Wednesday, October 08, 2014

FCPS Board Candidates Respond...or not

On August 23th, Kentucky School News & Commentary invited each candidate for the Fayette County Board of Education to submit for publication a statement outlining the candidate's platform, resume, or anything else the candidate would like to address. We also invited the candidates to respond to the ten questions below.

Today we publish the results of our invitation...each in a separate post. Each candidate responded in their own way. We got one statement, one press release, one set of answers to our questions, and one candidate who chose not to respond simply citing "strategy." Readers are left to conclude what they will from that.
  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?
It is our hope that voters will benefit by hearing from our candidates for public office and better understanding where they stand on the issues.

District 4 Ferguson (incumbent) v Murray

District 2 Barnett (incumbent) v Cleveland

1 comment:

Wendy Mullins said...

Thanks for asking those questions. I find it very concerning that a person who is running to be elected to the Board of Education declined to answer questions about issues they will have to address if elected to the Board. The candidates have a duty to let voters know where they stand and what they intend to do about problems and issues in the schools. They are there to help the students, but we need to know what they intend to do.

From what I see below, one candidate, Dr. Roger Cleveland, appears to have not responded to the questions in any way. As the other 3 school board candidates seem to have given a response of some sort (even though not all of them directly answered the questions that were posed).

Specifically, question number 4 seems to have direct relevance to parents of students with disabilities:
"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?"

There are several questions on that list that would impact achievement of students with disabilities in particular, and who are some of the lowest achieving students in the district (including questions 5, 6, 7, and 8).

It is an odd position for a candidate to take to not let the public know where they stand. Why would citizens want to elect a person to lead us on the Board of Education if the person is unwilling to inform the public on where they stand on issues related to the education of our children?