Sunday, April 26, 2015
YOLO COUNTY NEWS
99 CENTS

Sherman wants to bring insights as classroom volunteer to school board

Claire Sherman, a candidate for the Davis Board of Education, chats with a voter at a recent Davis Farmers Market. Fred Gladdis/Enterprise photo

By
From page A1 | October 05, 2012 |

* Editor’s note: This is the last in a series of five stories profiling candidates in the Davis Board of Education race.

School board hopeful Claire Sherman says her candidacy springs from her personal involvement at school.

“I got involved in the school board race because I’ve been volunteering in the classrooms and effecting change that way,” she said.

Sherman started volunteering several years ago in her own child’s elementary classroom, but has continued to volunteer in the early grades, even though her son has moved to the junior high level.

“I go in and help them with math,” said Sherman, who has an extensive professional background in that area, “or I provide some extra hands with art.”

Sherman has seen class sizes increase as the school district has absorbed state budget reductions — and what she’s seen concerns her.  “The best teachers I know are not able to scale up from 20 to 30 students. It’s not like a machine where you crank up and say ‘Faster!’

“One of my radical ideas is getting class size in grades K-3 back to 20 students or less,” Sherman said. “And then reapportion larger class sizes at the high school for the juniors and seniors taking honors and AP classes.”

Her rationale: “At grades K-3, students need more attention from a teacher, all those things that serve as a foundation, so they become independent learners.”

On the other hand, Sherman notes that college freshmen at UC Davis taking calculus attend classes that can have “several hundred students. So is it so terrible at Davis High to have calculus classes at 50 or 60 students? The reality is that these are kids who have gone through math successfully. If they were in a college class for the same topic, they would be in a class that would be larger. If these students are going on to college, which most of them are, it readies them for larger classes and how to manage and navigate them, which is actually a good thing. And then the younger kids get what they need — additional attention, smaller class sizes. There are studies that indicate (small class size in the early grades) has benefits that carry through to other grades.”

Sherman acknowledged that many high school classrooms can physically handle only so many students — “the thing that is going to keep down class sizes (at the high school) is the fire marshal. But the idea is to balance this out across grades K-12. Right now, some of the (budgetary) hits are greater for younger kids. I’m not saying older kids don’t need support, but they need it in a different way.”

Sherman said she supports Measure E — the proposed local school parcel tax on the Nov. 6 ballot. But she points out that in terms of class size, “where we are today is where we’re going to be with Measure E. It’s not that we’re going to be able to reduce class sizes (if Measure E passes). It would be the status quo going forward.”

With that in mind, Sherman urges “more people to volunteer. The teachers need help. This is the bottom line, and I look at myself as an example. I work more than full-time, and yet I volunteer — in a classroom that my kid is not in. It’s not just money that’s going to solve our problems. It’s the community helping. And it’s rewarding.”

She also thinks it is important that good teachers be encouraged. “If you find someone that’s gifted as a teacher, make them happy! Keep them in the classroom working with students. That’s where they need to be. And that’s what the students need.”

And she would like to see a more diverse set of opinions on the school board. “You really want to get a school board with five distinct and unique people who bring something different (to the task), because that is Davis. Right now, the school board is very homogeneous, you don’t get these great discussions going. And those discussions would serve the public in a greater way.”

Sherman grew up in Pennsylvania, outside of Philadelphia. She earned a bachelor’s degree in mathematics (with honors) at Penn State, a master’s in biostatistics at UC Berkeley, and a doctorate in statistics at the University of Waterloo, in the Canadian province of Ontario.

In 1994-96, she was a staff fellow with the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences. She came to UCD, serving for a year as an adjunct assistant professor and director of the biostatistics unit at the UCD Cancer Center. She then spent a year in Japan as a research scientist with the National Academy of Sciences, living in Hiroshima and analyzing data related to atomic bomb survivors.

