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Saturday, October 4, 2014

RULE Survey: Emery School Board Candidate Miguel Dwin

Residents United for a Livable Emeryville (RULE), a public community activist group that works for Emeryville resident empowerment, interviewed all four candidates running for the Emery School Board in the November 4th election.  Below, the Tattler presents the second in a four part series presenting the Emery School Board candidates participating in the RULE survey.  The four will be highlighted in alphabetical order, running every other day in the Tattler (or thereabouts).

Emery School Board Candidate Miguel Dwin

Miguel Dwin is currently an Emery School Board member, having served since 2005. This will be Mr Dwin's third time facing Emeryville voters.  The voters are to pick from three of the four candidates running.  Here are Miguel Dwin's answers to the RULE survey:

1) What is your view of charter schools? How should the District respond to any applications it might receive to create a charter school within District boundaries? 
I’m not a supporter of charter schools.  In my view charter schools are a way to eliminate unions, which are the support of teachers and all employees in the public school system, and for those charter schools which fail they are a misappropriation of public funds.  The District has denied all charter school applications.

2) What, in your view, is the primary mission of the District? 
The primary mission of the Emery Unified School District is to prepare every student for a post secondary education and to assist, support and develop all our teachers to the highest standards.

3) As an individual trustee, how would you want to interact with teachers? Would you want to meet with teachers as a group, individually, and if so, how frequently? Or would you primarily rely on the superintendent or public Board meetings to communicate with teachers? 
As a trustee I visit the two schools sites at less three times a year where I sit in classrooms and observe teacher’s instruction.  I have meant with both teachers and classified unions at times to address their concerns, and I’ll meet with teacher’s one on one.  I believe that the Board meetings are just another means for all employees and the public to communicate with the Board.  

4) What is the appropriate role of standardized tests? How would you use the scores? Should scores be used to evaluate the performance of administrators or teachers? 
Standardized testing is appropriate for assessing student’s comprehension of prior learned information, and that would be my use for administrating and assessing standardized testing.  I do not believe it’s the determination of a students learning aptitude with high quality teaching instruction.  I don’t believe that teachers should be evaluated on student testing performance, but I do believe that teachers should be supported by their district’s to help students prepare for standardized test.

5) In recent years the District has fired or reduced the hours of some staff in favor of outsourcing school services such as the breakfast and lunch programs. When is it appropriate to outsource an existing school service? What factors should guide these decisions? 
When the State of California has taken over a million dollars in funding away from the district within the past three years you have to find way to continue providing students with services and programs.  When the District finds itself in a fiscal crisis, in my opinion is when outsourcing can be considered a viable alternative to continue providing services and programs to students.

6) What role should a Trustee play in District fund-raising from businesses, non-profits, and grant-making institutions? 
One of the roles of a Trustee is Community Advocacy; therefore in my relationship building with others, if I am allowed to advocate for funds that will support student learning then will I fund raise. 

7) The District controls three properties. How should it allocate resources amongst these properties? Assuming the completion of the Emeryville Center of Community Life (ECCL) in 2016 and the use of the San Pablo Avenue site for K-12 instruction and administrative offices, what should the District do with the Anna Yates and Ralph Hawley sites? 
The Board has already determined that Ralph Hawley will be utilized for a Pre natal – Pre K center for Children ages 0 to 5 yrs. old.  There has been no determination for Anna Yates at this time. Personally, I would like to see the site used as a combined Higher Learning Center in partnership with Berkeley City College and Open Space for residence in the community.

8) Should Emeryville schools receive contributions directly, or should they be managed by a third party? 
Emery has its district’s contributions collected by the Emery Educational Foundation which is the correct way of receiving certain external contributions donated to a public school district, and the way most public schools receive such contributions through their Educational Foundation.  

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