October 27, 2006

Editorial:

Alvarado, Campbell, and Romo for National School District Board

The National School District is responsible for the education of young students from kindergarten through sixth grade in National City. Providing a solid educational base for these young students represents the best chance these young people have in improving their lives and creating positive changes in their community. The responsibility and goal of all the candidates wishing to serve on the National School District Board should be to provide the best learning experience possible for these students, based on their experience, education, and passion for the position.

There are three open seats this election with six candidates running. The top three vote getters will fill those seats. The candidates are Rosalie “Rosie” Alvarado, incumbent, Anne L. Campbell, incumbent, Alma Sarmiento Graham, Toni Romo, Barbara Avalos, and Brian Clapper.

We are troubled by the candidacy of Barbara Avalos for school board, and in particular her non-chalant attitude in regards to the best education for your young children which was reflected in a recent interview where she stated that the school district is doing fine and “I don’t think we need an improvement on anything. But once I get in there, I can read up on everything.”

We are saddened to see that Ms Avalos has chosen to run for such an important seat on what we feel is totally based on her local popularity, as if this is being good enough to provide educational leadership and direction for our young learners. We doubt if she understands the “No Child Left Behind” legislation, knows what the State Standards are, the difference between whole language learning, reading first, what it takes to teach limited English learners, or the names of the principals at the schools.

We are unaware of any involvement Ms Avalos has had with the public schools in the last 30 years, we doubt if she has ever volunteered at a local school, served on a PTA, or served on a school site council. As far as we know she has never attended a school board meeting as a concerned resident of the city.

Ms Avalos is woefully unqualified to serve on the school board. We think she is patronizing of the National City voters. Sometimes elections are nothing more than a popularity contest and Ms Avalos may indeed win one of the three seats, she would be depraving someone who has a passion, desire, and an understanding of the educational process from serving on the school board.

Rosalie “Rosie” Alvarado, 72, is one of the two incumbents running for re-election. She is the current board president and has served on the board for 12 years. Ms Alvarado’s primary concerns are the test scores of the students, the children’s health and welfare, and dealing with the declining enrollment numbers. Recently Ms Alvarado has taken a leadership role in bringing about the discussion on unifying the school district to make a National City school district of Kindergarten through the12th grade, making the unified school district accountable to National City residents. What has dismayed her most has been the transition of their sixth grade students (who have tested well) to Sweetwater, where student test scores have declined.

Anne Campbell, 58, is a 19 year member of the National School District and is also city Librarian at National City Public Library. Ms Campbell has a strong educational background with a clear understanding of what it takes to succeed in education. Her experience and educational background is needed on the school board. Ms Campbell favors the idea of discussing the opportunities of school unification in National City.

Toni Romo, 38, has volunteered in the district for the past 8 years and appears to have an understanding of what it takes to improve the education of students and believes that communication is the key to understanding. She appears to best represent a voice for the voters and parents of the students. She also received the teacher’s Union support. At this time she does not support the concept of a unified school district.

We recommend that the voters of National City elect:

Rosie Alvarado, Anne Campbell, and Toni Romo

To the National School District Board.

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