Robert D. Skeels
|Robert D. Skeels|
|Board Member, Los Angeles Unified School District, District 2|
|Profession||Public education activist, researcher and writer|
- Attended, Glendale Community College
- Attended, University of California Los Angeles
Skeels ran in the 2013 election for the Los Angeles Unified School District Board, representing District 2. Skeels was defeated in the primary election on March 5, 2013.
|Los Angeles Unified School District 2, 2013|
|Nonpartisan||Mónica García Incumbent||55.8%||19,300|
|Nonpartisan||Robert D. Skeels||15.2%||5,244|
|Source: Office of the City Clerk of Los Angeles These results are final.|
A full list of endorsements was made available on Skeels' website.
|Candidate||Campaign contributions||Personal funds||Indpt. expenditures in support||Indpt. expenditures opposed|
|Robert D Skeels||$19,009.56||$6,025.00||$7,180.44||$0|
| Campaign contributions and personal funds as reported through February 27, 2013 in the required filings with the Los Angeles City Ethics Commission. Independent expenditures were continually updated by the Commission. They were last updated here March 5, 2013. Source: Los Angeles City Ethics Commission|
During the 2013 campaign, Skeels's campaign registered 34 pieces of campaign literature with the City of Los Angeles City Ethics Commission. The campaign literature included 13 flyers, 16 telephone scripts, 2 emails, 2 newspaper ads, and a door hanger.
Among independent expenditure groups, a political action committee associated with the United Teachers Los Angeles registered one mailer in support of Skeels. No independent groups registered any literature opposing him.
The following questions were prepared by the League of Women Voters of Los Angeles:
1. What is the single most important issue facing LAUSD today? As a Board Member, what would you do to deal with it?
"The obsession with standards and punitive testing brought on by No Child Left Behind and its descendants Race to the Top and Common Core State Standards, have perverted and warped curriculum. LAUSD must bring balance back and insist on teaching and learning. This means resisting standardized tests and curriculum, and insisting that our students are provided rounded, culturally relevant curricula."
2. How would you prioritize your local constituency in overseeing LAUSD management, setting District policy, and day-to-day decision-making?
"District 2 is culturally diverse with interspersed pockets of severe poverty. Prioritizing the local constituency would mean listing to the voices of all the stake-holders, and finding ways to serve students that respect their cultures and attempt to ameliorate the effects of poverty. Making Board meetings more accessible to working class families is something I've advocated for years."
3. What experience in general management, fiscal management, and budgetary oversight would you bring to the job of Board Member?
"I work for two small businesses where I am familiar with common management techniques, budgeting, etc."
4. How should LAUSD deal with its rapidly increasing costs for retiree and employee health care?
"The District needs to work hand in hand with legislators in Sacramento and Washington D.C. exploring sustainable ways of fulfilling our solemn promises to the hardworking professionals that serve our students."
5. What part should standardized testing play in LAUSD's educational programs?
"Standardized tests have a ancillary role in helping to guide instruction. Psychometricians and education experts agree that they should never be used for any high stakes decisions that effect students and educators. When used outside of sampling for diagnostics, standardized tests narrow curricula and hamper teaching and learning."
Arts for LA survey
Skeels completed the candidate survey from Arts for LA, a group advocating greater investment in the arts. Arguing that the national standards weaken arts education, he called for the school board to challenge "the reasons why the arts, electives, vocational training, and anything outside the narrow confines of NCLB(No Child Left Behind)/RTTT(Race to the Top)/CCSS(Common Core State Standards) aren't considered important."
District 2 candidates participated in several forums dating back to October 2012. Videos of the October 17, 2012 forum, the November 15, 2012 forum, and the February 13, 2013 forum were made available on YouTube.
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- Campaign website
- Campaign Facebook page
- Campaign Twitter feed
- Skeels on Vimeo
- Skeels on Google+
- Skeels on LinkedIn
- Candidate information from the League of Women's Voters of Los Angeles
- Skeels profile in Young Angelenos' "The GOOD Voter Guide to the Los Angeles Election," p. 63
- LA School Report Candidate information
- Personal blog
- First video in series on October 2012 candidate forum
- First video in series on November 2012 candidate forum
- Video of February 13, 2013 candidate forum
- AALA, "2013 LAUSD School Board Elections," accessed February 13, 2013
- United Teachers Los Angeles, "Political Endorsements – School Board Primary Election on March 5," accessed February 13, 2013
- Los Angeles City Ethics Commission, 2013 Municipal and LAUSD Election Disclosures
- LAUSD District 2 campaign literature, LA City Ethics Commission
- LAUSD District 2 independent expenditures related to Robert Skeels, LA City Ethics Commission
- Candidates' answers to questions from the League of Women Voters
- Arts for LA Spring 2013 Candidate Surveys: LA Unified School Distrct
- District 2 Neighborhood Coalition, "LAUSD District 2 Candidate Forum #1," accessed February 14, 2013
- Los Angeles Daily News, "LAUSD board candidates to appear at forums," January 19, 2013
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