Wednesday, November 28, 2012

BUSD Superintendent Search

One of the BUSD school board's most pressing responsibilities this year is to find a strong superintendent for our district. We need an instructional leader who can bring our community together, build on the progress that's been made and make rapid progress to closing the achievement gap and reaching our 2020 vision.

Judy Appel 
Judy Appel, the newest member to be elected to our school board, is the Executive Director of Our Family Coalition, which "promotes the equality and well-being of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer families with children."

In their Fall 2012 newsletter, the Director's note addressed the recent final candidate for Berkeley's superintendent, Dr. Edmond Heatley, who subsequently withdrew his application after an uproar from the Berkeley community.  When serving as the Superintendent of Chino Valley School District, Dr. Heatley issued a memo in favor of Proposition 8, the 2008 California ballot initiative which provides that only marriage between a man and a woman is recognized in California. 

Here is an excerpt from Judy (emphasis is mine):
"(The memo) goes on to state that 'the ideal learning environment for children is within a nurturing home governed jointly by a mother and a father.' It also states that the defeat of Prop. 8 would force schools to 'inevitably be required to adjust their policies and curriculum' in response to a redefinition of marriage. These arguments were based on and promoted fear and anti-gay bias. Someone with these values should not lead the schools where our children learn." 

Fortunately, we've moved past Heatley.  There are many things for the board to consider in the superintendent search- not least of which is finding a strong leader who will represent all families in Berkeley so that EVERY child can achieve an excellent education.  While the board will work together to do just that, it is also our responsibility as members of the community to be involved and make sure our voices are heard. 

Here are two ways in which you can be involved in the superintendent search:

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