Wednesday, August 13, 2014

The Race is On

Two  Board Members Draw Challengers in Fayette County
Fayette County school board members Amanda Ferguson and Doug Barnett will have opposition in the Nov. 4 general election. The filing deadline for candidates passed on Tuesday.

District 4, an area in southeast Lexington that includes Ashland Elementary School, Morton Middle School and Henry Clay and Tates Creek high schools

challenger Murray
incumbent Ferguson

Natasha Murray, an educational consultant and research analyst for the Kentucky Department of Education, will oppose board member Amanda Ferguson

District 2 includes several schools in north Lexington, including Arlington Elementary School, Lexington Traditional Magnet and Bryan Station High School.

incumbent Barnett
challenger Cleveland

Doug Barnett, the board member representing District 2, will face Roger Cleveland, an associate professor in the College of Education at Eastern Kentucky University.

Read more here:

Notably, this year's race presents the community with two African American candidates. That is not remarkable in and of itself. But if both happen to be successful, they would join Daryl Love and the FCPS would (for the first time, I’m betting) have a majority of school board members who are persons of color.

Is race an issue in the Fayette County schools? If so, in what way? If not, why not?

That's just one of several questions Fayette County voters need to have answered before they go to the polls in November.

Accordingly, KSN&C is inviting each candidate to submit for publication a statement of 1,000 words or less outlining the candidate's platform, resume, or anything else the candidate would like to address. In addition, we invite the candidates to respond to the following ten questions:
  1. In redistricting, what will be your highest priority…
    ·         Doing the best for your board district, or
    ·         Doing the best for the entire system? 
  2. FCPS is currently undergoing an audit to determine, in part, whether an accounting error led to Board members being surprised by a $20 million deficit. How would a negative result impact your opinion of the Superintendent? How would a positive result impact your opinion of the Superintendent? 
  3. Do you support the passage of a charter school law in Kentucky? If so, what are the most important features of such a law? If not, why not?
  4. In your view, what have the Fayette County Schools done particularly well over the last five years? What has the district done poorly that you would hope to change?
  5. Has leadership played a role in existing district problems? If so, how?
  6. Cite your greatest personal accomplishment in public education. 
  7. What are your views on open data and the transparency of information about the schools? What kinds of information should be made public?
  8. In your view, what are the positives and negatives associated with today's "corporate school reform movement?" (college- and career-readiness and Common Core State Standards, high-stakes assessment (increased use of test scores to evaluate students, teachers and schools), weakening teacher tenure and teacher's unions, school choice, increased federal control over education, increasing class size...)
  9. Is race an issue in the Fayette County schools? If so, in what way? If not, why not?
  10. How much money do you plan to spend on your election? How much have you collected so far?
Candidates may send responses to the KSN&C Moderator at by the end of September and we will publish soon after. If you want us to use a different photo, please send that too. Each candidate's responses will be posted under their own entry - one for each candidate. We hope every candidate will respond to this request and allow the public a better understanding of the issues at stake and where each candidate stands.


Anonymous said...

I think Murray has no chance of beat Amanda Ferguson. Ferguson has won twice there and knows that district too well.

I think Barnett-Cleveland could get very, very ugly, particularly if all the back stories going around in this one are true. I can see the business community getting active in this one because Barnett ticked a lot of them off with his honesty during the budget vote. Telling off Mike Scanlon might have won him votes by itself. This one could be the most competitive election in Fayette County.

Sharon Mofield-Boswell said...

Amanda Ferguson and Doug Barnett have stood firmly in support of the students, staff and families of FCPS. They have asked the tough questions and not settled for anything less than the truth. On many occasions, they have cast the "right" vote knowing they would be outnumbered by the remaining rubber stampers on the current BOE. They voted their conscience and served their constituents honorably. On occasion, they have bluntly defended themselves against vicious personal attacks by business people with no REAL interest in our kids or our schools. They have been honest, transparent and responsive. What more could we want in an elected representative? I truly fear the day that either of these two members are no longer serving. We do not need nor desire more rubber stampers completely out of touch with the FCPS students and families..we have more than our fair share of that now. No voter, truly concerned about the kids of FCPS, would cast a vote for anyone besides Doug or Amanda. We need to re-elect them in a landslide. We will then turn our eyes to some new representatives in 2016. True representatives in, rubber stampers out! #reelct2014 #replace2016

Anonymous said...

Amanda Ferguson supports all the students and stands up for what she thinks is right and has a lot of backbone. I think that she will hands down win the election.

It is even ground with Barnett and Cleveland

Anonymous said...

Hearing a big rumor that Dr. Shelton has requested the audit not be released until after the November elections because he is hoping for two new board members. This combined with his request to postpone his evaluation leads me to believe that he is attempting to influence the results of the November election.