Friday, October 24, 2008

Who Do Ya Like?

The Sun/Flier/Times ExploreHoward media conglomerate surveys the field for school board races. Six contenders are competing for three spots.

There's not a lot in the stories to make judgments, but some clues. Give the full piece a gander; we include highlights here:

Diane Butler

Butler would like to see the addition of the International Baccalaureate program, better identification and support for students who need academic help and more accessible vocational training.

Allen Dyer

"The board has to be proactive in its communication with the public. The board shouldn't assume the citizens know what's in the mind of the board," said Dyer, who has been a critic of the board's operations in the past. He sued the board in 2000 over alleged violations of the state's open meetings law although judges ruled he lacked standing in the case.

Ellen Flynn Giles

The state of the country's economy has spurred Board of Education member Ellen Flynn Giles to ponder ways the schools can be more efficient without sacrificing the quality of education....

For example, rather than hiring a new teacher, students should be able to take Web-based courses at Howard Community College for specialized subjects such as statistics or Chinese.

Betsy Grater

A tight economy likely will require a reevaluation of the schools' budget and Grater said she would "take into consideration the constraints and look at how we can do things better ... and not take away from teachers or the curriculum in doing it."

Janet Siddiqui

One of Siddiqui's priorities is to continue the board's work addressing the achievement gap, she said. Keys to that include strong principal leadership, partnerships with the community and quality after-school programs, she said.

Di Zou

Zou said the county lacks sufficient technology training for its teachers. He also thinks that there should be more laptops available in classrooms for students to use during the school day. Ideally, Zou also would like to see projectors installed in each classroom, but acknowledges the endeavor might be costly.

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