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Candidates Forum: Ed McCarthy

School Board candidates answer questions from Patch and Monrovia residents.

Patch asked each school board candidate the same questions via email for our online candidate's forum. A different candidate's answers will be posted every day over the next week. This is the seventh installment. Read . Read . Read . Read . Read . Read .

1. Please introduce yourself and tell us a little bit about your background and why you should be elected or reelected to the Monrovia Unified School District Board of Education.

I have volunteered and donated countless hours to various organizations of the schools. The knowledge and experience I have gained over the years from being a MUSD student and now a parent will serve to help bridge a gap between parents, teachers, students, and board members. In doing so this will bring our common goal to new heights. I believe when we all work as one we can achieve more.

2. What unique qualifications do you have to guide us through the ever tightening and shrinking budgets due to funding issues caused by the budget mess in Sacramento? (submitted by blogger )

I don't think anyone has a "unique" qualification to be a guide through the ever-existing budget issues, but for me determining the priority of where funds are most needed would be the first step. I'm a strong believer in assuring the students have adequate educational needs.

3. With limited funding, what are your priorities for educating our students? (submitted by reader Betty Sandford)

With funding being as limited as it is, priorities of educating depends on the child that is being educated. Every child has different needs and may have a different focus than another. Continuing to have various programs available for every child's needs is of high priority. Having a first class team of teachers, staff members and volunteers working together gives our children a higher advantage. I believe our children need to have every advantage possible to be able to achieve higher goals.

4. Do you think No Child Left Behind is working? If not, how do you intend to influence the State Board of Education on the option to opt-out of No Child Left Behind, as well as any other regulation of education that the teachers insist is holding kids back. (submitted by reader Danielle Elgin) 

I feel that the No Child Left Behind Act falls in the same category as the California State Lottery helping our schools. It doesn't work. Until teachers and parents set goals of the same priorities, we can not expect such an act to be successful.

5. What do you think of the test score trends in the district? Are state test scores an accurate measure of the performance of teachers and the school district?

Although our districts test scores have increased year to year, I do not believe the state test scores are an accurate measure of the knowledge that the students are gaining from the teachers. The test scores solely measures what the state believes a student "should" be gaining from our classes, not the entire aspect of the actual teachings, leaving our teachers and staff feeling that the district has "failed" our students when that is really not the case. A good education is not only about higher test scores, but what our students are learning as a whole.

6. Did you send your children to Monrovia schools? If so, what did you think of the education they received. If not, why not?

Not only did I send my children to Monrovia schools, myself, their mother, and four decades of my family have attended Monrovia schools. I believe the education we received from MUSD is what we put in it as parents. I am a proud Monrovia alumni, which is why this campaign is very important to me. I experienced first hand the type of education MUSD provides as a student and as a parent which is why this is very passionate to me.

7. Considering the reaction from some in the community to the rejection of Rent being performed at Monrovia High School, what moral responsibility does the superintendent and school board have in determining what students are exposed to? What principles would guide you in such decisions?  

I believe the moral responsibility more so would fall on parents rather than the school. This is a case of educators acting with caution as to what children should be exposed to. Though it is a common way of life for most and should not be discriminated against, it is an important issue in which everyone should come together as a whole discuss.

8. One issue the district has grappled with is how to manage community use of school facilities by outside groups like the Monrovia Youth Baseball League. How do you think this has been handled, and what, if anything, would you do differently? 

Such programs for our children are very important as far as development and extracurricular. These programs do a lot to motivate and provide confidence for our children. Being a volunteer for MYBL and various other programs for many years, I have witnessed first hand how these programs help our children mentally, physically and socially. I believe that such programs are a necessity to our community and our children and we should do whatever we can to assure that they continue.

9. Given the continued budget pressures, what has the current school board done well to navigate the district out of the crisis. What about their performance needs improvement? 

Given our continued budget pressures, I believe the school board has done the best to their abilities to prioritize the needs of every area.

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