S. Whittier board candidates say it’s time for a change

first_imgStys said part of the problem comes from restrictions in the No Child Left Behind Act. She said state officials are anticipating that by 2014, every district in the state will be in program improvement “because of the way the law is written. “We’re all working hard to work our way out of it, and we have some plans to do that,” Stys said. “But it takes time.” Tafoya, whose three children attend South Whittier schools, said he believes the board hasn’t been very responsive to the community. “The honest reason why I’m running is for my children, plain and simple,” Tafoya said. “I’m an average individual with education, and I have children who need my support. “And there are children in this community who need an advocate’s voice – and honestly, I haven’t seen any changes like that in the past few years.” The forum was organized by the Whittier League of Women Voters. [email protected] (562) 698-0955, Ext. 3051160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! SOUTH WHITTIER – With a new slew of administrators in place, the South Whittier School District is on the cusp of a new era, four school board candidates said Wednesday during a debate at Graves Middle School. Although only two seats are up for grabs in the Nov. 6 elections, all four board hopefuls told about 40 audience members at a candidates’ forum that they are the ones who should help usher in that change. The candidates are longtime incumbent Sharon Stys, 58, current board President Jan Baird, 54, and two challengers – parents Ivan Tafoya, 36, and Josue Alvarado, 26. They were quizzed by audience members on topics like the controversial No Child Left Behind Act, failing schools, top campaign contributors and combating gang activity. AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREChargers go winless in AFC West with season-ending loss in Kansas City“I know many of you think I have no experience under my belt, but the fact is I was very involved at Rio Hondo (College) in the three years I was there,” said Alvarado, who has sole custody of his 6-year-old son. “It’s through parent involvement that children’s learning is stimulated,” he said. “Most parents leave it to the mother, but as a father, I want my son to see how important it is to his father – it’s so important that I’m trying my best to make sure responsible decisions are being made not just for him, but the entire district.” Baird, who was appointed to her seat four years ago, said the hiring of new Superintendent Erich Kwek and a new team of administrators means the district is “ready to take action.” Of particular note is the fact that five of the district’s schools have been given a “program improvement” designation for failing to meet annual testing targets. “The fact that Graves (Middle) is in its fourth year of program improvement is a major concern for me,” Baird said. “But we’re deciding on a course of action and there are some drastic changes that could happen here that I believe will pull us out of this.” last_img

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