The  Jacksonville  Public  Education  Fund,  Save  Duval  Schools,  Duval  County   PTA,  Jacksonville  Kids  Coalition  and  Jacksonville  Urban  League  are   nonpartisan  organizations.  We  do  not  support  or  endorse  any  specific  candidate.   Our  goal  is  to  educate  the  community  and  promote  increased  participation  in  school   board  elections.     Candidate  responses  to  all  questions  will  be  published  verbatim  on  a  special  web   site  at  www.schoolboard2012.org.  While  candidates  are  strongly  encouraged  to   complete  the  questionnaire  in  its  entirety,  partial  or  non-­‐participation  will  not   prevent  candidates  from  participating  in  subsequent  public  forums  or  other   election-­‐related  events  hosted  by  these  organizations.     The  deadline  for  returning  this  survey  is  July  2,  2012.  No  responses  will  be   accepted  after  this  date  and  all  responses  will  be  published  simultaneously  to  the   web  site  subsequent  to  this  date.  

2012  SCHOOL  BOARD   CANDIDATE  QUESTIONNAIRE  

 

   
Pervalia Gaines-McIntosh Candidate  Name:   ____________________________________________________________   5 School  Board  District:   __________   www.gainwithgaines.com Campaign  Web  Site:   ____________________________________________________________  

  Primary  Campaign  Contact       Siottis Jackson Name:   ____________________________________________________________  

gainwithgaines@ymail.com E-­‐mail  Address:   ____________________________________________________________   904-894-3598 Phone  Number:   ____________________________________________________________  
     
JACKSONVILLE PUBLIC EDUCATION FUND 245 RIVERSIDE AVENUE · SUITE 310 · JACKSONVILLE, FLORIDA 32202 904.356.7757 · FAX 904.394.2005 · WWW.JAXPEF.ORG

Candidate  Biographical  Information     Please  provide  a  short  biographical  summary  of  no  more  than  500  words  that  can   be  used  on  www.schoolboard2012.org  web  site  and  in  other  publications:       Pervalia Gaines-McIntosh is currently seeking the District 5 seat on the Duval County School Board. Since graduating from Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University nearly a decade ago, she prides herself as an advocate for fair, equal, and world-class education for all students.
A native of Jacksonville, Florida, and proud DCPS graduate, Gaines-McIntosh served as Manager of WJCT’s Radio Reading Service prior to becoming a substitute teacher. Serving as a permanent substitute teacher at several District 5 schools has given her much insight into the needs of the district. In addition to Gaines-McIntosh’s serving as an educator, she serves as founder and former president for her high school’s alumni association. In her work with the organization, she forms strategic partnerships with the city’s elite businesses and corporations to host student leadership workshops and college and career fairs for 4 Duval County high schools. Her impact is heavily present in high school classrooms in that she has designed a 6-week ACT preparatory program to prepare students to earn passing scores for high school graduation and college admission. Working countless hours behind the scenes to ensure students have the best resources available, Gaines-McIntosh has served on several school advisory councils where she has assisted in developing and monitoring the implementation of school improvement plans. She currently serves as a member of a local high school’s PTA. As an advocate for disabled persons, she formerly served on the Board of Directors for the International Association of Audio Information Services where she helped govern the operations of the association ensuring best practices for over 100 organizations world wide which helped to make sure print-impaired persons were connected to the world. Other groups and organizations of which Gaines-McIntosh is actively involved include: Friends of Northwest Jacksonville Schools, Inc., Jacksonville Association of Black Journalists, and the FBI Citizens Academy. Gaines-McIntosh and her husband Vincent have no children of their own. However, she believes all 125,000 DCPS students are her responsibility which makes her The Ambassador for Education.

 

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Instructions     Please  answer  each  of  the  questions  below.  If  you  need  additional  space  or  wish   to  elaborate  on  your  answers  to  one  or  more  questions,  please  feel  free  to   attach  additional  pages  to  this  questionnaire.  Please  make  sure,  however,  to   identify  the  question  to  which  you  are  responding  by  number  so  we  can  correctly   align  your  responses  with  the  proper  question.     You  may  respond  by  email,  fax,  or  postal  mail.    Directions  on  how  to  do  so  are  at  the   end  of  the  survey  document.         Questions     Overall     1. If  you  had  to  give  the  Duval  County  Public  Schools  a  grade,  how  would  you   rate  its  current  performance  at  educating     a. High-­‐performing  students?       _____   A   _____   B   _____   C   _____   D   _____   F     b. Average  students?       _____   A   _____   B   _____   C   _____   D   _____   F     c. At-­‐risk  students?       _____   A   _____   B   _____   C   _____   D   _____   F       2. In  what  respects  do  you  think  Duval  County  Public  Schools  are  doing  well  in   their  mission  to  educate  students  in  Jacksonville?  
I believe the district is doing well with the number of acceleration programs offered to students across the district. For years students were negating their neighborhood high schools to attend programs only offered at Dedicated Magnets like Stanton and Paxon. Strengthening all of our schools' programs and curriculum are certainly key.

