Viewpoint - November 2, 2011

Letter: Disagrees with Almanac endorsement

I am disappointed and confused by your endorsements for the Sequoia Union High School District's Board of Trustees.

In my opinion, this is the one race where voting for the incumbent is crucial. At a time when school budgets are being cut and the district facing so many unknowns, I find it inconceivable that you would advocate for an inexperienced board to oversee the education of 8,000 high school students with wildly diverse backgrounds and needs.

Olivia Martinez and Lorraine Rumely have worked for 12 years with much success to improve the quality of education for all students in our district. I think most of us who have any long-term connection with the public high schools have seen that many positive changes have occurred since the late 1990s. That includes bringing the diverse student bodies together in key classes, Challenge Days, and through outreach in Spanish to the Hispanic community.

To use the achievement gap as the only issue is shortsighted and ignores many other issues facing our district. To blame the lack of closing the gap on the current trustees ignores the progress made as well as the fact that the top two indicators of educational success are poverty and the parental education level.

Doesn't experience and proven effective leadership count? Don't we owe it to all of our students to provide that experience?

Linda Scharninghausen, Sherman Avenue, Menlo Park


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