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November 8, 2016 — California General Election
School

Fremont Unified School DistrictCandidate for Board Member

Photo of Michele G. Berke

Michele G. Berke

Appointed Incumbent
24,615 votes (17.56%)Winning
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My Top 3 Priorities

  • Ensure student safety (physical, mental, emotional) by promoting equity and providing training.
  • Explore collaborative opportunities to control development and student overloading.
  • Effectively monitor public dollars.

Experience

Experience

Profession:Teacher Specialist
Teacher Specialist, California School for the Deaf (2008–current)
Board Trustee, Fremont Unified School District — Appointed position (2015–current)
Vice President, Mission Valley School Association — Elected position (2014–2015)
Parent Member, School Site Council — Elected position (2010–2014)
Project Coordinator, San Francisco State University (2004–2006)
Supervisor-Technology Services, Andersen Consulting (1998–2000)
Director, Gallaudet University Regional Center-Ohlone College (1990–1998)
Volunteer/Recruiter, Peace Corps (1987–1990)

Education

University of Colorado Ph.D., Speech, Language and Hearing Sciences (2012)
San Jose State University Credential, Multiple Subjects/Ed Specialist in Deaf/HH (2011)
University of San Francisco Masters in Nonprofit Administration, Nonprofit Administration (1997)
University of Maryland Baltimore County B.A. , Political Science (1985)

Community Activities

Volunteer Coach/Interpreter, Fremont National Youth Baseball (2010–2015)

Who supports this candidate?

Organizations (6)

  • Alameda County Labor Council, AFL-CIO
  • Fremont Unified District Teachers Association
  • California School Employees Association-Fremont Chapter 204
  • Fremont Citizens Network
  • SEIU Local 1021
  • South Alameda County Young Democrats

Elected Officials (5)

  • FUSD Board Clerk Yang Shao
  • FUSD Board President Larry Sweeney
  • State Senator Bob Wieckowski
  • Assemblymember Bill Quirk
  • Assemblymember Kansen Chu

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 Michele G. Berke:

The Local Control Funding Formula (LCFF) has had a dramatic impact on how schools receive their funds. In addition to public discussions about LCFF at the Board level, we have been having conversations at the local school level so that parents and community stakeholders understand the changes. Our Local Control Accountabilty Plan is very much tied to our funding and we have on-going communication/data available to ensure that we are doing what we say we would do.

Questions from League of Women Voters of Fremont, Newark, Union City (4)

Comment on your district’s implementation of the common core standards?
Answer from Michele G. Berke:

Fremont has been extremely proactive in implementing the California Common Core State Standards by engaging teachers. We have supported Professional Learning Communities (now in its second year) and promoted regular opportunities for collaboration both cross-curricular and spiraling up and down grade levels. Fremont is on the right track to ensure that students are receiving the education they need to be successful in post-secondary opportunities, whether the be college or career. 

Do you support Proposition 51 ($9 Billion Bond for school construction and maintenance? Please explain your reasons for supporting or not supporting this Proposition.
Answer from Michele G. Berke:

Yes, I support Proposition 51. We know that our successful schools are attractive and the demand for housing is high.  Our district has been affected by fast-paced housing development and we currently do not have enough facilities to support all the students who are moving into the district. At the same time, the majority of our schools are aging. Although our community passed a bond (Measure E) to update our facilities, these funds will not be enough to carry us through the long range facilities plan that we have in place. With Prop 51, we can access state funds to help mitigate some of the costs that we are incurring to keep up-to-date. 

What are your plans to deal with bullying in schools?
Answer from Michele G. Berke:

We will continue to support anti-bullying and character education programs in our schools. In addition, we are introducing restorative justice training along with culturally responsive instruction training. I will continue to advocate for monitoring and solving problems around where bullying tends to occur (bathrooms, locker rooms, playgrounds) to ensure safety for all students. 

There have been several studies that indicate that the high school students are under a tremendous amount of stress.  What can you do to help alleviate that?
Answer from Michele G. Berke:

This is of alarming concern especially since one of our High Schools was recently in the press as part of a large conversation on student stress. We need to re-look at the new counseling positions that we have put in place to make sure that our staff can provide a balance of academic and mental health counseling. We also need to foster an atmosphere of balance by promoting extra-curricular activities as well as reviewing our homework policies. 

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