Letter to the Editor: 10 questions for school board candidates

Letter

Candidates for School Boards often use vague, flowery, or hackneyed language to answer questions. They usually talk about streamlining budgets, strengthening accountability, and eliminating waste. Most of this is just worn-out political claptrap.

The only way to ferret out the best candidates is to ask good initial and follow-up questions. Here are a few:

(1) How would you have the Board of Education monitor and ensure quality math, reading, writing, and special education programs?

(2) How much instructional autonomy and decision making should teachers have?

(3) To what degree do you support the privatization of staff (e.g., outside vendors) and services?

(4) What specific resources do you use to develop your knowledge and understanding of public education?

(5) How much public school teaching experience do you have?

(6) How often have you observed in public schools or interviewed teachers and parents?

(7) How did you develop your views on education?

(8) What instructional roles should the IEPs of special education students have in general education classes?

(9) What are 3 important ways that school can ensure high staff morale and motivation?

(10) How will you measure your effectiveness and that of your peers?

Howard Margolis, Ed.D.

Professor Emeritus, Reading Disabilities & Special Education, City University of New York