She returned to Davis in 1998, serving as an assistant professor in the math department at San Francisco State University. Then she joined the California Environmental Protection Agency in 2000, serving for nine years as a biostatistician in the agency’s Oakland office. Since 2009, she has worked as director of statistics for a Concord-based firm that develops systems designed to improve the safety of blood transfusions.

Sherman’s spouse, Philip Kass, is a professor at the UCD School of Veterinary Medicine.

Comments

comments

  • Recent Posts

  • Enter your email address to subscribe to this newspaper and receive notifications of new articles by email.

  • .

    News

     
     
    Davis team wins world robotics championship

    By Anne Ternus-Bellamy | From Page: A1 | Gallery

     
    Nepal quake death toll exceeds 1,800

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A2 | Gallery

    Spring storm delivers late rain, snow to Northern California

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

     
    At the Pond: Plenty of pleasures in our bioregion

    By Jean Jackman | From Page: A3 | Gallery

    Rail-safety bill passes Senate committee

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4

     
    Free Family Bike Clinic set Sunday

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

    Pioneering organic chef presents her memoir Monday

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4

     
    Suspect in UCD assault arrested

    By Lauren Keene | From Page: A4

    Dog park marks anniversary with cleanup

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4

     
    Watch them in action

    By Julia Ann Easley | From Page: A5

    Stocks rise on tech earnings; Nasdaq adds to record

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A8

     
    Dodd speaks as part of public policy series

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A9

    We did it (together)!

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A10

     
    $2.72 million judgment ordered against Dollar Tree Stores

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A10

    UCD hosts bike auction Saturday, May 2

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A11 | Gallery

     
    Fly Fishers to hear about advanced streamer tactics on Tuesday

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A11 | Gallery

    Bicycle activist will speak Monday at Hall of Fame

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A11 | Gallery

     
    .

    Forum

    Those texts still linger

    By Creators Syndicate | From Page: B6

     
    New ways of giving locally and beyond

    By Marion Franck | From Page: B6

     
    Study questions accuracy of tumor gene mapping

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B6

    Tom Meyer cartoon

    By Debbie Davis | From Page: A12

     
    Poker proceeds help youths

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A12

    Invest in water of the future

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A12

     
    Water, water everywhere?

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A12

    Mayor’s Corner: A spirit of renewal permeates Davis

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A12

     
    More work to do for a safe Picnic Day

    By Our View | From Page: A12

    Anaheim, where The Force is with you

    By Sebastian Onate | From Page: A13 | Gallery

     
    .

    Sports

    Davis gets two baseball wins in two days

    By Spencer Ault | From Page: B1

     
    Grizzlies dominate young Blue Devils on Senior Night

    By Thomas Oide | From Page: B1 | Gallery

    Energy, fan-friendly happenings highlight UCD spring football game

    By Bruce Gallaudet | From Page: B1 | Gallery

     
    Blue Devil golfers capture CAL Invitational title

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: B1

    UCD roundup: Aggies reach water polo semifinals

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: B2

     
    Blue Devil swimmers are up to the challenge

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: B2 | Gallery

    Babich brings the heat as DHS girls stick it to Oak Ridge

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: B12 | Gallery

     
    DHS softball struggles continue against Sheldon

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: B12 | Gallery

    .

    Features

    .

    Arts

    History comes alive in ‘The Sacramento Picture’

    By Derrick Bang | From Page: A1 | Gallery

     
    .

    Business

    Yolo County real estate sales

    By Zoe Juanitas | From Page: A7

     
    Big Italian food, sports bar to fill Little Prague

    By Wendy Weitzel | From Page: A7 | Gallery

    Davis Roots hires new general manager

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A8

     
    Comcast announces speed upgrade

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A8

     
    .

    Obituaries

     
    Whitney Joy Engler

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A6

    Valente Forrest Dolcini

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A6

     
    .

    Comics

    Comics: Sunday, April 26, 2015

    By Creator | From Page: B8