“If a school is meeting 17 out of 20 \ criteria, no way should that be considered underperforming,” Elbling said. “Let’s be real and decide what’s truly attainable, without pie-in-the-sky standards.” Cirasole, 59, a school consultant, agreed, saying NCLB has set “awfully high standards for California, and they’re not real- istic. We’re chasing our tails on these things.” But it has helped with teacher quality, Cirasole added, saying 99 percent of district teachers have met the federal criteria of a highly qualified teacher. Gallardo, 45, a school administrator, says NCLB has also led to some good things, like the alignment of curriculum to state educational standards and more collaboration among teachers about what material should be taught at specific grade levels. “Schools should continue to collaborate and provide the staff development that is necessary for teachers to provide \ level of learning,” he said. On the other hand, it’s good to set high goals, said Aparicio, 28, a middle school teacher. “In that sense, NCLB has been good,” Aparicio said. “For me, as a teacher, it’s been hard the last few years. “But if we’re aiming for that mark, we will get there,” he said. “I just don’t know if we’ll get there in the next six years – in 10 years, yes, I believe so.” All four board contenders also said they were in favor of after-school programs, articulation with high schools their students feed into, and more emphasis on nutrition, P.E. activities and parent/student education about how to combat childhood obesity. The forum was co-sponsored by the Whittier-Pico Rivera Council of PTAs and the Whittier chapter of the American Association of University Women. For information on the LWV forums, call (562) 947-3634. [email protected] (562) 698-0955, Ext. 3051 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! “The candidates running for school districts will help produce the adults of the next generation,” she said. “And our livelihood will depend on those students.” The board candidates are hoping to snag the current seats of Robert Ehlers and Alison Pigott, both of whom decided not to run for another term. At the forum, all four agreed the federal NCLB law, which calls for all students to be proficient in English-language arts and math by 2013-14, was created with good intent. But its goals aren’t realistic, said Elbling, 43, a middle school teacher. WHITTIER – Covering topics like the much-maligned No Child Left Behind Act and childhood obesity rates, four candidates offered up their views at a forum this week in their bid to win a board seat at the East Whittier City School District. Carlos Aparicio, Michael Cirasole, Dimitri Elbling and Angel Gallardo were on hand Wednesday night at City Hall for the forum organized by the Whittier League of Women Voters. The forum, one of several scheduled in the next two weeks to help familiarize voters with candidates in the Nov. 6 elections, allowed school-board hopefuls to introduce their platforms and be questioned on the issues by the small audience. “School boards are our most local level of government, the people who are most \ to you to communicate with, to express your ideas,” said Margo Reeg, a LWV member who served as the forum’s moderator.