Three contested Los Angeles Unified School District board seats are up for a vote in the March 3 Los Angeles city primary election.
KPCC surveyed the candidates for their thoughts and priorities on key issues facing the district. Here are candidate Dr. Richard Vladovic's responses. (For information on other school board candidates as well as City Council candidates, visit KPCC's Los Angeles 2015 voter guide.)
1. What's the first issue you will tackle while in office?
As a School Board Member, I want to continue to advocate for education and students. The primary issue I will tackle will be student achievement in order to continue the improvements we’ve seen in test scores and the graduation rate. To help accomplish this objective, I will push for innovative solutions that enhance students’ learning experiences and ensure that our students are given safe and healthy schools.
2. What qualities will you look for in hiring the next superintendent?
The next Superintendent should be an individual who not only listens to the needs of our schools, teachers, students, and parents, but also demonstrates strength as a flexible and effective communicator that will lead for LAUSD. He/she must also be able to lead and see through the implementation of new programs in our schools, and educate parents and teachers about new opportunities.
3. Do you support charter school expansion?
Charter schools can be incubators for innovation in education, and can provide new teaching and learning techniques. I believe it is important that they are held to the same standards and meet the requirements public schools have to meet, and be accountable just the same. I believe in evaluating new charter schools on a case-by-case basis.
4. Do you support the iPad program?
I absolutely support the training and use of new technologies in the classroom so that our students have experience and thorough knowledge of the tools of the future. The way the iPad program was implemented and administered was extremely problematic and unacceptable, and the School Board is still working through the fallout of the program. We will continue to work closely with Interim Superintendent Cortines to adjust and implement the program in a responsible way.
5. What priorities would you like to see reflected in next year's budget? Please be as specific as possible.
I would like to continue working on the success we have seen during my time as a School Board member, and see more funding to implement innovative programs to broaden education. Students will continue to learn post-graduation, but it is essential that they be prepared for jobs of the future while in school. Therefore, it’s important that our students are educated on and have the technology necessary to expand their education. Equally important, we must continue to support and fund programs that encourage students to develop these technical skills, that will help to reduce dropout rates in the future. Our high school students should have the opportunities to take classes in the field of electronics, media, medicine, and other similar vocational areas. Additionally, we need to continue to provide a safe and healthy environment for our students. Our schools should always be environmentally clean and have safety guards to ensure the well-being of our students.