The BHUSD Candidates, in Their Own Words, Well Almost

Newspaper

Local newspaper interviews School Board candidates, a first look

BEVERLY HILLS, CA (robinsrowe.com) 2020/8/15 – The names of the candidates who made it onto the November ballot were posted by the County earlier this week. However, their Official Candidate Statements will not be posted by the County until the Interactive Sample Ballots are available online on September 24th.

A local newspaper interviewed the candidates, or at least tried to. Not all of the candidates responded. This is our first chance to hear what each has to say. Below are some quotes, what each candidate said in their newspaper interview. The order below is the same order in which the article placed us.

The Insurance Calculator

“I’m an actuary, so I have a risk management background and felt like I could help the district out. I got heavily involved this summer, and as I was talking to more folks, I realized that this is a really important time for the school and for the community.”

The UCLA Sophomore

“I was at Beverly two years and some change ago. I know what it’s like. I don’t know if other candidates may have kids there, but they don’t really know what it’s like. I know there’s a big issue with motivation where a lot of kids, they just go in there, they buy their time, they get their diploma and get out.”

The Incumbent

“I am the only candidate in this election who has a deep track record of transforming education in Beverly Hills, and who has a forward-thinking platform to continue the transformative change our schools need. Transforming education is at the core of my track record and will carry forward with this campaign. [Cut for length here, talking about how schools used to be…] I believe we need to transform public education for the future and that Beverly Hills should be the District to set the standard for the rest of the nation.”

Editor’s Analysis: In a 2018 newspaper interview, the Incumbent was asked what he’d do to address declining BHUSD enrollment. He replied, “I don’t think it’s something that needs to be addressed.” His reasoning? Driving the best students out of Public Schools means more money available per student for those who remain.

The Incumbent congratulates himself for a job well done, with BHUSD student enrollment in long decline and half of Beverly Hills Parents choosing Expensive Private Schools because they believe Beverly Hills Public Schools are inadequate. Delivering upon his promise to do nothing, enrollment has continued to decline. Abandoning Public Schools is the transformation the Incumbent offers.

Robin Rowe, [That’s Me] Retired Educator and Technologist

“We’ve entered the age of Generation C, of COVID. Children are uniquely vulnerable to pandemics and economic catastrophes. And, so are the parents of children. To help children and parents, Beverly Hills needs to offer the best public schools. What first made me think of running for School Board was reading an article that BHUSD is being sued for diverting $16 million of school building renovation funds into political lobbying unrelated to education and concealing it.”

The Child Psychologist

“At the forefront of my campaign, I will put mental health and discussions about coping with the current pandemic and socio-political issues are two issues that I want to make clear. And the other one is leveraging the 21st century learning. So, I feel that the pandemic is a catalyst for all of us to evolve into learning that is based more on collaboration and use of digital means. We all want a return to in-person learning, of course!”

The Criminal Defense Attorney

A no-show. The newspaper said she didn’t respond to their request for an interview.

The Construction Manager

“I really feel like I am the construction management and finance candidate that’s running for the school board and that my experience is even more relevant right now during this the pandemic. I think the most critical issue is the return to school in a safe and constructive manner, with a constructive learning environment.”

What’s Missing…

I’m the candidate who blogs, who tells it  like it is. Most of the candidates either don’t have websites at all or their website is parked or broken.

When giving interviews, I never know what the newspaper will choose to print from what I said. What’s they quoted is only a small part of what I said to them. If you wish, you may read my complete interview, including the bits the newspaper edited out. Something significant I mentioned that I wish the newspaper had included:

We need to prepare our Children for a Post-COVID World. If we listen to the Bureau of Labor, future growth in high-paying jobs is in just two fields: computer science and healthcare. I taught computer science at the University of Washington and the Naval Postgraduate School. I led the team that won the Novartis Biome healthcare innovation prize for AI last year.

By making our Public Schools relevant again, together we can make our Beverly Hills Public Schools the Best Schools in the World. I’m Robin S. Rowe. I’m running for Beverly Hills School Board in the November election. My website is robinsrowe.com.