Select Rivera for county board of education
Monday, April 19, 2010
THERE WILL be one contested seat on the Alameda County Board of Education in the June 8 elections.
Jacki Fox Ruby, a trustee for District 1since 2002, is retiring. There are two candidates vying for the seat: Joaquin Rivera, 44, of Berkeley and Lois Corrin, 56, of Piedmont.
Area 1covers Albany, Berkeley, Emeryville, Piedmont, and portions of Oakland that include North Oakland and Chinatown/Central.
It would be hard to imagine a candidate more qualified than Rivera.
Rivera has a long track record as an educator and a school board member. He served 12years on the Berkeley school board, retiring in 2008. He has taught community college for 20 years. He currently teaches chemistry at Skyline College.
Rivera has served on the California School Board Association and other education committees at the state and county levels.
As a member of the Berkeley school board, Rivera helped implement that district's three-year fiscal recovery plan. He also helped implement a K-5 literacy plan credited with helping reduce the achievement gap for African American, Latino and low-income elementary school students.
The Alameda County Board of Education serves some of the most at-risk youth, including those in juvenile hall. We believe Rivera's hands-on experience working with this population would be an asset.
Rivera, who hails from a family of educators, is clearly passionate about public education. As a longtime board member and educator, he also understands the hard realities.
Most people would agree that educating our young people should be a top priority. Yet school districts statewide face serious funding cuts. Alameda County stands to lose 20 percent of its state allocation.
Meanwhile, most Californians oppose further funding for education.
Rivera says that if elected, he would explore ways that districts can join .forces on select programs, such as specialized teacher training to help free up moneys. We believe the longtime union organizer would also be a strong advocate for local schools in Sacramento.
Rivera is endorsed by the outgoing Ruby as well as Alameda County Superintendent Sheila Jordan.
Corrin, a longtime Piedmont resident, launched an unsuccessful bid for the seat in 2006 against Ruby.
Corrin's experience with public schools stems mostly from her experience helping a daughter with a learning disability navigate the Piedmont system. That is commendable given that her daughter went on to earn high marks and attend the University of California.
Yet Piedmont is hardly typical of the kinds of schools served by the Alameda County Board of Education.
In these challenging times, the Alameda County Board of Education needs someone with experience who can hit the ground running.
We endorse Joaquin Rivera for Alameda County Board of Education.