Monday, September 22, 2014

Interview with MTUESD School Board candidate Timothy Randall

Why are you running for MTUESD School Board?
As a parent, teacher, and former coach, I believe in the importance of our youth's education. I first ran for the school board because I thought I could help make a positive difference, and offer voters the opportunity to continue my efforts for another term.
What, do you feel, are your qualifications?
My activity within the community, my experience within the classroom as a teacher, and, not least, my years as a parent provide what I view as a broad and compassionate perspective in making decisions for our students' education.
What will you bring to the Board that you feel will make a difference?
A willingness to listen and not overreact, to help establish policy and not micromanage, and to recognize that I represent act as only one voice of the board.

What are your feelings on the common core teaching methods being utilized currently?
The CCSS represents one of the most dramatic as well as emotionally charged changes within our curriculum for generations. This poses challenges as well as concerns for parents, teachers, and, most importantly, the students. I believe this process must be appropriately supported and constantly monitored, and make sure students are not lost along this new pathway. We must be wary of becoming a system focused solely on state test scores.
What are your three overall priorities if you are elected?
Fiscal oversight, maintain proper staffing, and ensure seeking high standards.
Does our district have a Local Control and Accountability Plan? If so, please explain how this plan works.
The three-year MTUESD LCAP, which has been approved by the board last spring, will be reviewed annually with stakeholder input. Within the plan, we are required to focus attention and resources on students within the foster youth, EL, socio-economic disadvantaged, and disability subgroups by providing/increasing supplementary educational services. Many of these services can and will be made available for all other student subgroups. Another important component of our plan is providing the CCSS training and support for staff.
Do you support or oppose expanded public education to include preschool in our district?
Preparing our youngest students within an educational and social setting is an important opportunity, provided we do not receive yet additional unfunded mandates from the state or federal government.
Are you familiar with Vergara v California? What is your understanding of this case and what is your position on tenure?
We all want the best for our kids, and one cannot argue against the incalculable impact of effective staff members, especially teachers. I recognize the flaws within the tenure system for teachers; more time is needed to evaluate probationary teachers and removing ineffective staff should not be financially prohibitive. At the same time I will note the importance in avoiding a system where teachers are targeted for removal for reasons unrelated to their teaching, such as budgetary factors. The effects of the Vergara decision, which undoubtedly will be delayed by appeal, may still become the vehicle for legislators to make important changes on tenure/dismissal procedures for teachers.
At this time you may present a maximum 300 word statement.
I thank the community members of Copperopolis and Angels Camp for allowing me to represent you in prior terms as a MTUESD School Board member, and ask you to provide your support again this election.