Blogging Bayport Alameda

July 13, 2015

Filling the gap

Filed under: Alameda, School — Lauren Do @ 6:03 am

Shifting gears slightly back to the School Board.  The death of Niel Tam caused a vacancy on the School Board, much like what happened after Trish Spencer was elected the School District called for applicants interested in filling that seat.  This time around there are a lot less applications than before.  There are some familiar faces from the last round, familiar names from School related issues, and some new faces as well.

I have attached a “Blind Taste Test” of sorts so that, if you are interested, you can judge the answers of the applicants without knowing who they are.   Even though there are some indications of who the candidates may be, there is a chance for you to score the potential applicants to see who you would choose if you had to base your selection on their answers alone.

In this particular case given the circumstances around the necessity to fill this seat, personally, I think it’s most important to select someone who would embody and represent the principles and beliefs of the man who vacated the seat.  This, to me, is different than when Trish Spencer’s seat was vacated since she voluntarily chose to abandon her work on the School Board for the City Council.

I’m not sure, of the candidates, who would be the best person to fill Niel Tam’s seat, but I’m guessing that could be sorted out during the question period.


  1. If one is interested in reviewing the complete applications of the five candidates you can go here:

    Comment by Mike McMahon (@MikeMcMahonAUSD) — July 13, 2015 @ 10:21 am

  2. Lauren, see what happens when you don’t post anything about the Mayor?

    Comment by John P. senior liberal genius — July 13, 2015 @ 10:21 am

  3. School boards have been proven to be a needless bureaucracy. They actively hinder the abilities of our fine teachers by imposing “teach to the test” curriculums and asinine test-score-based performance reviews, ignoring the endless evidence that students do not learn or retain knowledge this way.

    I’m addition, school boards tend to be in league with the liberal semi-fascist unions which unfortunately ends up with a culture of greed over society. We should be phasing school boards out.

    Comment by Rodney — July 13, 2015 @ 10:40 am

  4. So let’s get to the real question- why do you think there are so many fewer applicants in just a few months? The previous applicants did not “move away.” Could it be that the convoluted process used by the Board, including the changing of the ranked voting rules, the questionable personal attacks on applicants and the obvious bias or disinterest of certain Board members have left the previous applicants less than enthusiastic for them to go through the process again?

    Comment by Breathless — July 13, 2015 @ 11:44 am

  5. “why do you think there are so many fewer applicants in just a few months?” Maybe they don’t want to be lampooned in this blog. BBA has A Harsh Blogmistress…

    Comment by vigi — July 13, 2015 @ 11:48 am

  6. why do you think there are so many fewer applicants in just a few months

    Lower profile vacancy, less press about need to fill the vacancy and probably general fatigue.

    Plus the voting process was all sorts of crazy.

    Comment by Lauren Do — July 13, 2015 @ 11:56 am

  7. Why school boards matter.

    Comment by Mike McMahon (@MikeMcMahonAUSD) — July 13, 2015 @ 1:09 pm

  8. Mike, you seem to have strong opinions on school boards but judging from your article I doubt that you have much experience with them. While I have never been to a school board meeting either (conflicts with “Tipsy Tecate Tuesdays”) I have, in point of fact, home schooled my children so I think I understand a bit better the administrative side of “the business”. And let me tell you: a business it is.

    I do appreciate your novel use of the .info TLD, however. While generally considered only useful for spam sites and questionably ethical businesses, a good dose of the ol’ lieberal nobama propaganda seems a good fit.

    Comment by Rodney — July 13, 2015 @ 1:46 pm

  9. ^ that is either some A-1 trolling or god help your kids w/ the education they must be getting.

    Comment by BMac — July 14, 2015 @ 2:40 am

  10. The more political school boards get, the less people want to send their kids to public school. Except for their power to levy a parcel tax, school boards could be virtually ignored by everyone who doesn’t participate in the public school system.

    Comment by vigi — July 14, 2015 @ 9:31 am

  11. 9: As far as I can tell, Rodney is having fun as a satirist, and I want to encourage him. I have my suspicions as to who it might be, but I am not going to worry about her/his identity (I presume “Rodney” could be another nom de plume, as many posters here hide behind them). It’s more fun to read satirical comments in which someone is just having fun… 😉

    Comment by Jon Spangler — July 14, 2015 @ 9:58 am

  12. The meeting for the making the appointment has been established:

    Board of Education Meeting

    July 22, 2015

    Closed Session: 5:30pm

    Public Meeting: 6:00pm

    Island High School

    500 Pacific Avenue

    Comment by Mike McMahon (@MikeMcMahonAUSD) — July 15, 2015 @ 11:02 am

  13. The subcommittee of two Board members met tonight to establish the process for Board members for selecting one of the five candidates. AUSD will be issuing a press release but here is what I recall from the meeting. There will be a random draw to determine the order the five candidates to be interviewed. Each candidate will have up to 20 minutes to interact with Board in a public process. After the five interviews, the public will be able to provide their input. After public comment, the Board will discuss among themselves what their impressions/preferences for a final candidate. At any point there appears to be consensus, there will be a motion to select a candidate. There are no plans for reducing the number of candidates either by writing candidate names down or ranked choice voting. If no consensus emerges, then the drama will begin. Without a Board appointment, a special election would be required.

    Comment by Mike McMahon (@MikeMcMahonAUSD) — July 15, 2015 @ 8:39 pm

  14. #13 Thanks, Mike. The press release about the process for selecting a new boardmember on July 22 is here:

    Comment by Susan Davis (Community Affairs, AUSD) — July 16, 2015 @ 1:38 pm

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