As members of the Community-Based School Equity Initiative, we offer these critiques of the News Tribune’s School Board endorsements.
Member David Kirby has offered few to no original ideas to School Board deliberations in the nearly three years we have been observing the board. He actively worked to prevent the compensatory-education resolution from coming to a vote and has, in our collective memory, never publicly opposed a district administration position. We believe we need more than a rubber stamp for an administration that has overseen the near insolvency of the district while making almost no headway in closing the achievement gap. Kirby was party to withholding the assistant superintendent’s record from the rest of the board. We don’t need more good-old-boys shielding in the upcoming superintendent search. In light of this, we believe former board member Welty is a better choice.
We applaud the News Tribune’s endorsement of member Alanna Oswald. She has been regularly and actively involved with community efforts related to equity. We fear her opponent would align with the status-quo elements of the board, which recently have been criticized for obstructing efforts to make board processes more democratic and accessible.
Finally, we disagreed with the newspaper’s pick of Loren Martell over Paul Sandholm. While candidate Martell has been a strong and persistent voice on school fiscal management issues, we believe Sandholm is better prepared to create equitable outcomes for all.
We are grateful to all the candidates for their desire to serve and are ready to work with whoever the community selects as its next School Board members.
Anne and Kevin Skwira-Brown, Kathy and Jim Doyle, and Robin Davidson
The writers are all members of the grassroots Community-Based School Equity Initiative.