Education Matters Endorsement Panel Press Release

Education Matters convenes diverse community voices to consider WCCUSD school board candidates

RICHMOND, CA, June 30, 2016 — Education Matters is convening an endorsement panel to meet WCCUSD school board candidates on July 13th. The panel includes community leaders, parents, local high school graduates and district educators. These panelists have been convened by Education Matters to identify WCCUSD school board candidates who are champions for students and families, ethical leaders and solely motivated to work for an exceptional school for every child in every neighborhood.

Panelists represent a diverse cross-section of West Contra Costa County, especially those from historically disenfranchised groups who want and deserve a voice in the future of our schools and the leaders chosen to represent students’ interests.

While all the panelists are involved in community organizations, schools and education institutions, they will act as individuals during the endorsement process with Education Matters, a not-for-profit 501(c)(4) organization committed to helping ensure every child in West Contra Costa County has access to a first-rate education. Read more about the panelists.

“All of the panelists are active in the community and committed to improving educational outcomes for every student,” said Valerie Jameson, a graduate of West Contra Costa Unified’s Middle College High School and UC Berkeley, and now community engagement coordinator for Education Matters. “The endorsement process is a chance to shine a light on each candidate’s platform. Is there a focus on educational equity? Do the candidates understand the multitude of issues and how to communicate with the many stakeholders in the district?”

The community’s involvement in the endorsement process reflects Education Matters’ primary mission to empower WCC residents to advocate for education leaders who make educationally and fiscally sound decisions for students. The group will use a rubric created specifically for this process during the in-person interviews to determine if candidates generate broad support from the panel.

“As a parent, I want my children to be safe, to get a truly great education, and to graduate from high school ready for college,” said endorsement panelist Tana Monteiro, who works for a local not-for-profit serving Richmond families. “I’m looking forward to talking to candidates who will be honest, who are going to be brave, and are going to have far-reaching goals for our schools and children.”

The endorsement process will also include a written questionnaire and a panel interview so the local leaders on the panel can learn more about each candidate’s experience, positions and commitments. The interviews will take place July 13 and candidates with scheduling conflicts will have an option for an alternative date.

“This process is designed to bring together a diversity of perspectives and to hear what people want for their children and from their leaders,” said Jameson of Education Matters. “We want to be informed by voices that are seeking solutions, and we are looking forward to working hard to come to a consensus. We are all committed to listening and staying focused on what’s best for our students and their education.”

All school board candidates are invited to participate in the endorsement process and have the opportunity to receive up to $10,000 in seed funding to launch their campaigns, based solely on the vote of the panelists. This enables any highly regarded candidate, regardless of financial means, to launch a viable campaign for school board. An official endorsement, alongside the possibility of a bigger financial commitment, will occur in August. No candidate will receive additional funds from Education Matters without majority support from the panel.

Those who have not yet completed the online form and pre-interview questionnaire should contact

2016 Education Matters Endorsement Panel


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