February 8, 2017
Endorsement: New voices needed on Los Angeles Unified school board: Lisa Alva, Nick Melvoin and Kelly Gonez
By: Times Editorial Board
District 6: Kelly Gonez
Among a pack of a half-dozen candidates, Gonez stands out as the one to replace Monica Ratliff in the district covering the eastern San Fernando Valley. A charter-school math and science teacher who also has worked for the U.S. Department of Education on matters concerning vulnerable students, she is well-versed in both classroom realities and big-picture policies.
Gonez correctly identifies key priorities for the school district: tackling the budget; building a strong cadre of magnet and other schools that keep families in the district, without demonizing charter schools; and lobbying heavily for proper funding for special education students.
She brings nuance to her positions: Tying students’ scores on standardized tests to teacher evaluations is the wrong policy, she rightly says, because there’s no evidence that it improves instruction or achievement. Raising graduation rates with last-minute cram courses degrades the value of a diploma.
In addition to being a strong new voice in her own right, Gonez would be good for the board as a whole. She’s a collaborative presence who might help cut through some of the endless debate with calm, informed reason.