With Monica Ratliff giving up her seat on the Los Angeles school board to run for City Council, residents of the eastern San Fernando Valley have their pick of a half-dozen candidates to represent District 6.
The Los Angeles Unified School District faces many challenges. The United States’ second-largest school district needs leaders capable of honestly tackling budget problems and continued poor educational outcomes.
Kelly Gonez is the candidate best capable of intelligently navigating these challenges. Gonez, a math and science teacher at Crown Preparatory School, a STEM-focused charter middle school in Los Angeles, offers a perspective informed by direct educational experience and high-level policy experience. Gonez served as an education policy advisor in the Obama administration.
No other candidate in the race can boast this level of experience. Patty López, a former Assemblymember defeated for reelection in November, is an earnest advocate for her community, but her record doesn’t show competency in education policy. Community organizer Imelda Padilla is committed to labor issues but has only peripheral experience with education issues.
Gonez’s experience and insight are reflected in her nuanced takes on the issues.
Stressing the importance of community input in L.A. Unified’s decision-making process, Gonez acknowledged an apparent disconnect between the public and district leaders.
Noting that education is too often driven by special interests, she is critical of the “demonizing” of charter schools and instead focuses on what works for students and teachers alike.
Gonez is critical of online credit recovery programs implemented in recent years that have significantly boosted graduation rates; open to question is whether their use and design are meant to do anything more than inflate graduation rates.
Gonez noted the major budget challenges facing the district, and committed to having the difficult discussions necessary to address it. As LAUSD faces massive retirement liabilities, Gonez is a better fit than the union-backed Padilla.
Gonez offers an independent perspective that will serve students well, and she’s the editorial board’s pick for school board in District 6.
Our editors found this article on this site using Google and regenerated it for our readers.