La Prensa San Diego
It was billed as a mayoral debate on education, where the four candidates for mayor, Bob Filner, Bonnie Dumanis, Carol DeMaio, and Nathan Fletcher for an hour and a half shared their knowledge and vision on education held at the University of San Diego.
Education is one of the most important issues to voters and where the next mayor stands on education is equally important. And, in today’s world where mayors are taking a proactive stance when it comes to the running of school districts, Los Angeles Mayor Villagrosa wants to take over the LA Unified School District, for example, it has become increasingly important to know where these candidates stand on the issue of education. At present the mayor of San Diego has no say in the running of the school district. They do play a role in providing support.
After the debate one thing was abundantly clear we are glad that none of these candidates will be in charge of educating our children!
In general, while Congressman Bob Filner was in tune and understanding of the plight of the teachers, supporting Gov. Brown’s tax proposal for more money for education for example. It should be noted he, as the lone Democratic candidate, has the support of the teacher’s union. At the same time though he was not familiar with the recently passed Parent Trigger law which had to be explained to him by Nathan Fletcher. Fletcher, now an Independent candidate, has for months now been on a listening tour discussing education with the community. While Fletcher was well versed in education he didn’t offer anything new and relied on one example, one school, as a model for education which he often referred to.
At the other end of the spectrum was the Republican perspective provided by Carl DeMaio who repeatedly touted his pension reform plan as the model for city schools and a total deconstruction of the way education is run now with a school district modeled after charter schools which he cited as an unqualified success. Unfortunately the moderator failed to follow up on this hyperbole about charter schools. DeMaio pretty much followed the Republican blue-print for education.
While DeMaio was following the Republican plan, candidate Bonnie Dumanis was following the plan put forth by the San Diegans 4 Greater Schools who tried to qualify a ballot initiative that would allow for five elected school board members and four board members appointed by the mayor. Dumanis went a step further and said that she would have the schools fixed in her first term of office. Clearly she has no concept of what it takes to “fix” the school district.
While we could go on and discuss the merits of the candidates’ vision for education, the one area where all the candidates failed their test was when it came to the question of educating Hispanic and Black children…