For those of you who did not see the League of Women Voters Candidate Forum for BHSD Board of Education Trustees on October 2, I encourage you to watch the televised rebroadcast. Many said the forum was among the best, most informative, most civilized seen in recent years.
It was, coincidentally, a display of remarkable agreements seasoned with widely divergent views about many important issues. In short, it was the type of discussion that should be the hallmark of Board of Education Meetings – not just reserved for campaign seasons. It was the slate of challengers that brought the diversity of opinion. They brought it with respect and good humor.
One of the challengers stressed his involvement in the Community Partnership Meetings as he tries to instill more accountability in the District. He highlighted his decades of experience in corporate finance tempered by his leadership of non-profit organizations. Another challenger stressed the need to bring the new high school to fruition within budget and on time while stressing the importance of focusing on those students (juniors and seniors) who will be disrupted but not enjoy the benefits of the new building. She also stressed the imperative that we move on beyond the one vs. two high school debate and begin the process of healing. The third challenger, with international experience, offered up the idea that the state mandated core curriculum should be the minimum standard for the District – not the maximum. He said we should build on it and strive to have all our students exceed it. He warned about chasing fads in education. It was a “back to basics” call.
These are the people with the fresh ideas. This is the atmosphere of open discussion that has been lacking. If you agree, open discussion of alternatives is an important part of arriving at a consensus, perhaps this discussion should be our model.
Unfortunately, the incumbents have not shown the desire to include open discussion before decisions are made. They have, instead, tended to make decisions and then spend time and money trying to convince the public the decisions are well thought out and virtuous. They have attempted to bury minority opinions.
I suggest you consider voting for the challengers, Baron, Greenwell, and Moigis, for BHSD Board of Education Trustees if you are tired of consistent 7 to 0 votes on important issues.
The viewpoints in this letter are those of the writer, and Patch is not responsible for any ideas portrayed as facts. For questions and clarifications, please leave a comment below or contact editor Art Aisner at Art.Aisner@patch.com.