 

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3. In  what  respects  do  you  think  DCPS  needs  to  improve  significantly?  What   specific  changes  do  you  want  to  make  in  school  district  policies  or  programs   to  make  these  improvements?      I believe nepotism is an issue and the district must ensure fairness and  equity - across the board - when making major decisions concerning the  employment and retention of the best personnel. The district must also  ensure a system where not only school-based teachers and  administrators are evaluated on their effectiveness, but programs and  providers are also monitored and evaluated for efficacy.                

Strategic  Plan     Duval  County  Public  Schools  has  a  strategic  plan  approved  by  the  school  board  in   2010  that  guides  the  day-­‐to-­‐day  management  and  activities  of  the  superintendent.  A   copy  of  the  strategic  plan  can  be  accessed  at  http://www.duvalschools.org/static/   aboutdcps/superintendent/strategic_plan.asp.     For  the  following  questions,  please  cite  the  strategy  number  and  title  (e.g.  Strategy  1.A:     Provide  additional  support  for  all  low  performing  students  in  all  schools).     4. On  which  specific  strategy  do  you  see  as  most  critical  for  the  district  staff  to   focus  in  2013?      Equally important for the district to work on in 2013 are strategies 4A and  5A.    Strategy 4A: Integrate best practices that encourage positive behavior,  develop respect towards others and ensure safe environments throughout  our school district.    Strategy 5A: Establish continuous and effective communications with all  internal and external stakeholders.        
 

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5. Which  specific  strategy  or  measurable  would  you  propose  revising  or   eliminating  and  what  would  you  change  about  it?       I believe strategy 5A needs to include both measurable and useful   objectives. For instance, the district should hold quarterly meetings with   internal and external stakeholders to provide an accurate snapshot of the   district’s needs. This will also ensure effectiveness and efficiency as the   district and partners seek to gain common ground while addressing the   needs of our students.                   Governance     6. Please  provide  a  description  of  how  you  would  differentiate  between  the   governance  responsibility  of  the  school  board  and  the  management  role  of   the  superintendent.    
One of the primary functions of a school board is to provide every student with a high quality education. In doing this, boards must set vision and goals for how the school system provides high quality education while the Superintendent determines how we achieve these goals through a plan of action. Another important role of any school board is to develop and implement effective policy. Bad policy can interrupt the climate of the district.

 

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7. Describe  in  your  decisions  how  you  would  balance  the  interests  of  your   specific  neighborhood  school  board  district  with  the  interests  of  the  entire   school  system  if  they  come  into  conflict.                                  
If elected to the Duval County School Board, I will always make decisions in the best interest of students and their education. Although I would become the District 5 representative, my responsibility is to all children; and to ensure equity across the board.

  The  Duval  County  School  Board  is  currently  engaged  in  a  search  for  the  next   superintendent,  who  will  replace  retiring  Superintendent  Ed  Pratt-­‐Dannals  in   December  2012.     8. What  do  you  consider  the  key  qualifications  the  next  superintendent  should   possess  in  order  to  be  most  effective?      -A Revolutionary leader that is willing to challenge the traditions of this  school district    -A valiant leader who is not afraid to engage in the intelligent debate about  the issues that truly affect our children    -A charismatic leader who can define where he or she is leading our  students    -A strong and passionate leader when it comes to the education of our  students        

 

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9. The  school  board  is  in  the  process  of  developing  a  new  formal  evaluation   instrument  for  the  Superintendent.  In  addition  to  this  annual  evaluation,   please  describe  how  you  would  propose  providing  formative  feedback  to  the   next  superintendent  on  his/her  performance  on  an  ongoing  basis.  
The School Board and Superintendent should collaborate to determine goals. These goals must include measurable objectives, benchmarks, strategies, and timelines to ensure the Superintendent is well-equipped to succeed. Subsequently, the Board and Superintendent should review these goals on a quarterly basis to check the progress and receive feedback on implementation. From my perspective, this allows a process that is open and consistently reviewed for optimal performance.

