Public schools remain a central part of civic life, the linchpin through which the middle class remains committed to the city. On June 5, Westside/Valley voters have the opportunity to bring fresh ideas to the board. I am endorsing Marlene Canter for District 4.
An experienced educator and a successful CEO, as well as a parent, Marlene understands that Los Angeles parents, teachers and administrators must act as one to reform and improve our schools. Over many years, her company designed programs for the training of teachers, especially in the difficult area of classroom performance and decorum. As a former special-education teacher, she brings up-to-the-minute understanding of teaching methodologies and student issues to the table. She understands that students learn in different styles and modes and is committed to bringing this understanding -- which is now commonplace in private schools -- to all of our children. She is committed to continued reform, especially to improving the all-important middle schools.
This school board runoff election is critically important to our community. More than 100 new schools must be built in the nation's second-largest school system. The travesty of students lacking textbooks and basic supplies must end. We must recruit new teachers, encourage parent participation and make sure that students throughout the city get the active support of administration. We must hold our schools to high standards. In short, we need to bring efficient management experience to our common problems. Marlene brings a well-modulated personal style, substantial business experience and a deep commitment to our neighborhoods and to these tasks.
Marlene Canter began this race as the outsider, but she has won the endorsement of virtually every Los Angeles area newspaper, including the Los Angeles Times, Daily News, LA Weekly and La Opinion. She is beholden to no group but is committed to the exploration of the most effective ideas to improving Los Angeles education. She will help bring change and mature leadership to an institution bogged down in politics and rhetoric.
Marlene Canter will be a thoughtful, responsible and responsive steward of Los Angeles' public schools. Our children and our communities deserve nothing less. I hope you will join me in supporting her candidacy; she will be a superb member and reform leader of our school board.