This is an archive of a past election.
See for current information.

Smart Voter
Santa Clara County, CA November 7, 2000 Election
Governing Board Member; Mountain View School District

Candidates Answer Questions on the Issues

The questions were prepared by the Los Altos - Mountain View League of Women Voters and asked of all candidates for this office.

See below for questions on Top priorities

Click on a name for other candidate information.

1. How would you implement your top 3 priorities for the District? Please include specifics and how you plan to involve the school community.

Answer from Joseph S. "Joe" Kleitman:

RAISING ACADEMIC ACHIEVEMENT by increasing, not lowering, our district's academic standards and training teachers to achieve them. We must improve our GATE program and create new ways of meeting each student's learning potential.

VALUING AND RETAINING TEACHERS by increasing their pay to parity levels with other districts and working to help find housing for them through colaborations with other organizations.

BRINGING GOOD GOVERNING PRACTICES TO THE MVSD - No more back room policymaking. I will work towards bringing more friendly community participation to board meetings. I will insist the board adheres to spirit and the letter of ALL of California's sunshine and disclosure laws.

Answer from Carol L. Fisher:

My first priority - to have all MVSD students read, write and use math at or above their grade level - is actually supported by the implementation of my second and third priorities.

I believe that clearly defined processes and relevant data are the foundation for systematic improvement in any organization. A well defined process can be readily repeated. If it needs improvement, the steps needing work can be identified and changed. A process also defines the roles and responsibilities of the different people or groups participating in its implementation and can continue even when there are staffing changes. A well defined and documented process is also a powerful communication tool that allows the community to easily understand the steps taken and the players involved.

For example, at a MVSD community input meeting in August, a process for content standards development and review was presented for the first time. The process shows the steps taken by different groups to arrive at the content standards that are presented to the school board for adoption. At the end of the meeting, participants were asked to give feedback. Their feedback will be used to adjust the process so that it is even more effective the next time it is used.

Meaningful data gives us information we need to make informed decisions. Data also tells us how we are progressing toward our goals. Teachers in our district routinely use information on their students' performance to make adjustments in the classroom that will increase student learning. While we receive the results of student assessments, the school board has not yet taken the step to systematically use that data to assess the efficacy of district programs and direct changes as needed. With my involvement we will take this step.

While MVSD does communicate and work with the community, there is more we can do in this area. In the community input meeting on math content standards held in August, we received a tremendous amount of feedback from the participants. We look forward to future meetings with the community on specific topics. Another idea is for MVSD to hold neighborhood meetings like the City of Mountain View does. These would be open meetings where people can raise concerns, send praise, ask questions, and share what is on their minds. By defining processes, as I discussed earlier, we can identify ways to capture the community's voice in importance district decisions.

Answer from Russell W. "Russ" Wood:

- Open communication can be facilitated by holding more evening forums about specific topics of community interest on which the school board is required to make a decision. Listen carefully to input from the community in both formal and informal settings.

- Goals are set by the board with input from both the community and the administration, and then implemented by the administration. Evaluation of the effectiveness of these goals and their implementation is the responsibility of the board and should be taken very seriously. Outcome measures and data should be studied on an ongoing basis and "course corrections" made as necessary.

- When curriculum and policy decisions are made and implemented, consideration should be made to how they will affect all students in the district with particular attention being given to the broad cultural and socio-economic differences within our community.

Responses to questions asked of each candidate are reproduced as submitted to the League, but formatted for Web display. Limit your answers to an average of 100 words per question, with the total not to exceed 300 words for 3 questions. Please count your words. We use the same word counting rules as the Registrar of Voters, e.g. Los Altos is one word.

The order of the candidates is random and changes daily.

This Contest || Home (Ballot Lookup) || About Smart Voter || Feedback
Created: January 25, 2001 02:38
Smart Voter 2000 <>
Copyright © 2000 League of Women Voters of California Education Fund.
The League of Women Voters neither supports nor opposes candidates for public office or political parties.