Submitted by Robert Grobe, Ph.D. and Deberie Gomez-Grobe, Ph.D.
We take this opportunity to urge you to choose the two school board candidates that we feel offer the best chance of insuring the continuing improvement and success of the Coronado Unified School District, Stacy Keszei and Mike Canada.
For well over 30 years, our own bosses were school boards as we worked in a few of our nation’s largest school districts, so we know what makes a great school board member. As Ph.Ds. in educational research, evaluation and statistics, we participated in some miraculous educational turn-around efforts, all based on the deepest foundations of teaching and learning techniques and sound curriculum. It is clear that both Mike Canada and Stacy Keszei understand, at a core level, the importance of staying focused on providing the best basic educational foundation for every student that will allow them to become the most productive future citizens possible.
While CUSD shows student achievement at levels above many other school Districts in California, these two candidates understand that the laudable 60% proficient in math and reading means that 40% of CUSD students are still not proficient in math and reading. As one of our own board-member bosses back in Dallas, Texas once said as we proudly presented increases in reading test scores, “Well, then why do I still keep finding children who can’t read?” California once had the best schools in the nation, but, beginning in the late 1960s and early 1970s, California has slid to the disgraceful bottom of the nation’s schools. Stacy Keszei believes that any changes in curriculum must be based on quantitative data analysis and that view is exactly correct based upon our own knowledge and research spanning education around the globe. Mike Canada understands that California’s “Common Core” has not brought California schools back to any acceptable level and may be doing more harm than good as an approach. As school board members, Stacy and Mike will support the work leading to the kinds of curriculum and teaching and learning standards that will benefit the students of CUSD.
As former educators, we understand how important it is to have a supportive school board that understands the underlying work. The near future will be replete with enormous financial challenge, but there are always opportunities for developing solutions and positive pathways to a better future. School district budgeting in California is mysterious to most people, but Mike Canada already understands how it works and the dilemmas faced by CUSD as it moves on the pathway to Basic Aid while surviving the short-term. Stacy Keszei is well grounded in fiscal discipline while advocating that the funds available must follow the children by providing appropriate resources to the teachers and administrators who need them. Both of these candidates understand that the time for making radical changes to curriculum that do not address the lack of achievement of academic goals is not during the emergence from a global pandemic when the very delivery system of education has been upended and has to be modified. Both candidates understand that these difficult financial times are not the time for spending money on outside “experts” who purport to provide a road map for changing the hearts, minds and behavior of our students, teachers, and parents.
We now have two granddaughters in Coronado who will one day attend CUSD if their parents have confidence in the district. We are both products of public education and worked in it all of our careers, but we, more than most, know that, without a great board of education and educational leadership in the school district, there are other choices for educating our little granddaughters. Please help CUSD by choosing Stacy Keszei and Mike Canada to fill the two vacant school board positions.
Robert Grobe, Ph.D.
Deberie Gomez-Grobe, Ph.D.