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Three vie for two seats on SRVUSD board

Original post made on Aug 15, 2012

Three people so far are in the running for two seats on the San Ramon Valley school board up for election this November. In addition to incumbent and Board President Greg Marvel, two Danville residents have entered the race. Incumbent Paul Gardner, who's been on the board since 2000, has not filed paperwork to run for another term.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Tuesday, August 14, 2012, 7:42 PM

Comments (15)

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Posted by Dan
a resident of Danville
on Aug 15, 2012 at 9:24 am

As has been mentioned, Greg Marvel is accepting union money to support his campaign in running for board member of SRVUSD. A politician can NOT view policies with an objective opinion when they are supported by unions. It's impossible to serve families and student's objectively when the union mantra is playing into their decision making. Impossible.

This article mentions that Greg Marvel was a member of the Contra Costa Community College District as well. The CCC College District is in horrible shape. Very little oversight or involvement in the rampant cheating going on at DVC and finally when the board members met, some of the members were not even in attendance at the meetings!!

My hope is that Dwight Winn and Mark Jewett can proudly tell the community during their campaign, that they are NOT receiving a dime from the CTA or any other educational union funds. They can both win a position on the board without the union money.


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Posted by C. R. Mudgeon
a resident of Danville
on Aug 15, 2012 at 10:57 am

Unfortunately, Jewett's wife is apparently (based on the article) a teacher within the district, and Wynn's wife is also a teacher (not specified where). So to some extent, both will have conflicts of interest when negotiating contracts. Perhaps they will be able to look past this, but at least in Jewett's case, providing raises and benefits to the teachers of the district will also flow directly to his own household.

So on the surface it seems like ALL of the candidates are fundamentally allied with the teachers union.


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Posted by James
a resident of Danville
on Aug 15, 2012 at 11:06 am

This is an important question to be answered? Of these three who has union endorsement (and funding) from the local teachers' union, and who does not? The union is not stupid, they do this for a reason which is to protect the status quo and to make certain that any new funding goes first to teachers.


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Posted by spcwt
a resident of Danville
on Aug 15, 2012 at 1:43 pm

Maybe I'm missing something, but what's wrong with the status qua in SRVSD? Last time I checked, they're doing a pretty good job. Don't SRVSD students perform exceptionally well?

And what's wrong with paying SRVSD teachers well? They should be paid well. We want to attract and retain the best teachers, don't we?

Doesn't SRVSD provides superior results, despite having one of the lowest cost per average daily attendance in the state?

Web Link


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Posted by Dan
a resident of Danville
on Aug 15, 2012 at 7:07 pm

spcwt - Don't mean any disrespect but when was the last time you checked the national academic achievement results? Of course we are doing well compared to Pittsburgh, Antioch, Richmond, and LA school districts. We are in the bottom fifth of the nation! The union money is not going to the teachers for a stellar teaching education. It bypasses the kids in the classrooms.

The teachers who challenge and teach well at our schools use their own initiative in how to professionally reach our kids. They are the cream of the crop and they have pride and the interest to get the best results possible from the students in this district, by working harder and smarter. Thanks goodness for all those teachers.

Do you have kids in the school district? Have you worked recently in any classrooms? Attended any SRVUSD board meetings? Have you paid your "donations" to the classrooms and to the schools at registration prior to the school year?

I don't think you could possibly walk away after any involvement at the primary, secondary, or high school level, without having questions or suggestions in how money is spent. No parent can walk away felling fantastic about how money is spent in this state towards our educational system; at least if they're honest with themselves.

Do you pay the the full amount requested for each child you have in school - to the education funds at all the schools, in September? Do you pay the classroom donations at registration? Do you pay the "optional" fees for your children's use of the libraries at the school, the technology donations for the computer classrooms, the science room donations, the art donations, the PTA donations?

Please do your homework when it comes to all the angles of our public school funding - especially regarding the unions and who's involved with them on our board.

It's very easy not to be bothered at all about our school district if you aren't well informed.


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Posted by Louie, a former teacher
a resident of Danville
on Aug 16, 2012 at 9:57 am

Good thoughts, Dan.

As a former teacher, I worked VERY hard for my students and their parents, was REQUIRED to join the union(or "contribute" the same monthly fee to an alternative fund to which I did not wish to contribute), paid the "optional" fees to my own kids' schools, and continue to VOTE NO on bonds. I also favor a "right to work" state without unions in ALL industries- not just education.

Without local authority, some politician/law suit is going to TAKE MORE AND GIVE BACK LESS, then- expect someone to make up the difference. btw: Relationally, the amount of money Calif contributes to ed vs. other states began a decline after the 1971 Decisions that mandated how much of your local revenue you got to be "given back"! (Pre Prop 13!)

