FAIRFIELD — A one-day $845 trip by Travis School District trustee Ivery Hood to San Diego for a conference surprised school board member Angela Weinzinger.
“For our district, that’s not a usual thing,” Weinzinger said Thursday. “I had no idea he was going.”
Hood spoke at Tuesday’s board meeting about attending part of the Annual Education Conference and Trade Show conducted by the California School Boards Association and held Dec. 5-7 at the San Diego Convention Center.
He said he went to workshops Dec. 6 about Common Core and on Tuesday asked the Travis district community to keep an open mind about the new educational standards that some have criticized as costly and unproven.
Weinzinger said material about Common Core is easily available without a trip to Southern California.
“You can find a ton of information for free,” she said.
The trustee also said she was surprised by Hood’s statement that California is leading the country in putting Common Core in place.
“I just about fell on the floor,” Weinzinger said of Hood’s comment.
Many people in the state don’t know about the new educational standards, she said, and states including New York are further along in reviewing Common Core.
Hood, who was elected board president Tuesday by other school board members, could not be reached for comment Thursday.
John Dickerson, sworn into office as a trustee at the meeting, said he doesn’t know all the details of Hood’s trip but thought it was worthwhile.
“If we can get more information, the cost-benefit analysis would be good,” Dickerson said. “Eight hundred and forty-five dollars is a small amount to pay for a lot of information.”
“A trip like that would be worth it,” he added.
The cost covered airfare, conference registration, mileage to the airport and a taxi for Hood, according to the school district.
Weinzinger, who is critical of Common Core, said the representatives of the California School Boards Association she’s heard from have supported the new educational standards.
“They just all say, ‘It’s here. There’s nothing we can do,’ ” the Travis trustee said.
But state education law provides local school districts with a choice on whether to adopt Common Core, Weinzinger said.
She said she also opposed the federal No Child Left Behind program. It set unrealistic goals of 100 percent of students complying with federal benchmarks, Weinzinger said.
Weinzinger, who had served as board president, said Hood will do well in that post. Hood has been a trustee since 2003.
“He knows a lot. I respect him. He’ll do a good job as president,” she said.
Reach Ryan McCarthy at 427-6935 or firstname.lastname@example.org.