he was a great resource and a great encouragement. I know him to be a good man with a great heart for the kids. The district is better off now than it was four years ago, and Mark Eads deserves credit for that. I feel he has all the tools necessary to serve effectively in his role, and I hope he remains here for years to come.
Over the last two weeks, I weighed in on two important matters before the current board – the principal at Miller and the administration building. I was the only candidate to publicly articulate positions and my reasoning, because this is too important an election for voters to be left to wonder what the candidates will do if they are elected. We have tried that again and again as a community, and the results are a board that is as dysfunctional now as it was when I was in school here. Mark Eads’ position on Miller lined up with mine, but we differed on funding the administration building. I am sure if I am elected, there will be far more areas of agreement than there are areas of disagreement, but there will probably be both. That seems healthy to me, because everyone brings a different perspective to decisions and everyone has slightly different experiences that they draw on. Any board member who simply rubber-stamps the administration recommendations 100% of the time is not an effective trustee because they are not bringing an independent voice and perspective to important decisions. On the other end of the coin, any board member who constantly opposes the will of the superintendent is not an effective trustee, because they are not giving the administration what they need to be successful. For too long, our board members have fallen into camps as pro-superintendent or anti-superintendent which I find to be false, unhealthy tribes. I am an independent voice, and I think that is what is needed on the board.
This is not an election about the superintendent. This is an election about a second grader living in Rancho Vista or Redwood or another neighborhood that has about the same chance to graduate college ready than he has a risk to dropout. This is an election about a middle class kid whose parents went to college. Half her friends moved to nearby districts, and her SAT and ACT scores are lagging theirs. If she makes it to college, there is a 1 in 4 chance she will need remediation. This election is about those kids and a lot of others, and what kind of school district we want to be. Mark Eads and I both want to calm the headwinds these kids are facing in their education, but for things to change, the voters have to elect independent board members who are ready to make the tough choices necessary to put more money and focus on the classroom.