Financial  Resources  and  Budgeting     The  Duval  County  School  Board  is  responsible  for  adopting  an  annual  budget  that   outlines  expected  expenses.  A  copy  of  current  budget  documents  can  be  accessed  at   http://www.duvalschools.org/static/aboutdcps/departments/   budget/budget_resources.asp.  Please  review  these  documents  so  that  you  can   answer  questions  #10-­‐12  as  specifically  as  possible.     10. What  specific  areas  of  the  district  budget  would  you  prioritize,  particularly  if   additional  resources  became  available?     One of the priorities of my campaign is growth and development for all   DCPS employees. I believe we have the programs and instructional   models in place to be successful; however our teachers need the   appropriate resources to effectively deliver instruction and the proper   training as well. Therefore, I will prioritize "Instruction," inclusive of   Instruction and Curriculum Development Services and Instructional Staff   Training. In addition, I am a proponent of working with the community as   much as possible. Therefore, I will promote an increase in the emphasis   on "Community Services." The district must bridge the gap if it ever   expects to regain the trust of the public.          

 

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11. With  revenues  expected  to  continue  to  decline  in  the  coming  years,   additional  budget  cuts  are  all  but  a  certainty.  What  specific  areas  of  the   budget  would  you  recommend  reducing  first?      Before I look to make cuts to the budget, I will investigate ways the district  can possibly increase revenues to cover shortfalls.                             12. The  school  district  generally  maintains  a  carry-­‐forward  balance  and  reserve   fund  in  its  budgeting  process,  a  portion  of  which  is  required  by  state  law.   How  would  you  balance  the  maintaining  of  a  reserve  in  excess  of  the  state   requirement  and  continuing  to  fund  programs  and  services  during  tight  fiscal   times?       It is responsible budgetary practice to have funds for a "rainy day"   especially when one considers Florida's political climate surrounding   public education and the country's current economic recession. I believe   the Board should determine from top-to-bottom the funding priorities of   the district. The community input is also integral during this process. If we   establish our priorities in the beginning, it will ease the process if cuts   are necessary.                  

 

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13. To  ensure  the  district  has  adequate  fiscal  resources  and  avoids  budget   shortfalls  in  the  future,  what,  if  any,  revenue  sources  should  the  school   district  pursue  and  on  what  timetable  (e.g.  increased  local  property  or  sales   taxes,  statewide  tax  increases,  etc.)?  
1. Building long-term partnerships with organizations like JPEF that are willing to raise funds to carry out the district's mission in ensuring a high quality education to all students 2. Working to build superior curriculum and instructional models that are sold to other districts 3. Lobbying the Legislature for more appropriations 4. Renting facilities to the public and community groups 5. Students offer revenue-generating services to the community such as cosmetology students doing hair, nails, etc. or culinary students running their own restaurants. This also provides students practical experience.

Community,  Parent  and  External  Relationships   14. How  would  you  propose  strengthening  the  relationships  between  parents,   schools  and  community  members?    
The district simply has to do a better job of not only engaging the community but listening to them.

 

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15. How  would  you  ensure  that  the  school  district  remains  transparent  to  the   community  in  terms  of  student  academic  performance,  financial   management,  school  board  meetings,  public  records  and  other  areas?      The Board has an obligation to comply with the Florida Sunshine Law at  all times. Board members must also ask tough questions that solicit  information for the public. Hosting quarterly community meetings where  we discuss academic performance, financial management and other  areas of concern with the public are also crucial.                       16. There  are  a  number  of  external  organizations  that  interact  with  and  work  to   support  the  Duval  County  Public  Schools,  from  the  PTA  to  the  Mayor’s  Office   to  local  nonprofits.  Please  describe  the  ideal  relationship  with  entities  like   these  and  how  you  may  leverage  their  services  to  support  students.     First, I believe public schools belong to the public. Any person or organization sharing in the district's first priority to students should be welcomed to support the educational process in the local public schools. We must foster a relationship where we can turn to our business and community partners and solicit their help when needed. Furthermore, we need a system of which the entire city is proud. We must allow organizations to determine what ways they can offer help to our students. For example, if Big Brother Big Sister specializes in mentoring programs, we must bring them and other organizations like them to the table to offer their expertise to the district. We should not make it difficult for organizations to offer help to the public schools, but it must be done in a consistent, fair and appropriate manner. These organizations must also have a proven record of accomplishment in their specific functional areas.

