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League of Women Voters of California Education Fund
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November 8, 2016 — California General Election
School

Escondido Union School DistrictCandidate for Trustee, Trustee Area 1

Photo of Doug Paulson

Doug Paulson

High School Teacher
3,150 votes (70.83%)Winning
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My Top 3 Priorities

  • Improving academic performance for all students
  • Assuring fiscal responsibility and responsiveness
  • Aligning the activities and programs of the elementary and high school districts

Experience

Experience

Profession:High School Teacher
High School Teacher, Escondido Union High School District (1996–current)
Peace Corps Volunteer - Argentina, U.S. Peace Corps (1993–1995)
Backcountry Park Ranger, National Park Service (1987–1993)
Deputy Sheriff (Res.), San Diego Sheriffs Department (1985–1987)

Education

University of Texas - Arlington M.A. Curriculum & Instruction, Literacy (2013)
CSU San Marcos Teaching Credentials, Multiple Subjects Credential; English Credential; Math Credential; Administrative Credential (2001)
San Diego State University B.A., Anthropology & American Indian Studies (1993)

Who supports this candidate?

Organizations (7)

  • Escondido Elementary Educators Association
  • San Diego County Democratic Party
  • Escondido Public School Advocates
  • Escondido Secondary Teacher's Association
  • Escondido Chamber of Citizens
  • Escondido Democratic Club
  • Mano a Mano Foundation

Individuals (14)

  • Yolotl Pedraza
  • Bianca Martinez
  • William Turek
  • Kay & Earl Guy
  • Andy Pino
  • Jerry Harmon
  • Theron & Pat Preston
  • Fred & Linda Woods
  • Leslie Lee Pedraza
  • Consuelo Martinez
  • Dra. Beatriz Villarreal
  • Mel & Barbara Takahara
  • Rosa Pedraza
  • Ron & Staci Hinrichs

Questions & Answers

Questions from League of Women Voters of California Education Fund (1)

A recent law made major changes in the way that the state allocates funding to schools.  What will you do to ensure that the public understands your local control formula for school spending and your plan to measure outcomes?
Answer from Doug Paulson:

California's Local Control Funding Formula provides school districts with funds to make educational decisions that will best serve its students. Parents and community members are in the best position to understand their own needs. As a school board member, I will seek input on how to best use our funding to benefit all students. I will participate in parent and community meetings to seek input on what our schools need to do beeter so that every student is successful academically, socially and emotionally. I will also ensure that our district provides accurate and understandable information about the LCFF to all parents, especially the measures used to measure academic progress.

Questions from League of Women Voters of North County San Diego (1)

What is the most significant challenge facing the Escondido Union School District, and if you are elected, what steps will you take to address it?
Answer from Doug Paulson:

The most significant challenge facing the Escondido Union School District is the gap in achievement between our low income and non-low income students. Socio-economically disadvantaged students regularly fall behind their peers, largely due to the destructive forces of poverty and the lack of opportunity that poverty brings with it. We must make sure that every student receives the best possible education and every possible enrichment opportunity. If elected I will make sure that we are providing equitable opportunities for all students, with the intent of using education to improve our entire community.

Political Beliefs

Position Papers

Doug Paulson's Beliefs on Education

Summary

Being a school board member requires a deep knowledge of the local community, as well as educational topics. Here are my views on several educational topics in Escondido.

Fiscal Responsibility

The main duty of any school board is ensuring the fiscal solvency of the district, and making sure that money is spent wisely and effectively. As a school board member, I will ensure that our district’s funds are utilized equitably and effectively to provide the greatest positive impact on all students.

 

High Standards for All

We must hold everyone involved in educating our children to high standards.  This includes students, parents, teachers, administrators and school board members. Every child can and must learn at high levels, and every person needs to be working under that assumption to ensure that every student succeeds at high levels. 

 

Student Safety

Clearly, student safety is a top priority for everyone. We need to take a multi-pronged approach to student safety, including training for all school personnel on maintaining campus safety, clear procedures for entering/leaving campus, establishing clear and complete emergency services, having open and supportive relationships with students and parents so they feel responsible for reporting any unsafe activity on campus, having every student feel bought into school so they have no interest in committing unsafe acts, and working with the community to develop a culture of “protecting our schools.”

 

Unification of Districts

I agree with the concept of unification. The reality is difficult. Even if everyone involved agrees to unify, the process takes 6-8 years, is very expensive, and takes tremendous effort on the part of district administration and the community. Although there is money to be saved, the process of unification often takes the focus away from education of children. Unification is a good goal. In the meantime, the districts should be working together more closely to ensure seamless curriculum, complete communication, aligned calendars, and an excellent continuum of education. This can be done right now.

 

Bringing Joy To the Classroom

Expanding art and music programs into every grade and every classroom is a personal goal which I would like to see our school district pursue. There is a great deal of research showing that these "enrichment" programs aid students in mastering both math and Language Arts. I want to make clear, though, that I do not consider art and music to be enrichment programs. Rather, I believe them to be at the core of learning. Learning in an enjoyable way, whether it be through hands-on projects, music, arts, or performance, helps children turn into adults who enjoy exploring the world. If a child enjoys learning, knowledge and skills are sure to follow.

 

Revising Policies That Don’t Work

We need to look at all policies and practices to make sure that they are effective, and that they are not merely tradition, For example, many people have brought up homework as a constant issue between students and parents and teachers.  I personally favor homework as it was practiced when I was in elementary school: Our teachers encouraged us to read, nothing more, which was academically effective and personally pleasant. And, yes, research indicates that pleasant, very limited homework is the most effective way of enhancing a child's learning.

 

Working to Overcome the Effects of Poverty

A great deal of education research points out the extreme negative impacts of poverty on student achievement. I agree. Yes, we must work to ensure that teachers are providing the best possible instruction with engaging and relevant curriculum, and that schools are providing extra supports and enrichment. But we also need to be working as a community to minimize the effects of child poverty, which exceeds 80% in many Escondido schools. 

 

We can do this by providing enrichment programs in our schools afterschool, on weekends, and during school breaks. We also need to work with City leaders to provide programs and opportunities for youth in our cities, especially in neighborhoods with the highest poverty rates.

 

 

Providing Excellent Services for English Learners

We need to be sure that we are putting a real emphasis on assisting English learners with acquiring English, while at the same time developing skills in all curricular areas. These efforts require that we target these learners with money to provide high quality materials, instruction, and enrichment activities to give them the best chance to succeed. It also requires that we provide extra services for their parents and families - and these are some of our most motivated parents and families - to help them understand the U.S. school system and how they can support their children in being successful in school and in our community.

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