Blogging Bayport Alameda

October 13, 2021

Bending toward justice

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

Last night the School Board dispensed with the business of filling Mia Bonta’s vacated seat in very short time. I mean, it was short after the super long question and answer period which went seven rounds and, honestly, because of the strength of the candidates and the alignment of the candidates on nearly all of the issues that came up during the Q & A session the answers ended up sounding pretty much the same.

There was one super interesting question about math in AUSD and was answered by, I believe, the former Lincoln Middle School teacher applicant but I was only listening to the feed and not actively watching so I could be mistaken. If you didn’t know AUSD has real problems with math in the Algebra and beyond state. I could write reams about this which I may eventually end up doing. But that was the premise of the question. The answer, which I found interesting, discussed what the Oakland Unified School District is doing around math which includes a complete reorientation of how math is broken up from Algebra and beyond to really help demonstrate mastery of the subject by, I think the term was “looping” it was some sort of circle reference, so that students were touching on the same subjects over and over with increasing difficulty and rigor year after year. There was an abandonment of the traditional trajectory of Algebra, Geometry, Pre-Calc, Calculus and instead it was all just varying difficulties of math. It was definitely an interesting way of engineering math for mastery rather than just plowing students through math and having the majority of them hate the experience.

But I digress.

After a really powerful withdrawal from the process by applicant Ryan LaLonde, asking the School Board to right the wrongs of the past and appoint Dr. Ardella Dailey to the seat, the School Board did exactly that:

I’ve written about the benefits of appointing someone who has been at the highest levels of administration and has been on the School Board as well, but additionally, for prospective candidates Dr. Dailey’s appointment means that the field becomes level when November 2022 comes around. No one will come in with an unfair advantage of name recognition and everyone will need to do their own ground work to build their coalition for election.


  1. Katie DeVries is the teacher with that excellent response about math. Her students are lucky to have her, and I hope she’s heeded by the district.

    Comment by Gaylon Parsons — October 13, 2021 @ 7:00 am

  2. Great job AUSD Board members in selecting Ardella. So much experience, and not just talking schools, we can benefit from her being on our School Board.

    Ryan’s statement can be found online. Inspiring to see someone put the community ahead of self interest. How can one respect Ryan even more?

    Comment by Ron Mooney — October 13, 2021 @ 9:03 am

    • I hope Ryan will consider running for the board in 2022. He’s already the PTAC president. Very few people understand the district and the needs of the most vulnerable students better than him. What he demonstrated last night, the pure selflessness, shows why he’d make a great board member.

      Comment by JRB — October 13, 2021 @ 9:19 am

  3. Really glad to see Dr. Ardella Dailey get the respect she deserves. It took me a long time process what happened to Dr. Dailey, but this helps. Thanks to the AUSD Board members, and to Ryan LaLonde for making this right.

    Comment by Karen Bey — October 13, 2021 @ 11:40 am

  4. Yes it was Katie De Vries who gave the informed answer about math. Ironically she is a Spanish teacher.. But it is not OUSD who teaches math this way – her son does not go to an OUSD school. When I moved to the US and found out the higher level math was taught like it is I was dumbfounded. It’s bizarre. People keep tinkering but it’s not working for a lot of students. The way Katie described it is how I was taught math. Each year builds on each other across all the different topics. Maybe she will get elected and start a movement – or maybe the movement can be started now 😉

    Comment by saraholaes1 — October 13, 2021 @ 5:13 pm

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