 

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Legislative  &  State  Issues     The  actions  and  decisions  of  the  Florida  Legislature  and  State  Board  of  Education   have  a  significant  impact  on  the  education  of  Jacksonville  students.     17. What  law  or  policy  passed  in  the  past  few  years  by  the  Florida  Legislature  or   State  Board  of  Education  had  the  greatest  positive  impact  on  education  in   Jacksonville?     The new FCAT grading formula for high schools has had a positive   impact on education in Jacksonville. Until recently, the FCAT’s focus was   the performance of 9th and 10th grade students; it did not look at the   entire student body. In addition, if we are to produce college and career   ready students, we need to look at other factors such as how well our   students are performing with respect to college entrance exams, college   readiness courses, etc.                   18. What  law  or  policy  passed  in  the  past  few  years  by  the  Florida  Legislature  or   State  Board  of  Education  had  the  greatest  negative  impact  on  education  in   Jacksonville?       Over the past few years, high-stakes testing has taken its toll on all of Florida's classrooms. High school students are not allowed to earn a high school diploma without passing FCAT. Third grade students are retained if they do not pass the test. Even more disconcerting is the state's demand that schools close if students do not perform well on this one test. We have a responsibility to educate the whole child and ensure relevant curriculum is taught in our schools. Our students are stressed. Our teachers are stressed. All because they are being forced to teach and learn to the test.

 

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    Major  Policy  Issues   19. What  do  you  see  as  the  advantages  and/or  disadvantages  to  using   standardized  testing  data  as  a  portion  of  a  teacher’s  evaluation?       Certainly I want all students to show a year's worth of progress (and   proficiency) in all of their subject areas. Pursuing this further, I believe our   teachers must accept responsibility for how effective they deliver   instruction to our students. However, I question the use of standardized   testing data as a portion of a teacher's evaluation. Our teachers must   have the autonomy they need to ensure every student is given an   opportunity to learn. One size does not fit all. Teachers are already   "teaching to the test." This will encourage teachers to continue this   practice. There are tons of research that suggest standardized testing   data is not always accurate or reliable. We need accountability. Most teachers welcome accountability, but it must be a process that is fair and   equal for all teachers. Teachers should also become a part of the process   by state's seeking their input about what to teach in classrooms and how   to assess students' knowledge and skill levels.       20. Duval  County  currently  operates  magnet  programs  in  more  than  50  schools,   including  13  dedicated  magnet  schools.  How  do  the  district’s  magnet   programs  positively  and/or  negatively  impact  overall  student  achievement  in   Jacksonville?      We currently have two of the nation's best high schools right here in Duval  county, and I commend DCPS for the many pockets of success.  However, at the same time, several of our neighborhood schools are  among the lowest performing in the nation. The entire system must  experience the kind of success that has been afforded to our magnet  schools. For decades, academic acceleration programs were housed  only in dedicated magnets not allowing all students to have access to  such programs. If we are to truly become a school district offering  world-class education to all of its students, we must place the focus back  on the achievement levels of ALL students.        

 

 

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21. What  impact  does  out-­‐of-­‐district  school  choice—charter  schools,  tax-­‐credit   scholarships/vouchers,  opportunity  scholarships,  and  similar  programs— have  on  the  success  of  students  in  Jacksonville?                                    
I do not support any form of education that takes away from the public schools. These programs are not favorable for the public schools because they require our district's FTE dollars, thus minimizing the resources we have to provide for all of our students.

   

22. Currently,  the  Florida  Constitution  limits  class  sizes  to  no  more  than  18   students  in  Grades  K-­‐3,  22  students  in  Grades  4-­‐8  and  25  students  in  Grades   9-­‐12,  as  measured  at  the  actual  class  level.  From  your  perspective  as  a   potential  board  member,  is  the  impact  of  this  measure  positive  or  negative  in   the  effective  education  of  students  and  management  of  our  district?  Why?     I believe the Class Size Amendment in theory could work. However, it has had a negative impact on our school district, because unfunded   mandates frequently do not achieve compliance at the district level. As a potential board member this really concerns me because it makes our district look substandard, and it puts us in limbo if the state ever decides to impose fines for noncompliance. But, realistically school districts cannot hire the required staff if public education continues to take crucial budget hits.

 

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23. Currently,  nearly  60  percent  of  high  school  graduates  need  remedial   coursework  before  being  eligible  to  take  credit-­‐bearing  courses  at  Florida   State  College  at  Jacksonville.  What  would  you  propose  to  increase  the   number  of  students  graduating  college  and  career  ready  and  reduce  the   numbers  requiring  remediation?                                                        
We must remove the focus off of FCAT for our high school students. This standardized test does not correlate to college preparedness. In fact this test and its high stakes have lowered the expectations of high school students across the state. More emphasis is needed on making sure our students are prepared and have undergone the necessary prerequisites to enter into college or a career after high school.

24. If  you  have  children,  what  type  of  school  do/did  they  attend?   (mark  all  that  apply)   _____   Public  (inside  Duval  County)   _____   Public  (outside  Duval  County)   _____   Private   _____   Charter   _____   Home  Education   Not Applicable _____   Other:  ______________________________________________________________________  

 

 

 

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