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Voter Guide

Los Angeles LAUSD Board of Education, District 6

The outcome of Tuesday's election has huge implications for L.A. schools. Three of the current seven board members oppose much of the current Superintendent John Deasy's agenda. Monica Ratliff could be a fourth — and that would have an effect on classroom policies.Ratliff began practicing law in 1997. Nearly a decade later she changed careers, becoming a public school teacher. She serves as a union official for her school and a representative in UTLA's large policy-making body. Along with rehiring teachers who lost their jobs due to years of cutbacks, the union wants to reduce class sizes and improve the way teachers are evaluated.Political newcomer Antonio Sanchez supports many of the policies Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa and Deasy enacted in the past several years. That includes greater support for charter schools and using student test scores to evaluate teachers. The Coalition for School Reform, a charter-friendly PAC created by Villaraigosa, has raised money from wealthy donors in Los Angeles and across the country to influence the race. New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg has given $350,000 over the last few weeks. Recent stories: * LA Unified candidates square off on AirTalk* Money contines to pours, unevenly, into LA Unified school board race* Sanchez Supports Classroom Breakfast & Teacher Dismissal Initiatives
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    Monica Ratliff Fifth Grade Teacher

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    Antonio Sanchez

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Biographical Information

How do you feel about tying test scores to teacher evaluations?

How can schools prepare kids for a technology-based, entrepreneurial economy?

What experiences qualify you for this position?

Campaign Phone (818) 925-5797
Age 44
City Sunland
The recent decision by the judge in Doe v. Deasy required that, per the Stull Act, some measurable student progress as related to CSTs be included in teacher evaluations. The judge's ruling led to the recent tentative agreement between the teachers union and the district. As a teacher, I look at my annual CST scores to see my specific areas of strength and weakness and encourage other teachers to do the same. The district must encourage teachers to be open about their strengths and weaknesses and provide support to help teachers address their weaknesses and continue to bolster their strengths. The current tentative agreement's focus on AGT does not specifically tell teachers what they need to work on nor does it provide specific guidance and support for teachers. Without such honest assessments and support, teachers might be tempted to simply teach to the test.
Local school sites must have technology that is accessible to students. My school has a mobile laptop cart that teachers check out and use with their class. Currently, there are benefits to the school-ownership of devices: 1) the devices are connected to the school's internet which allows access and safety barriers to inappropriate usage and 2) a teacher is guiding a lesson and monitoring usage as well. Prior to purchase, LAUSD should do more research, planning, and public comment regarding the proposal to provide every student with a tablet. The public deserves to know if the district will be phasing out hardbound textbooks and saving money on textbook purchases. What is the timeframe and expected savings? How will the district ensure that district-provided technology is not used inappropriately or to cyberbully others? How will the district ensure equitable wireless access to families currently without wireless access. All students deserve equal access to learning.
I have a proven track record of success as a teacher in a thriving public school near the garment district. The LA Times has ranked me one of the most effective language arts teachers and a more effective teacher than avg. in math. When I first started at my school, the school's API score was in the 600s - not very good. This year, our API was 814. We're aiming higher. I have been on the school's Site Council dealing with the school's budget and the Leadership Council dealing with the school's culture. I have seen firsthand what it takes to make a classroom and school successful. None of the other candidates can say that they are classroom teachers. Nor do they have that experience of success. I have a JD from Columbia Law School (New York), am licensed by the CA. State Bar, and provided legal services to those with limited incomes prior to deciding to attack poverty through education. I have a Master's of Ed. from UCLA. Finally, I'm not beholden to special interest groups.
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