Public school students are allowed to opt out of mandated state tests. But Kevin Beiser, a middle school teacher in the Sweetwater Union High School District who is also a member of the San Diego Unified board, violated a state policy that prevents school employees from explicitly encouraging students to opt out.

At a tense meeting, southeastern San Diego parents pressed school board president Mike McQuary for answers on how transparent the process to fill an empty school board seat. “We haven’t had somebody representing our interests for a long time,” they told him.

Some of San Diego Unified school board president Marne Foster’s strongest assets – her passion and experience as a mother – may also be her biggest shortcomings. Even those who support her admit she makes decisions as a mother without consideration of her position on the school board.

Training and conferences only account for a quarter of San Diego Unified school board president Kevin Beiser’s time out of the classroom. The rest are sick and personal days. That likely doesn’t violate any rules, but it does highlight a problem with the system itself.

For well over a decade, educators have had to sift through education reform developed and funded largely by corporations and the wealthy. We should look for our answers from the people who have devoted their lives to kids.