Riverdale School District 51J Position 1
Special districts in Oregon are formed to govern specific resources. Examples are people’s utility districts, library districts, sewer districts, irrigation districts, ports and cemetery districts. Some districts get revenue only from taxes. Others, such as water districts, get revenue from ratepayers. Others may combine the two sources. Each district is governed by a board of directors which is responsible for the operation of the district and its financial accountability. ( https://www.oregonlaws.org/ors/198.010 ) Qualifications: Candidate must be a registered voter and a resident of the district for 1 year. Employees of the district are not eligible unless employed as a substitute driver. ORS 332.016 and 332.018(2)Salary: A member of the governing body of a district may receive an amount not to exceed $50 for each day or portion thereof as compensation for services performed as a member of the governing body. Such compensation shall not be deemed lucrative. The governing body may provide for reimbursement of a member for actual and reasonable traveling and other expenses necessarily incurred by a member in performing official duties. [1971 c.403 §2; 1983 c.327 §2; 1983 c.740 §53a; 1989 c.517 §1; 1995 c.79 §74] In event of Vacancy: Except as otherwise provided by law, a vacancy in an elected office in the membership of the governing body of a district shall be filled by appointment by a majority of the remaining members of the governing body. If a majority of the membership of the governing body is vacant or if a majority cannot agree, the vacancies shall be filled promptly by the county court of the county in which the administrative office of the district is located. [ORS 198.320]
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Even before COVID and the transition to online learning, school districts struggled with disparities in academic achievement. Educators fear even greater gaps upon their return to classrooms. What strategies will you consider to address these increased disparities?
COVID has shown us the importance of family support in facilitating students’ education. How will you build on this understanding to increase the role of parents in decision making and promote parental involvement in schools?
What is the impact of the pandemic on school budgets and spending priorities? How do you propose meeting these new challenges?
Los distritos escolares ya tenían dificultades con las disparidades en el desempeño académico, inclusive antes del COVID y de la transición al aprendizaje por internet. Los educadores temen que aparezcan vacíos aún mayores cuando el estudiantado vuelva a los salones de clase. ¿Qué estrategias considerará usted para enfrentar el aumento de estas dificultades?
El COVID nos ha mostrado la importancia del apoyo de las familias para facilitar la educación de los estudiantes. ¿Cómo utilizará este hecho para ampliar la función de los padres en la toma de decisiones y promover la participación de los padres de familia en las escuelas?
¿Cuál es el impacto de la pandemia en los presupuestos escolares y en las prioridades de gasto? ¿Qué propone usted para enfrentar estos nuevos desafíos?
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Occupational Background: Economics professor/researcher/instructor (Carnegie Mellon University, University of Southern California, California Institute of Technology, University of Michigan); Senior Economist (RAND Corporation); Director of Statistics (Philadelphia Eagles); Senior Director (Resolution Economics); Economics/Analytics Consultant (Sole Proprietor)
Educational Background: University of Virginia, B.A., Economics; University of Wisconsin-Madison, Ph.D., Economics
The pandemic has highlighted and exacerbated many challenges facing our educators and school districts. We must make it a high priority to reduce disparities in educational opportunities, but some disparities in achievement will remain despite our best efforts.
We should focus on learning and growth, with respect to both academic and social-emotional learning. We should target those students most adversely affected by the pandemic, but not to the exclusion of those kids who show less “learning loss.” As I have found in my own work, adversely affected students may be found anywhere across the spectrum of academic achievement.
To most effectively address these issues, we need to learn where kids are when they return to school, identify strategies to get them back to where they would have been (and beyond!) but for the pandemic, give our teachers and families the resources to get them there, and track student progress and update our educational strategies over the months and years ahead.
For too long, our School Board has appeared unwilling to involve parents in decision making, or to even attempt to be upfront and transparent about decisions that were being made. With new members on the School Board, this approach will change for the better. We will not always get it right, but we’ll do our best to be clear about what we’re doing and why, and to acknowledge our mistakes and rectify them.
After a tumultuous year, we need to start the healing process and bring our community together. I join the call from candidates Allison Williams and Michele Rosenbaum to form advisory committees to which the Board will look for information and guidance. The School Board should welcome opportunities for community members to bring valuable input to our decision-making process, and parents should make sure to focus on constructive participation recognizing our shared interest in improving the education of our kids.
I believe that Riverdale has the resources we need to respond to the challenge.
What we have lacked is the willingness and the vision to take it on in full force.
We need to identify what we want to be and then determine what we need to do to get there.
Vision, clarity, and determination.
I have no doubt that we can do it.
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