For more on the The Network for Public Education, see their website. Be sure to check out all of Professor Diane Ravitch's posts regarding educator Monica Ratliff for Los Angeles Unified School District Board of Education as well.
The Board of Directors of NPE has voted to endorse Monica Ratliff in her runoff election for Los Angeles school board. The election will happen on May 21st.
We asked both Ratliff and her opponent, Antonio Sanchez, to complete a detailed candidate questionnaire. Monica Ratliff’s responses revealed someone who is a working 5th grade teacher, well acquainted with the challenges faced by the schools of Los Angeles. Sanchez did not respond.
Ratliff understands that testing has gotten way out of control. She told us:
Teachers constantly check for understanding. LAUSD spends too much money on periodic assessments and other tests that waste money and, more importantly, precious instructional time. We need less purchased standardized testing. One standardized test at the end of the year is acceptable – depending upon its use.
She opposes merit pay based on test scores, and the sharing of student data without explicit parental permission.
Her opponent, Antonio Sanchez, has received the full backing of corporate reformers, including donations from New York mayor Michael Bloomberg, and billionaire Eli Broad. According to the Los Angeles Times, which endorsed Ratliff, Sanchez lacks educational expertise and his positions are unclear. He tends to speak in political platitudes about key issues rather than offering specifics.
Students of Los Angeles need school board members who are independent of the corporate reform machines. They need people who understand education issues in depth, and that is why we are endorsing Monica Ratliff.
NPE President Diane Ravitch endorsed Ratliff last week, writing:
Monica will be overwhelmingly outspent. She can win if friends of public education turn out to vote. She needs our help. If everyone who loves teachers sends Monica a gift of any size, she would be the best-funded candidate in the race. Send whatever you can afford.
It is of vital importance that we elect independent candidates like Ratliff. Please visit and donate what you can to her campaign here.