Since that far back, local efforts to raise money became a standard in the majority of school districts in California. When "redistribution" became the stated outcome- and there never seemed to be enough money- The Elected Ones always went first to the essential services managed by centralized government- emotionally charged services(even then they went straight to safety, health and educational) rather than the costs of supporting lifetime politicians and "administering" to the governing body. The Elected Ones have given themselves a fine menu of benefits! Do not vote for even one bond measure until elected officials are required to minimize THEIR benefits packages and expenses- including, no especially, the Executive Branch of the US.

Anytime money is taken away from one group and handed to another by a "third party," there is waste and "new" administrative expenses. (btw: Why aren't the 99%ers after the lifestyles of the Elected Ones instead of people still working for a living?)


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Posted by Fact check time
a resident of Danville
on Aug 16, 2012 at 3:12 pm

CR Mudgeon might want to re-read the article. It says that Mark Jewett's wife volunteers at Greenbrook, not works there. Sorry if that messes up your conspiracy theory.


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Posted by Sandi
a resident of Danville
on Aug 17, 2012 at 9:20 am

Time for a solid change. Bring Winn in!


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Posted by C. R. Mudgeon
a resident of Danville
on Aug 17, 2012 at 10:39 am

Regarding Fact check time's post above:

I could have sworn that when I read the article a couple of days ago, it said that candidate Jewett's wife either worked or taught at Greenbrook Elementary. So either I misread it initially, or it has been corrected to say that she volunteers there.

In any case, I no longer have any concerns about potential conflicts of interest for Mr. Jewett.

I never said anything about a "conspiracy". But I do believe that board members should not have ties to the CTA or other teachers' unions, either by accepting campaign contributions, or by being union members themselves. Having a direct family member who is in the union also represents a potential conflict of interest. A key role of the board is to negotiate union contracts, and as such the board needs to be free of union influence.

The above has nothing to do with wanting good teachers, nor does it have anything to do with appreciating good teachers. The plus side of being in a union (for teachers), is that they have bargaining power. But the downside is that by being in a union, teachers are accepting the fact that they are essentially being viewed as identical and even interchangeable. Come contract negotiation time, all teachers are the same, neither good nor bad (and this is from the union's perspective).


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Posted by James
a resident of Danville
on Aug 17, 2012 at 1:55 pm

Perhaps the Express could simply ask the candidates whether they have been endorsed by the local teachers' union or not? If they have they need to be asked how they feel about teacher senority rights, tenure protection, principals' empowerment for making needed changes, incorporating student achievement in performance reviews, and priorities for any money that flows to the district. I'm sure the union asked these question before endorsing.


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Posted by Dan
a resident of Danville
on Aug 20, 2012 at 8:07 am

James, we should be able to ask these questions of the SRVUSD board candidates if they were willing to share their thinking process regarding each of the subjects you mentioned. Do you think they would answer in detail? NO...

I have no doubt, they would say tenure and pension terms were areas they were not qualified to speak about publicly - but they can certainly take the union financial support for their campaigns! If I needed to accept campaign funding from a particular group, I would make sure I shared the same philosophy regarding the the people who gave me money. I'm sure they don't look at the CTA as a "special interest group" with a very narrow minded and strong agenda.

We can only hope that reporters do their job for these electronic issues and in print newspapers. It's a huge "Hope" but we can try to encourage unbiased coverage.


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Posted by Louie, a former teacher
a resident of Danville
on Aug 20, 2012 at 9:11 am

USLEGAL.com.: "Right-to-work laws are state laws that prohibit both the closed and union shop. A right to work law secures the right of employees to decide for themselves whether or not to join or financially support a union."

Put an end to all Union power brokering by VOTING. Take action. VOTE: California as right-to-work state.

Not all teachers want to join the union; but teachers are required to join the union in order to teach. Put an end to union power in California.


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Posted by Dwight Winn
a resident of San Ramon Valley High School
on Aug 20, 2012 at 12:45 pm

My name is Dwight R. Winn, Sr.
1. I am not endorsed by the teacher's union.
2. My wife-Beverly is a Spanish teacher but has not taught in public schools and is not a union member. To many of the pre-school children around town, she is known affectionately as "senora Winn"
3. Although I have not been a member of any union, I have worked with union members with different organizations. I remain open minded and independent.


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Posted by Voter
a resident of Danville
on Aug 20, 2012 at 1:48 pm

Dwight Winn is exactly what our school district needs right now: An independent, intelligent, and professional individual with integrity who will put our students first.

Many years Dwight Winn served on our homeowners association board of directors. I was amazed how he stayed calm, professional, open minded and polite during very heated meetings. He was the voice of reason and helped difuse many tense meetings. I mentioned in passing at the end of one meeting that my then young son was a huge fan of his son, Randy Winn, who was then a professional all-star baseball player with Tampa Bay Rays.(He would later play with the Giants) Two days later I found in my mailbox a Randy Winn autographed baseball card, that to this day remains one of my son's favorite possessions. Dwight Winn is a true christian gentleman, and our school board would be fortunate to have someone with his character serve our students.


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Posted by C. R. Mudgeon
a resident of Danville
on Aug 20, 2012 at 2:54 pm

Thank you, Mr. Wynn, for your posting.


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