While Pomona College Director of Alumni Relations Nancy Treser-Osgood PO ’80 works primarily with college graduates, she is seeking to make a difference for the younger students of the Claremont community as the Nov. 5 municipal and local elections draw closer. Up against four other candidates, Treser-Osgood is running for one of three open spots on the Claremont Unified School District Board.
Treser-Osgood, who has held her position at Pomona since 1997, is the chair of the southwestern district for the Council for Advancement and Support of Education, as well as a member of the Claremont Educational Foundation Board.
To gear up for the election, Treser-Osgood, who has had two sons attend schools in the district, has been attending school board meetings for the past year and a half. She also audited Pomona politics professor David Menefee-Libey’s Politics and Policy in Education class last spring.
Treser-Osgood said she would like to connect her alma mater and the other Claremont Colleges to the surrounding community.
“Of our 7,000 students in Claremont, 500 are homeless,” Treser-Osgood said. “That came as a shock to me. It’s very easy to be in this rarefied environment of working in the Claremont Colleges and feel like the whole community is like that. So I’d really like to see more of our Claremont Colleges students serving as tutors in the schools.”
“I would really like to see us have more import and export of talent from the Claremont Colleges to the schools and back,” she added. “I’d like to see us inviting Claremont students to come to the campus and avail themselves of the resources we have, for example the Native American art collection we have in Bridges [Auditorium].”
Treser-Osgood said that a major issue the school board is facing in the next term is transitioning to the new Common Core curricular standards that 46 states, including California, have adopted.
“For the English teachers, they say it’s not that different,” she said. “For math teachers, they say it’s a paradigm shift. Teachers are really having to rethink their syllabi and what skills they’re going to have students focus on.”
The Claremont schools will also be piloting new Common Core exams this year.
“The really exciting thing is that it’s going to be adaptive testing,” Treser-Osgood said.
Since adaptive tests change in response to how well a tester is answering questions, all testing must be done on a computer or tablet.
“That’s a huge influx of technology, and that’s expensive,” she said.
Treser-Osgood said that several funding issues will also be important to the board this term. A new local control funding formula will give the school board and local district more flexibility in how they allocate some funds, she said. Additionally, Claremont Unified School District has declared some school property surplus and sold it.
“We’re going to be coming into about $10 million that we’ll be able to spend,” she said. “Some of the other candidates are saying, ‘Wow, we’ve got all this money and we’ll be able to do some great stuff.’ But there’s already a long list of priorities that are safety issues that have to be mitigated and have to be addressed first. So it’s not like we have $10 million that we can just spend. But the process of spending that money I want to be very open and transparent.”
Pomona Director of Donor Relations Don Pattison is serving as a co-chair of Treser-Osgood’s campaign. He said that based on his work with her in various capacities over the past two decades, he is confident that she is a good fit for the position.
“I know that Nancy knows the Claremont situation well, especially through the eyes of a parent and a volunteer over many years,” he said. “For the school board, I see Nancy being a constructive critic but also a team player.”