Criticism of Curriculum Hits Home

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Editor:

Thanks for informing readers about debate on Common Core mandates for local school curriculum.

Curriculum, school finances, personnel policy, community relations, these are the issues that matter. Still, after your article some asked why I am running for school board when my kids attend private school. I even was asked if I can serve when I don’t live inside the old municipal boundaries.

Of course, our school board voted decades ago to include areas outside the historic township in the Laguna Beach Unified School District.  We live in the Crystal Cove neighborhood served by LBUSD, pay property taxes that fund local schools, and I am on the ballot because I am qualified and want to serve our public school community.

More importantly, attending public schools from K through college, working after school from my early teens to pay my way, was the path to a life of dreams that came true. I am running for school board because I love and care about all our kids, and want them to have the same public school opportunities we did.

There is no American tradition more vital to freedom than choice in education. President Obama went to the most exclusive private schools; so did President Kennedy. Private religious school for our children was a private choice that we hope can be respected in this campaign.

I want this election to be about what is best for our public schools, which should be as good or better than any private school.  I want this to be about issues and leadership.

I am not a one-issue candidate, but there is no issue in education more vital than curriculum. So I am humbled and honored so many parents and teachers have thanked me for making it safe to finally talk openly about Common Core and other issues.

We do not and should not need to agree on every issue. But we do need new leadership on the school board that makes our deliberative process open and safe for parents, teachers and most of all students, to participate and question school board policies.

No school board member ever should complain it’s a “thankless job.”  If you feel like that, let those of us thankful to serve find a better way.

Change for the better is how we put kids first.

 

Annette Gibson, Newport Beach

The author is a candidate for school board in Laguna Beach.

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