I attended a "Meet the Candidates" forum for candidates for Palo Alto School Board on Friday, October 26 at the Palo Alto YMCA. The event was co-sponsored by the Parents' Club of Palo Alto & Menlo Park, PACE, and The Silicon Valley Moms Blog.
Board Candidates Melissa Baten Caswell, Wynn Hausser, Claude Ezran, Camille Townsend, Barbara Klausner and Ping Yu Liu were on hand to answer questions. The moderator posed questions to two candidates at a time from a list submitted by community members prior to the event. Individuals in attendance were given index cards to write new questions and submit them.
Here are some of the questions and answers:
What is Board's job in setting Core Curriculum?
Wynn: I think the people best equipped to do that are teachers and educators, not the board. Bd should not get down to the details, but set the goals, standards. The board should decide the issues on a policy basis. For example, what do we need for foreign language: core curriculum or elective? Whichever we choose will determine how we plan for that. Implementation should be left to educators, but the policy is for the board to determine.
Ping Yu: The board has a responsibility to monitor core curriculum, since it is required by law. The Superintendent should report on how he implements the core curriculum to the board. We have to ensure that we are meeting the minimum requirements.