Monday, October 27, 2014

2014 AAPS Board Candidate: Patricia Manley

Read more about Patricia Manley at:

Staff morale has been an issue in the school district. How do you think the board should monitor and respond to staff morale issues, if at all? Given that the majority of district staff are teachers, should teachers be treated differently (better OR worse) than other staff people in the district?

I believe staff morale is an issue because staff do not believe they have a venue to be heard.  It is important that staff be allowed an opportunity to bring their issues to the Board.  Every AAPS staff member should be treated fairly, equitably and with respect.  No staff member is better or worse than another one, “all” are necessary for the continued success of our students and the district.

What is your position on the amount of standardized testing currently conducted by AAPS (Too much, just right, too little)? What is your attitude toward parents opting out their students from standardized tests that are not state-mandated? What is your attitude toward parents opting out their students from standardized tests that are state-mandated?

I believe administering more than one standardized test a year is too much and non-productive. Standardized test results are used to determine the school’s status within the district, state or nation; however, it does not necessarily give an accurate picture of the child, school or district because it does not always take into account class size, diversity or special needs. Parents have the right to opt their child out of testing, whether state-mandated or not.  However, taking a standardized test can be a great way to practice test-taking skills that will be needed when the child takes the ACT, SAT or other college entrance exams. 

Aside from the budget, what are your two top priorities for the Ann Arbor schools?

My top priorities are:  
1) Ensure all students and their families have access to a full and well-rounded PreK-12 experience;
2) Improve relationships and transparency between the School Board, AAPS staff and the broader community.

What is your opinion regarding the annexation by AAPS of the Whitmore Lake school system? If you had to vote today, how would you vote? What's good about the annexation and what challenges do you anticipate if the annexation is approved?

I attended two of the public forums, read as much as I could, talked with parents, staff and administrators and yet I am not convinced there is much of an advantage for AAPS except additional dollars.  There are still many questions that are unsettling to taxpayers and staff.  If I had to vote today, I would vote no. Voters in Ann Arbor and Whitmore Lake will vote on this issue the same day new Board members are selected.  If elected, I will work to implement their decision.

Hindsight is perfect, but whether you are an incumbent, or not: Name one decision that the school board made in the last six months that you think was a very good decision; and name one decision that the school board made in the last six months that you wish had been decided differently. (Incumbents may wish to say how they voted on that issue. It's ok if you changed your mind after the fact...)

I believe the three new programs have been a good decision.  Northside K-8 Steam, Pathways to Success and International Baccalaureate have brought new enthusiasm and options for in-district families and those outside taking advantage of the Schools of Choice.  

The outsourcings of the custodians’ could/should have been handled differently.  I believe they should have been given time and opportunity to present their proposal that could have made a major difference in the final outcome.

Assuming that you are elected, name one other board candidate that you would like to see serve beside you, and explain why.

If elected, I will work collaboratively with the remaining Board members and the newly elected members to continue to promote high achievement for all the students we serve and maintain the highly-qualified staff we have that make this an “Exceptional” school district.

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