Mike McMahon, Board of Education
Mike McMahon, Board of Education
Do you support passage of Measure I? Why or why not?
Yes, because our aging facilities need to modernized for 21st century learning environments.
If voters approve Measure I, how would you prioritize the projects it would fund?
Those projects that improve the classroom learning environment would be my first priority.
If voters reject Measure I, what if any facilities projects would you continue to seek to implement, and where would the money to pay for them come from?
Given the limited funds that would be available, only projects that keep our schools safe would receive funds.
If elected, you will be charged with hiring a new superintendent for Alameda Unified. What characteristics and experience do you think the ideal candidate should have?
An experienced, collaborative educational leader that knows Alameda.
The district’s recent demographic study found that Alameda Unified’s student population will grow by 1,000 students over the next decade. How do you think the district should accommodate these new pupils, and where will the money to pay for and new schools and/or services needed come from?
Measure I needs to pass to accommodate the projected growth for the next ten years. As for services, growing student population pays for itself.
How do you think the district should address parents’ desires for different types of learning environments?
Recent growth in student population shows that parents want choice. We need to continue to provide as much choice as possible.
Community members have expressed distrust in the school district. How will you help the district regain their trust?
As an individual board member, I can be trustworthy. Say what I mean and mean what I say and work hard to be an informed decision maker.
What strategies would you use as a board member to rebuild the relationship with Alameda’s teachers given the animosity between the teachers union and district leadership in recent years?
Beyond the obvious of securing sufficient and stable funding, maintaining open lines of communication will help.
As a board member, what would you do to address the discord that has existed between school board members and to help the board run more effectively? What experience do you have that would aid those efforts?
I can only be responsible for my actions. By being professional and respectful while focusing on building consensus for solutions that move the district forward is what I offer.
How would you collaborate with the city, and on what issues and/or projects?
Alameda is a water-centric community so working with the city on maintaining community access to swimming pools is crucial. In addition, with pending development partnering with the city to ensure developers pay their fair share to support any needed school facilities is important.
The district has seen high turnover of principals at schools. How would you support leadership development and staff retention?
By allowing teachers to develop as teacher leaders at their school site we can develop a strong pool of Alameda administrators.
What is your understanding of Common Core, and do you think it’s a positive step for education? Explain your answer.
Common Core is a sound concept but the devil in the details. The development, implementation and assessment of curriculum has been done poorly by state and federal policy makers. As a result, school districts have been left with the job of making it work. I will let you know in 10 years if it turns out to be a positive.