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The Real Agendas of Board Candidates

November 06, 1994

Within an article that was written about the Education Alliance ("Conservatives Take Best Shot at School Boards," Oct. 30) I was mentioned, giving the apparentness that I was part of an "extremist group" when in fact I don't know anyone else supported by the Education Alliance and their respective views.

My first disagreement with your newspaper stems from this attitude: Somebody else said it, a staff writer wrote it, but they are not responsible for what they wrote. My second disagreement is an attempt to group me and the Education Alliance by association to a very general statement: "Their whole mission and purpose is anti-public education." So where is the real investigative reporting?

Nobody in the press asked me why I am running, but they did not hesitate to call me a radical or an extremist, simply because I decided to become more responsible to my community and my children. When I made the decision to run, no one asked me to run. It was only after several months of observing a rubber-stamp board that I knew I had to do something because of my children. It may be a bit boring in terms of how it came about (no beams of lights, or disembodied voices telling me to run) but it sure does not seem like "radical" fits such a responsible decision.

JON H. SOEDER

Tustin

* Thanks to The Times for exposing the far right's school board takeover strategy ("Conservatives Take Best Shot at School Boards").

Every parent and community member needs to understand the dangers associated with a small group with a specific, limited agenda frequently having very little to do with improving the quality of public education. The turmoil and strife we've seen in cities like Vista could become a reality here.

These candidates often praise the concept of "local control," only to receive money and ideological guidance from national groups far removed from local issues. Their real concern seems to be to weaken the public schools in preparation for yet another try at education by voucher, much like last year's rejected Prop. 174.

The best school board candidates usually have a vested interest in quality public schools. Their children attend, or attended those schools, they are involved in PTA, youth sports and other curricular and extracurricular activities and, most important, they believe in public education, which has long been the cornerstone of our democracy.

DAN SHEPARD

Huntington Beach

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