Praise for a Candidate That Questions the Status Quo

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Editor,

Tom Walsh (“May the Best Qualified Win,” Letters, Oct. 10) pronounces school board candidate Annette Gibson unqualified for sending her children to private religious school and living in Crystal Cove.  Yet, Gibson lives and pays taxes in our school district, and her home is closer to a public school than 80 percent of the homes in Laguna Beach.

Actively following curriculum and budget issues at the Orange County Board of Education inspired Gibson to serve families and kids in her own school district.  Ambushed by the notion her kids should be in public school for her to serve, and without a second thought, the good-natured Gibson replied, “I care about all the kids, not just my kids.”  All any unbiased person needs to know.

Walsh’s disdain for Gibson’s candidacy on mostly personal grounds is safe for him. His child is out of elementary school, not dependent for lifelong math and learning skills on a federal social engineering experiment. So what if our youngest children become guinea pigs profiled and tracked for life in government databanks, based on unproven common core content and testing methods?

No wonder Walsh supports candidate Carol Normandin, who insists questioning common core is reckless.  In contrast, Gibson knows common core is federal and state policy, but like many of us she is not afraid to question its merits, and opposes premature abandonment of traditional curriculum for unproven government dictated standards.

Uncritically embracing the latest trendy government education mandate is the reckless policy Ketta Brown and Normandin advocate. That puts profit and politics for the education industry first, not our most precious resource, our children.

Walsh deems Normandin qualified for being a fundraiser with business experience.  Oddly, he does not give equal respect to Gibson, the first high-achieving Hispanic business and professional woman to run for our school board.

At the candidate forum, Normandin promised business as usual.  Normandin is eager to be another surrogate educational bureaucrat, trying to mimic educational consultants paid to market core curriculum, instead of providing oversight based on our town’s core values.

Normandin droned on reading technical verbiage from prepared notes, while Ketta Brown proudly dropped a few technical terms gleaned from eight years on the board, praising programs making our kids more like kids in China!

Perhaps Gibson’s common sense and honesty can help make school fun and safe for our kids again.  Please think about it, before you vote.

Peter J. French, Laguna Beach

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