Editor:

In response to Wade Major’s letter “SMMUSD Problems” dated 10/25/22, we at Community for Excellent Public Schools (CEPS) offer these observations.

1. Mr. Major denigrates data about district and student achievement, asserting that a litany of personal grievances trump facts. Can you imagine likewise disregarding data about crime or traffic congestion? Maybe in a post-truth era data has become meaningless?

2. Of course, Mr. Major has a proclivity for breathless hyperbole. The decrepit History Building, long viewed by Samohi students as an undesirable facility for classes, was in countless movies? We count one. And isn’t creating a healthier learning environment for our children more important than any legacy to James Dean?

3. Major cites “unsupported teachers.” So it’s curious that Laurie Lieberman, Alicia Mignano and Richard Tahvildaran-Jesswein are endorsed by the Santa Monica-Malibu Classroom Teachers Association. Perhaps our teachers actually feel supported by these two incumbents and Ms. Mignano, a Latina who has been deeply engaged at Edison Elementary?

4. The candidates Major touts are endorsed by a PAC called A Brighter Future. These dissident candidates have faulted the current school board members for a lack of transparency and accountability and have at times leveled accusations of illegal activity. Yet since the end of June, A Brighter Future has not disclosed its donors and expenditures despite a clear legal requirement to do so. There’s no transparency, no accountability and a clear violation of campaign finance law. To be affiliated with such an opaque organization shows a clear lack of ethics and judgment by these four candidates.

There’s a lot of scurrilous rumors and outright lies circulating around town in all of the contested races. We at CEPS have taken a look at some of the gripes espoused in the SMMUSD Board contest and have addressed them on our website.

We invite readers of the Daily Press to visit www.cepssm.org to take a look at our FAQ page and urge them to vote for Lieberman, Mignano and Tahvildaran-Jesswein for school board.

Nicole Faries, Co-Chair of Community for Excellent Public Schools (CEPS)