Berkeley School Board Endorsements

School board candidate illustrations by Jason Lee.

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The biggest issues facing the Berkeley Unified School District are the achievement gap between minority and white students and the way the district is handling student race relations and criminal activity at Berkeley High School. In light of this, Joaquin Rivera and Sherri Morton are the best choice for a diversified and devoted school board.

Rivera, the incumbent, has proven himself both as a leader in education reform and a representative of Berkeley School Board ideals. Rivera's electric personality, paired with his knowledge of the issues facing schools as a community college chemistry teacher, are the perfect recipe for another term on the board.

During his tenure in office, Rivera has invested his time in reducing the achievment gap and focusing on an early literacy plan and plans to raise achievement expectations district-wide. With his background and experience, Rivera can take the Berkeley Unified School District to new levels of dedication to students and excellance.

Morton, who first got involved in the Berkeley school district as a parent concerned for her child's friend's welfare, is a parent first and foremost, having a child at each level in Berkeley schools. Her dedication to improving education at the core through her focus on parental involvement, accountability and diversity training are sincere and appreciated. Although Morton's biggest selling point is the diversity she would bring to the board, we advise her against concentrating all of her energy on district matters revolving around race. Berkeley schools have many obstacles to overcome, not all of which revolve around race relations

John Selawsky, although an active participant in the school district, would be more of an activist on the board than a parent. We would not be upset, however, if Selawsky was elected instead of one of these two candidates. In fact, of all the city races, the most impressive candidates are running for school board.

Murray Powers has not attended a single forum debate, and thus should not be considered a serious candidate for school board.


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