Howard County Blog

A Blog on what is going on in Howard County

Saturday, September 16, 2006

School Board

So my pre-primary guess was correct that Di Zou and Peter Sola were on the cusp of making it into the General Election. Di made it, but Peter didn’t. Of course the sample ballot mess with them miss-spelling Peter Sola’s name didn’t help.

Our choices in the General Election are to pick which 5 of the following will make the best combination on the Board of Education:

Frank Aquino
Larry Cohen
Allen Dyer
Sandi French
Ellen Flynn Giles
Pat Gordon
Josh Kaufman
Roger Lerner
Janet Siddiqui
Di Zou

I am really looking forward to seeing their responses to out Bloggers Candidates Forum questions.

What are your thoughts on the School Board race?


Anonymous Anonymous said...

isn't one of them a doctor? or a pediatrician? i'd support that person plus kaufman and cohen. I don't think French deserves to get back on the board.

11:15 PM  
Blogger Evan said...

I'm curious:

1) Why don't you think French should be on the board?

2) What is it about a person being a doctor that would make you want to support them?

12:51 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

French hasn't distinguished herself as someone who truly cares about the issues. her actions while she was chairman (Centennial grade-fixing issue, superintenent debacle etc.) don't warrant her a free pass back to the board.

i heard that one of them was a pediatrican. it would be good to have someone with that perspective there. all candidates are knowledgable of how the board works and what sets everyone apart is the perspective they bring. i think someone whos worked with kids and understands them would be ideal.

9:23 AM  
Blogger hocoblog said...

Janet Siddiqui is the pediatrician. I thought the Centennial grade-fixing issue and O'Rourke debacle occured when Courtney Watson was Chairperson and French wasn't even on the board then. Correct me if I am wrong.

12:12 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

i know for sure the o'rourke thing happened when french was on the board because that was part of the reasons why people didnt like her during that time and she left the board

10:10 PM  
Anonymous nina basu said...

I think Ellen Flynn Giles would make an excellent school board member. I've talked with her extensively (to be fair, she also lives in my parent's neighborhood), and she seems incredibly well-informed about the issues the school board deals with, and is exceptionally dedicated. As a volunteer, she logged in ridiculous amounts of hours and mileage - which shows dedication, but also I think gives her breadth and depth.

I did read over her answers to the DFH survey, and while I might personally disagree with some of her positions, I think every position she has is well-ground in research and a deep understanding of the Board - as well as some of the wonky laws and policies / procedures the Board must follow (and is subject only to change by the Council or Legislature).

10:45 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

ellen giles is a long-time republican activist. i'm not sure if i trust someone so partisan and divisive to be on th board

1:38 AM  
Blogger Evan said...

The Centential grade-fixing thing happened after French had finished her terms on the board. As for the superintenent, I am pretty sure French was also off the board when that became messy, though I am sure others can fill in the timeline better. Pat Gordon I know was on the board when that was going down.

As for voting for a pediatrician, I would still really what to know where she stood on the issues. I am not sure if every pediatrician is well suited to serve on the school board. If a person was commited to some fad like getting rid of grade so kid feel good or gender segregated classes, but was also a pediatrician would you still want them on the board? I guess I just want to know more before I vote for every pediatrician, past teacher, accountant, or laywer who has a profession that might be good on the board without knowing where they stand on a lot of issues.

2:27 AM  
Anonymous nina basu said...

I don't think being a member of a party or a worker / activist for others fundamentally means one cannot be a good member of the school board. Actually, I'm supporting two candidates for non-partisan or extra-partisan races who I think will do a really good job in those positions, despite the fact that I would never support them for a political position.

11:11 AM  
Anonymous nina basu said...

Regarding peds on the School Board.

Full disclosure - my Mom worked with Dr. Siddiqui, but I don't really know Janet all that well, so I am absolutely not commenting on her at all. She's a very nice person, and I need to research her positions more.

I don't think that a pediatrician necessarily is the best person to be on the school board. I'm basing this purely on my Mom, who is a darn good doctor, an excellent pediatrician, and a good community member. But she'd be lousy on the school board. A lot of what the school board does is budget allocations - and she's simply not good at dealing with that sort of thing. She's great with kids on a micro level, and she's deeply invested in what kids need, however, the school board is an administrative board that deals with the business of how schools operate on a macro level.

A pediatrician with administrative experience in an organization as large as the school system - say, one who maybe managed a hospital or non-profit - would be excellent, however.

Frankly, I really want to see a financier or a CEO run for school board - preferably one with experience on Boards of Directors of companies that are as large or larger than the school system.

11:17 AM  
Anonymous Joshua Kaufman said...

Hello all. I am not posting this to advocate for or against any BOE candidate, but rather to clarify a few things.

When the Board offered to extend Mr. O’Rourke’s contract, neither Ms. Watson nor myself were yet on the Board. Ms. French was still on the Board through the end of Mr. O’Rourke’s’ term. Like myself, Ms. Gordon, and Ms. Watson, she supported removing O’Rourke in favor of Dr. Cousin, our current Superintendent.

11:27 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

If the top 5 winners from the primary were the new Board members, would that be enough diversity in backgrounds and experiences to represent all of Howard County's residents on an expanded Board? The school board should be a reflection of the community.

None of the BOE candidates have
expressed any political party views during the non partisan BOE forums, etc.

3:50 PM  

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